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Blog 99 Nam Theun to Thakhek

2nd January

Long flat roads in Laos. Hot. Paddy fields and arable cultivation in the long pan handle down here in Southern Laos. Nearly nobody speaks English in the provinces and for weeks I have not had a conversation until today when I met a guy called Chris, a biker, who has lived here for a major part of his life, he told me a brief story.

Loneliness of a Long Distance Cyclist

“The long-distance run of an early morning makes me think that every run like this is a life- a little life, I know- but a life as full of misery and happiness and things happening as you can ever get really around yourself”

“It was hard to understand, and all I knew was that you had to run, run, run without knowing why you were running, but on you went through fields you didn't understand and into woods that made you afraid, over hills without knowing you'd been up and down, and shooting across streams that would have cut the heart out of you had you fallen into them. And the winning post was no end to it, even though crowds might be cheering you in, because on you had to go before you got your breath back, and the only time you stopped really was when you tripped over a tree trunk and broke your neck or fell into a disused well and stayed dead in the darkness forever.”

Then I met Frenchman Jan and his partner who explained to me why they were on the road on a bicycle

Then I Saw an Elephant

The I was so tired I went to bed. I have ridden nearly 100 miles every day for a long time and I need to repair and to sleep.

Map of the Day

Postcard from Home

But before I go, my darling wife Dr Caroline sent me a postcard from my home, where the mist hangs on the hills and the chilly winter sun warms the face, she calls it 'apricity'. It's a lovely word.

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