|Tuesday 5 March to Don Khong Island…a long hot dusty 108ks ride time5hr:11 best average of 20.6kph
Pete had to make the decision whether to bike back to Pakse where he might get more bike parts in case of another breakdown or to continue with the ride and pray for no more problems. He searched bike shops nearby but there was nothing. We encouraged the others to catch the ferry without us and we caught them up within an hour at a small village where they were stopped for cold drinks. Here we met some cute wee girls and their grandmother, the mother ran the shop. Andy mistakenly bought a Durian flavoured icecream, it smelled almost as bad as it tasted… he gave it to the wee girls who happily shared it. Poor Ann was suffering with tummy cramps so we got off to a slow start. Nickie however was ready to power down the hills so we said bye, might see you all later. The day was too long, too hot, too dusty but there were no guesthouses. What a relief to get on the ferry and cross to Don Khong after more than 7 hrs. Our very tidy guesthouse was a renovated teak building right on the water edge, luxury for $ 13NZ. It was a lovely surprise to see, Andy, Ann and Cormack walk by as we were eating dinner. Nickie really enjoyed her catfish and chips! We were worried they had not made the last ferry at 6.30pm, but they had made fast time when Ann took some electrolytes and felt better.
Wednesday 6 March moving on to Don Det and Don Khon. 32ks
We all met for a very long and relaxed breakfast. The others are staying on Don Khong but we feel we need to keep moving, days are running out. See the photos that show you how beautiful this special place of the world really is. At Nakasang on the mainland we booked our bus tickets over the Cambodian border to Kratie, for Friday. Nickie finally found a guesthouse with hot water among the 30 or more we must have cycled past . With only an hour before sunset we speed cycled out to Li Phi waterfalls and got some great photos.
Thursday 7 March Don Det and ride out to waterfalls 62ks
Had a good sleep til the roosters started up about 4am. 8am we cycled out to the end of Don Khon, where the boats go out to see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins. We couldn’t see dolphins from the beach and we didn’t really want to pay to go out in a boat. Back at Li Phi falls we were told we couldn’t use yesterdays ticket, although we had been told we could return because our visit yesterday was only 20 minutes before closing. No problem, we had a busy day and we first needed to find another guesthouse. After 40 minutes of bumping along sandy tracks, Nickie had looked at and rejected 3 guesthouses, some are very very basic. Surprise!!..we meet Valerie and Michael who we had spent time with in Pakse…crazy small tourist world. “”Come to Mekong Dream , it’s lovely and the kids help the parents and the food is made from scratch…” enthused Valerie. So eventually we find it and its practically on the opposite side of the river from where we stayed on Don Khon……yes, it was a very peaceful place, with hammocks on the balcony. We enjoyed meals with Valerie and Micheal, with the 3 cats that sat at our shoulders on the balcony rails. As we were the only guests staying, it felt quite exclusive. We made a very quick ride out to Khone Falls, back on the main road, about 30ks round trip, too many tourists there to stay longer than 20 minutes. The water volume was impressive for the narrow width falls. On the road we met cyclists from Lithuania, on the road now for more than 2 years!! Off to Cambodia tomorrow!