Today we said good bye to Thailand crossing the Lao/Thai friendship bridge in the early morning.
At the crossing we met a couple of other cycle tourists that we chatted to for awhile and then followed into the capital of Lao, Vientianne.
They got a little lost and couldn't find there hotel so whilst they were figuring things out we took the chance to grab some food, we were starving by this stage, from a small local noodle shop. We chose this place because, one- it was very busy, two- there was no tourists or foreigners in there. It was a good choice and we were rewarded with some good cheap chicken and rice noodle soup.
After this we cycled around the city, trying to get our bearings and to grab a glimpse of the mighty Mekong river that runs through much of South East Asia.
Well I just lost the following 1000 words I wrote (and this is about the tenth time this has happened. So before I type the rest of the blog does anyone know a good website host. At the moment we are using weebly.com so anyone other than these guys would be great. Please let me know if you have had any good or bad experiences, and who these have been with (tearing my hair out!!!...)
Anyway, in the afternoon we spent a some time looking for a bicycle shop owned by a Frenchman, reportedly the only proper bicycle shop in Laos.
It took us a while but we finally found it. But looking up at the shop's facade I soon realised that it was closed, and reading the opening hours saw that it wouldn't be open again until Monday, two days away. We didn't have time to wait until Monday so we sat down and wondered what to do. If we weren't able to by new tires now then we may not be able to find any again until we get to Tibet or Nepal, a long way away I mused.
Just at that moment I saw a local Laotian on a racing bike speed past and give us a wave, seeing that I wanted to talk to him he slowed down giving me time to run up to him. He didn't speak English but I managed to learn that there was actually another bike shop in Vientianne, about a kilometre down the road.
We rode there as fast as we could. It turned out to be our lucky day, they were open and they had what we needed!
We spent the next hour or so cycling around the beautiful city looking for somewhere to stay, that was cheap and quiet, a tough combination to find here with all the drunk, noisy backpackers around (a bit embarrassing really). We found a nice one for about AU $20, and more tired than she realised, Shanna fell asleep within minutes.
Sam and Shanna Evans are from Melbourne, Australia