Vientiane

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DAYS 104 to 106 – We spent three full days in Vientiane, relaxing, eating baguettes, drinking fruit shakes and generally doing as little as possible. We managed to do one mornings worth of touristy things, but in general we didn’t do very much at all!

Many tourists, especially backpackers, pass through Vientiane without stopping or only stay one night, saying there is nothing to do, but we liked the city. True, there isn’t that much going on, but there is good food, its not too busy and it has a good atmosphere. We spent a few evenings wandering around the road by the Mekong, or sitting and watching the world go by.

We said goodbye to Victor as he flew off to Iran, but Grace remained in Vientiane and we arranged to cycle together over the mountains to Luang Prabang, for what would be the final leg of our South East Asia trip.

After Yami’s chain had snapped climbing a short but steep hill during the last leg of the loop, we didn’t want to take the risk of it happening again during one of the twenty kilometre climbs on the road to Luang Prabang, so we paid a visit to the local bike shop, owned by a French expat, where Yami got a replacement chain and rear cassette. We had thought about selling Yami’s bike at the end of the tour but after buying a complete new rear wheel and now cassette, we have decided to take it back to Australia.

My bike needs some attention too. After all the riding on crappy surfaces there is now play in the headset. I think I need new bearings, but that will have to wait until we get back to Australia. My suspension also needs new elastomers, but as the forks are almost twenty years old, these are not so easy to come by. Again, this is something I’ll have to look at when we get back to Australia.

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