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Blog 105 Lane Xang Hotel (Laos) to Plei Can (Vietnam)

9th January

Once again I set off. There is a groundhog feel to the ride just now as days merge into miles and distances into time. The air is quite still and only the sound of birds waking up for their breakfast and distantly chainsaws in the forest which has now descended down to the road. I start in the forest, the dappled light shining on me as I start to make my way to another country, to Vietnam.

The highway is hardly that, a roughly pebble dashed concrete track barely wide enough for small vehicles to pass. It feels strange to be here, just me with a motorbike riding past.

The humidity has risen to give a jungle feel and the slimmest of transitions from plains to mountains has become sudden. Personally I am fighting to regain emotional and physical equilibrium. I’m out of sorts and on the cusp of understanding where I am. Geographically it makes sense as a location but when I look at the road ahead it’s a reality I feel would disappear if I closed my eyes. How can a human, a species with limited intellectual bandwidth make sense of being on the other side of the world. The hardest thing is wondering how he will get home again if ever. Now I am on a red dirt track, another road riding to another place. I don't understand what anyone says. I don't understand what anyone thinks or how life is lived in a place I simply don't know. I know the red dirt track.

A cool breeze flickers up my back and black butterflies flap towards me in the cock-eyed way they do to inhabit the nearest largest object in a sea of space. Alighting on me is a pointless exercise unless it’s company we both need. A butterfly kiss is a perfectly beautiful thing to be given. People walk across the road ahead, the dull thump of wood being chopped. Oh my God a small red bus passes and a white one and when I squint the very air pixelates to add to my confusion. 

At Xayden I stop for cold drinks. There is no food at least nothing I want. I have no appetite for snacks, fried food or anything soaked in batter. It's a scruffy little place with the air of a wild west town but without being wild. My saloon restauranteur was snoozing so I helped myself to the fridge.

The not very wild village of Xayden

There were just people asleep, rocking in their hammocks. There is so little to rush for and from the fridge in a shack I help myself to another coke. I’ve stopped rushing too and am working to the rhythm of my own body which is on tickove while I regroup my sprint and regain my strength. At this point other round the worlders head to the beach to I need to make Singapore soon.

Map of the Day

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Jan 10
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Xayden - really wild, really really wild. Not really but really really free. (paraphrasing John Otway in case you think i've lost my marbles! I probably have anyway 🤪)

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Hey John Otway! He sang at our polytechnic in 1986. Brilliant. He gave me the sweaty shirt off his back afterwards to raffle off for a cause....have no idea where it is now however as of course being a student the raffle never happened unfortunately. He WAS really really wild!....just like Nick!

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