A rather pleasant detour
Especially the days before Alexandra had stated several times that her gear shift or chain are somehow jumping. And then, about 6 km before our target Pak Mong, around 6 in the evening when it was nearly completely dark, the chain cracked. Just perfect. Quickly a lot of Lao people from around the few houses gathered around us and discussed what was to do. In the meantime we tried to repair the chain – it was only the closure that failed, it wasn’t really torn, and we only had to close it again. When we had finally managed that we continued; but not for long as few meters later it opened and fell down again. Alexandra was about to lose her head but Stefan told her to ride his bike while he would push hers. And thus we made it to Pak Mong where we entered the first guesthouse we saw. At least it wasn’t as dirty as the one in Na Mor. 😉
On the terrace we tried again to repair the chain and this time it looked better. Suddenly we heard somebody talking in German and then Roger was standing in front of us, again. He and Silvia had been driving all day long from Luang Namtha to Pak Mong and it had been exhausting for them as well. The four of us then squeezed into their two seated car to get something to eat in the center. The Lao were quite curious seeing four Western persons get out of such a small place. 😀
The next morning we drank some coffee together (thanks for that!) and had another chat until we thought we would have to say goodbye again. But then when we were standing in the center looking for a breakfast snack, Roger and Silvia stopped right next to us to inform us that they will go to the same place as we would. In Luang Namtha Bob, the nice Scot, had recommended us to visit Nong Khiaw (“It’s really lovely there!”), although it meant a detour of all in all 60 km for us. It seems that our stories about it convinced the Swiss guys to go there too. So after an agreeable bicycle ride over gentle hills, passing friendly villages, we met again in Nong Khiaw, where they had already reserved a room for us. We shared a terrace and thus we could hang out and chat whenever we enjoyed to.
Nong Khiaw is a sweet little town which is partly still very authentic but still has all the important infrastructure for tourists. Kind of like Luang Namtha. Although there are quite many tourists, the whole place is quiet and cosy.
There we visited a cave, enjoyed a traditional Lao massage and had a nice hike to (not) see the sunset. In addition we had decent and low priced food and just had a nice time. 😀
And then it was time to say goodbye again: Roger and Silvia left Nong Khiaw to see the back country and one day later we would leave to go to Luang Prabang.