24 January 2017 - Pakse to Ubon Ratchatani - 140 km - We said good by to the Mekong crossing the bridge at Pakse and headed for the border, 40 km away. We had the choice of putting up early and doing a short ride into the airport the next day, but opted for getting all the km's out of the way. 140 km was fine, 141 km would have been to much. The toughest hill on the ride was the hotel 4th floor room with no elevator!
Mekong River 2017
23 January - Tat Lo to Pakse - xx km - One anticipated uphill out of Tat Lo and one we overlooked on the map just before entering the main road back to Pakse. Great day on the road once again. Stopped in a very basic shop for "lunch" and Ted enjoyed himself teaching metal shop and how to sharpen a drill bit with an angle grinder. (Not to be tried at home) Arrived back in Pakse, all of our stuff we left at the guest house was still there, honesty amongst inn keepers and backpackers a pleasant surprise.
21-22 January 2017 - Sekong to Tat Lo Laos - 75 km - climb to 880 m elevation at Thateng Nua, then downhill to 350 m at Tat Lo - the climb was relatively easy with a couple 8-9% grade climbs to keep it interesting. Scenery breathtaking - riding through hills and valleys, rice paddies being planted. Ended at Tat Lo with a guest house balcony overlooking the Se Set river just downstream from a waterfall. Tomorrow will be a rest day for exploring the waterfalls in the area and more serious balcony sitting.
20 January 2017 - Paksong to Sekong Laos - 93 km - 1300 m elevation to 150m - With great anticipation we set out on our downhill adventure - to discover that the plateau had been masking a strong East wind that had us pedaling on downgrades of up to - 3% just to keep moving! Uphill, into the wind once more asserts it's veracity. After about 20 km we did start the 8% downhill grades and got to enjoy the crosswinds until about 400 m elevation when the temperature began to return to lowlands normal.
18 January 2017 - Pakse to Paksong Laos - 100 m elevation to 1280 m in 50 km. We left our camping gear at the hotel and set out for the Bonlaven Plateau. The first indication that we were on a national hiway was the presence of cows on the road. Hiway 16 to Paksong is currently being widened and there are large clearings on either side of the road leaving dropoffs that make you pay attention to the edge of the pavement. Add large potholes every few hundred meters and this is a stay awake climb.