Paklay to Kasi Escaping Songkran

bsacbob

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After a great dinner and a good nights sleep at the Anousone GH, it was time to put our plan into action and head south to the Tha Li border point and hopefully rendezvous with Steve and the new rear YSS shock.

Fingers crossed our plan was to finish up in Kasi or Vang Vieng, so we could get back on schedule and head to Long Cheng.

The ride down went smoothly, made contact with Steve who had ridden up from Khon Kaen, sent a Tuk-Tuk drover over in search of a big guy on a big bike and in minutes with shock in hand headed for the nearest grease monkey shop and let Nick get down to it.

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A helping hand from of one of the shop guy's.

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Out with the old in with the new.

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Scaffold pole came in handy.

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Like a lighting pit stop 30 minutes or so later job done.

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On our way Nick a lot happier as we headed back to Paklay.

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Over the new not some beautiful bridge, for the amount of time it had taken to complete one would have thought they could have made it look prettier.

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After a prerilous journey over the mountains as every minibus driver was intent on killing us we reached the junction of route 11 and the 4502, options here to head to VTE and get drowned in water or take the logical dirt road, dirt it would be.

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The 4502 has been ear marked for paving for many years and was surprised it still remained dirt and bulldust by the bucket full.

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Village after village, all with buildings with a red hue, from the passing trucks.

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Nick being long legged spent most of his time stood up, being a short arse i remained comfortably seated.

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Little tearaways waiting to throw water, about the only signs other than Houay Xai that Songkran was being observed in Laos too.

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Not sure what they are processing here but the husk coming out was instantly ablaze and a pungent acrid smoke bellowed out along the valley.

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A much needed drink stop.

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These two characters absolutely pissed on Lao Lao, we resisted both a drink and the offer of one of their daughters and pushed on.

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Nick trying hard to keep out of my dust cloud.

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A lot of the villages along this route are older logging town that are slowly going to sleep as the logging is now finished.

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Several big fires still smouldering, this was the worst i had even seen in April in Laos

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Spartan looking wat.

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As we reached the village of Met or Mad as the locals call it, a bizarre place where half of the village is nicely paved the other remains in dirt, i guess the village chief lives in the nice bit.

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Also houses one of the nicest wats we had seen.

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Outside the karst mountains shrouded in the pollution.

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Locals mud dipping in an emptied pond for fish for supper, we turned at this point and from here to the 13 N huge amounts of money had been spent carving through the mountains only to leave it to be reclaimed by the jungle, another failed project run out of funds.

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Relatively dust free now, so we could make up some time.

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Another drink stop and curious looks at the farangs.

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After 370km we had had enough and scouted around Kasi for a bed for the night, the Pavin Gh @80k kip a night would fit the bill.

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Not too bad by Laos standards, although it proved to be more of a short time hotel as we noted as we drank beer in the lobby watching the comings and goings.

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The route today.

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In the morning we hoped for a trouble free trip to Long Cheng at meet up with my mate Saysamone.

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