I manage to convince Tim and Koen that the bicycle trip from Tad Fane back to Pakse, will be a breeze...all down hill...so they disappear off into deepest jungle and recover their vehicles. I am right about this, and don't have to turn the pedals even a single revolution all the way [at least 30km] from resort to city suburb...it is exhilarating, after a momentary panic of discovering at about 60kph that the rear brake is not functional due to incorrect placement of a section of the cable!
In almost no time we are back in the city. We return the bikes, neglecting to admit that 66% of our number of intrepid adventurers travelled most of the way up the hill in a fancy, air-conditioned limousine.
Our contact drives us into the city centre and assists us in locating a budget hotel where we intend to spend one night. The chosen temporary residence is barely functional, but very cheap! This is no problem as we are not intending to entertain royalty there.
We drop our bags then go forth on foot into the fierce cauldron of Summer [40degC at least] in search of cold beer and tasty comestibles. I am looking for a double helping of Beer Laos to complete my recovery after yesterday's unplanned drought.
Pakse is the largest city in Southern Laos, and probably 2nd largest in all of Laos. It was much developed in colonial times by the French, and there are still many French-influenced buildings all over the city. It is an attractive city, and is well positioned on the banks of the mighty Mekong River at its junction with Sedon River. Pakse is presently undergoing a building boom...renovating old buildings, and erecting new ones somewhat in the style of the old ones. With a rare river bridge across the mile-wide Mekong to Thailand, and a short hop over the mountains to Vietnam and Ho Chi Min City [Saigon], it is well-placed to be a major node in the SE Asian road network being developed.
Frequent stops under shady trees to chat about the World's problems whilst tasting the Beer Laos keeps us busy until its time to sleep. Tomorrow we will take a car part-way back up the hill, where we are to visit a Village School.
|exposure mode||full manual|