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Seramban – Subang Jaya Kuala Lumpur
Date: 18.01.2009
Trip Distance: 80.15kms
Start-Finish: 0730-1245
Ride Time: 4:03:30
Avg Speed: 19.70km/hr
Start Altitude: 160m
End Altitude: 171m
Trip ALTI: 423m

Yesterday we spent the day with Nana then had dinner in Port Dickson with Uncle Rajoo and the rest of the gang. We felt bad that we didn’t spend the night with Nana so we told her we will stop off in the morning before we left. She was really eager to see our bikes as well so she jumped at the idea and said she will make tose for us. So we got up really early and set off by about 6.15pm. Uncle Rajoo, Aunty Jayam and the 2 boys were up to send us off. Nanas house was only 5 kms away so we were there pretty quick. She made us 4 tose each and we set off. We connected on the North South Expressway and by about 10 we had turned off at the KLIA turnoff. We stopped off at the Dengkil rest stop for a drink. When we got on the bikes to set off again I realized my rear tyre was flat! Finally after 13months and 9000+kms I got a flat. There were bits of wire in the sides of the tyre. I tried pumping it up and it held so we continued riding. I ended up pumping the tyres 3 more times before we reached home. There was a huge welcoming party at home. We are home….. yes we are finally home…..

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Muar - Seramban
Date: 16.01.2009
Trip Distance: 137.80kms
Start-Finish: 0845-2130
Ride Time: 7:46:19
Avg Speed: 17.70km/hr
Start Altitude: 102m
End Altitude: 160m
Trip ALTI: 601m

We left Muar with the intention of staying in Malacca for a night. We got there around noon and wolfed down some chicken ball rice. Then we changed our mind somewhat and decided to ride on as we wanted to be closer to Seramban so we wouldn’t have much to do tomorrow. Riding out of Malacca we stopped off at Kumaran’s parents place in Klebang Besar. His mum was in so we had a drink and chat. Then we headed on Highway 5 which is the old road that leads to Port Dickson. When we reached Lumbak China we asked if there was a rest stop. When we didn’t get a positive response we decided to go for it. It was almost 6.30pm so we gunned it to the Expressway and took the Pedas interchange. The last 25kms to Seramban we did on the busy highway in the dark. Amazingly enough after 5kms we saw a car stop on the emergency lane and three men got out. I started weaving left to avoid them when I saw them waving and then realized it was Jaya, Sakthi & Jin. After taking a few pictures the proceeded to Seramban and so did we. We finally arrived in Uncle Rajoo’s place around 9pm and Aunty Jeyam, Kavi, Maureece & Tyreece were there to greet us. It was our longest ride and day ever on the trip!

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Ayer Hitam - Muar
Date: 15.01.2009
Trip Distance: 88.69kms
Start-Finish: 0715-1325
Ride Time: 5:02:08
Avg Speed: 17.60km/hr
Start Altitude: 105m
End Altitude: 102m
Trip ALTI: 364m

We were going to Muar to stay with my cousin Dyanan. We chomped down some peanut brittle and headed off for Yong Peng on highway 1. After breakfast at Yong Peng we forked left onto highway 24 towards Muar. We pushed hard as my cousin was expecting us for lunch. We arrived just after 1pm and he was waiting for us in the middle of town. A short ride later and we were at his place.... On the way I had a little incident. I noticed a man walking at the side of the road into oncoming traffic. He was talking to himself.... As I passed him he suddenly shouted at me and swung a pipe he had been holding at me! He whacked me on the back. Good thing I was following Dyanan so I didn't go back to return the favour. Kat saw what happened and gave him a wide berth. Funny how after cycling all around Asia I had to come back to Malaysia to encounter a mental case like this....

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Johor Bahru - Ayer Hitam
Date: 14.01.2009
Trip Distance: 95.72kms
Start-Finish: 0900-1625
Ride Time: 5:27:18
Avg Speed: 17.50km/hr
Start Altitude: 92m
End Altitude: 105m
Trip ALTI: 482m

Yesterday we spent the rest of the day with Amma & Papa. After lunch with Aunty Fee Yin we met up with Uncle Manickam who was one of the few who have consistently left us messages on the website. After that we thought them Yaniv which my parents picked up really fast and ended up trashing us both. We had dinner in New Lucky and then sleot in the JB house for probably the last time. Today morning we headed north on the old highway going towards Senai. We passed through Kulai and stopped in Ayer Hitam. Road quality was good but traffic was quite heavy at times. We stayed in the only resthouse in town for RM50!!

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Singapore - Johor Bahru
Date: 13.01.2009
Trip Distance: 40.97kms
Start-Finish: 0930-1245
Ride Time: 2:27:18
Avg Speed: 16.60km/hr
Start Altitude: 112m
End Altitude: 92m
Trip ALTI: 299m

After chilling in Singapore for a few days it was time to leave. My parents were making their way to JB by car from KL so we were supposed to meet for lunch. It was easy riding through the streets of Singapore and we made it from Fareidoon's place near Orchard to the Pan Island Expressway. I'm not sure if bicycles are allowed here but we went on anyways. From here we connected to the BKE which took us into Woodlands. Here we followed the motorcycle lane and exited Singapore without a fuss. We then got onto the causeway to the Malaysian side. Here everything has changed since my high school days when I used to walk the causeway. We passed through the old deserted terminal building and continued on a barricaded road that looked like a F1 track towards the new immigration terminal. And just like that we were home! After a year on the road it was nice to be around familiar surroundings. We made our way to the JB home eventually where my parents were waiting for us.

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Brahmanbaria - Tongi
Date: 07.01.2009
Trip Distance: 102.50kms
Start-Finish: 0830-1645
Ride Time: 6:03:17
Avg Speed: 16.90km/hr
Start Altitude: 93m
End Altitude: 47m
Trip ALTI: 106m

We are still feeling pretty rough. Kat can't get much sleep due to her coughing bouts and I have a lot of phelgm in my chest. We set off aiming for Narsingdi which would be more than halfway to Zia International Airport. The road was really well paved but the problem with this was that speeding busses pushed us off the road a few times. We arrived at the turnoff for Narsingdi just after noon and decided that we just wanted to get this over and done with. A further 2km down was the bypass road to Tongi which meant that we could avoid going to Dhaka. After having lunch at the intersection we headed down this road for about 35kms. Many sections of this road is in bad shape. Especially the last 10kms into Tongi. We went past Tongi and are about 2kms from the airport. We wanted a good place to rest up and recover so we are staying in the 'posh' SYL-COM Hotel for Tk1600. I think we bloody deserve a hot shower and good nights rest after the last 2 days. For me this ride was the last of a year long adventure. From Singapore back home to KL I will pretty much know what to expect. I finally feel like I am going home now and I'm looking forward to it. The next journey begins.

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Moulvi Bazaar - Brahmanbaria
Date: 06.01.2009
Trip Distance: 120.02kms
Start-Finish: 0800-1700
Ride Time: 6:32:56
Avg Speed: 18.30km/hr
Start Altitude: 82m
End Altitude: 93m
Trip ALTI: 138m

We had a rest day in Moulvi Bazaar as Kat is having a bad cough and has lost her voice. There is nothing much in & around Moulvi so I spent most of my time in a dingy internet café. We set off early today and its surprisingly chilly and misty around this time. The road was nicely paved all the way so we made good time. After breakfast in Srimangal there were a few gentle hills but its flat mostly. Around the 73km mark we stopped at a popular lunch stop then continued all the way through the town of Madhabpur towards Brahmanbaria. We had to turn off the highway for the last 9kms and we found a room in Hotel Al-Arafat for Tk500.

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Sylhet - Moulvi Bazar
Date: 04.01.2009
Trip Distance: 57.65kms
Start-Finish: 1030 - 1530
Ride Time: 3:18:16
Avg Speed: 17.40km/hr
Start Altitude: 82m
End Altitude: 112m
Trip ALTI: 93

We had a restless night sleep. There were quite a few mosquitos in the room and Kat was was getting up hallucinating she was seeing brown worms and choking..... We set off towards Moulvi Bazar using the Fenchuganj Rd instead of taking the highway. Its a good paved road all the way thru the towns of Rajnagar then Moulvi Bazar. On the way we met a guy called Akbar. He is scottish with bengali ethnicity and recently got married to a local lass. We stopped and had a chat over a cup of cha. At Moulvi we stayed in the Western Hotel for Tk900.

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Jaflong - Sylhet
Date: 03.01.2009
Trip Distance: 52.62kms
Start-Finish: 0900 - 1430
Ride Time: 3:41:10
Avg Speed: 14.20km/hr
Start Altitude: 82m
End Altitude: 82m
Trip ALTI: 121

After a quick breakfast of hot tandoori rotis and spicy chick peas we headed west on the Jaflong road. At the end of town we realised that the road just dissapears. In front of us was a huge river about 100m wide. We saw small boats there so we knew they were ferrying people across. We still had no taka on us so after convincing a shopkeeper to change my 100 rupee note into 100 takas in small change we got onto the boat with our bikes and crissed over. On the other side was beautiful tea plantations and tiny villages. For the next 35kms we were on a really good paved road. Based on our road atlas we would go through the town of Gowainghat and rejoin the highway. But when we reached Gowainghat we were told that the were 2 roads to Sylhet, the highway and the village way. Well we chose the village way and it was only on the 36km mark that we rejoined what we thought was a highway but after 2kms turned into a really bad road for 8kms. After this we had to turn left and headed into Sylhet on the airport road. We stayed in the East End Hotel which had rooms for Tk850.

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Cycling in Bangladesh
Guwahati - Jaflang
Date: 02.01.2009
Trip Distance: 9.82kms
Start-Finish: 0745-1730
Ride Time: 0:55:42
Avg Speed: 10.50km/hr
Start Altitude: 153m
End Altitude: 82m
Trip ALTI: 55m

Guwahati was a nightmare! After we arrived 3 bombs went off. One went off really close to us near the main railway station. The separatist that set them off want a homeland called Bodoland. Which is quite funny cos in Malay that means Stupidland! We decided to bus it to Shillong and arrived there around noon to more madness. There is nothing idylic about this place.... "the Scotland of the east" bloody lonely planet calls it! Bollocks! It was so crowded we could hardly move our bikes around. All intentions of us cycling the rest of the way to Dawki border evaporated. We caught another bus to Dawki and entered Bangladesh in Tamabil. The last 20kms of this stretch is actually quite nice and the roads were quite good. Once we got thru Bangladeshi immigration we cycled to about 2km before Jaflang where we stayed. They don't really accept indian rupees here so try and change some into takas at the border.

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Cycling in Assam
Sandrup Jongkhar - Guwahati
Date: 01.01.2009
Trip Distance: 67.23kms
Start-Finish: 0745-1600
Ride Time: 4:45:14
Avg Speed: 14.10km/hr
Start Altitude: 263m
End Altitude: 153m
Trip ALTI: 111m

From Tashigang we had to use the support vehicle all the way to Sandrup Jongkhar. In hindsight if anyone is planning a trip that involves entering Phuentsholing and exiting in Sandrup Jongkhar you will probably need 14 days. This means that you could cycle part of the way to Paro which is still in very bad condition and also go over few of the 3000m+ passes while having a day or 2 rest days.

When we arrived in Sandrup Jongkhar yesterday. Our guide was kind enough to request Bhutanese Immigration to stamp our passports yesterday but to still allow us to stay in the country an extra night. Today morning we rode out and soon found that Indian Immigration was about 5kms from the border. The immigration officer told us that we were the first foreigners to pass thru here since the Mumbai terrorist attacks 5 weeks ago. We continued on towards Rangia where we had lunch. Here we took a bus to the outskirts of Guwahati before riding the last 10kms to the centre of town near Pan Bazaar. We stayed in the Assam Tourist Lodge near the railway station where we got a room with hot water for INR440.

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Mongar - Tashigang
Date: 29.12.2008
Trip Distance: 61.67kms
Start-Finish: 0840-1500
Ride Time: 3:47:54
Avg Speed: 16.20km/hr
Start Altitude: 1668m
End Altitude: 1184m
Trip ALTI: 834m

We had a much better day on the bikes today. Firstly from Mongar its around 93kms to Tashigang. Secondly we packed some biscuits, bananas and oranges in a pannier. After cycling around Mongar town for a bit we headed towards Kori La Pass which is at 2420m. This is a really scenic 750m climb over 19kms. After this we basically had a huge 40km downhill all the way down to around 700m. We had covered 62kms by 3pm. We then loaded the bikes onto the support vehicle and drove the rest of the way to Tashigang. We felt much better today as we only spent about an hour in the car. Tomorrow we will be visiting our guide Chimey's aunt's village which is north of Tashigang. So we won't be doing any cycling as it involves consuming huge amounts of ara in the village.

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Jakar Bumthang Province - Mongar
Date: 28.12.2008
Trip Distance: 24.93kms
Start-Finish: 0915-1145
Ride Time: 1:57:21
Avg Speed: 12.70km/hr
Start Altitude: 1575m
End Altitude: 1668m
Trip ALTI: 609m

Yesterday we did not cycle at all. We have severely over estimated the time it takes to travel here. In a vehicle we are travelling approximately 30km/h which means about 6-7 hours in the car. After visiting the Punakha Dzong and watching an archery match we realised we won't have any cycling time.

Today we set off again after visiting the Jakar monastery. After a 10km ride we crossed a river after which we started a climb towards Shertang La Pass & Ura. Unfortunately after 15km of climbing we got hungry and could not find any food in the villages so we stopped the support vehicle and got our packed lunch. By this time it was past noon and we still had more than 170kms to our destination so we drove the rest of the way. It was quite frustrating to be sat in the car with such beautiful surroundings. I really wanted to be out there in the elements with my bike. Well next time we will know better. For anyone planning a trip here please take these distances into consideration. Ideally 100km/day is good. This gives you 4-5 hours on the bike plus 2-3 hours in the vehicle plus seeing attractions. Also carry lots of snacks in a pannier as stops are rare in the east.

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Thimpu - Punakha
Date: 26.12.2008
Trip Distance: 54.00kms
Start-Finish: 1030-1615
Ride Time: 2:53:52
Avg Speed: 18.60km/hr
Start Altitude: 2233m
End Altitude: 1532m
Trip ALTI: 289m

We set off from Thimpu after walking around the really interesting market area. We started cycling about 5kms from Dochula Pass. Its a good road all the way up to our highest point to date at 3136m. From then on its a mammoth 45km downhill. Instead of going into Punakha town we stayed about 4km ride up towards Talo.

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Cycling in Bhutan
Paro - Thimpu
Date: 24.12.2008
Trip Distance: 21.06kms
Start-Finish: 1500-1635
Ride Time: 1:07:10
Avg Speed: 18.80km/hr
Start Altitude: 2517m
End Altitude: 2523m
Trip ALTI: 86m

Yesterday we got picked up by our guide Chimey and crossed the border into Phuentsholing. From there we drove the whole way to Paro. For most of the way until the town of Chapchha the roads are being widened so we were glad we were not on our bikes. From Chuzom onwards its a very good road but it was getting late so we didn't have a chance to ride. We stayed in the really nice Gangtey Palace.

Today morning we visited Tiger's Nest and finally got going at 3pm! Paro is a beautiful town and we rode all the way to Chuzom. The winds were pretty strong and it got quite cold. Here we decided to put the bikes back onto the vehicle as we wanted to get to Thimpu in time to celebrate christmas eve.

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Jaldarapara Wildlife Sanctuary - Jaigon
Date: 21.12.2008
Trip Distance: 60.03kms
Start-Finish: 0920-1545
Ride Time: 4:28:20
Avg Speed: 13.40km/hr
Start Altitude: 379m
End Altitude: 471m
Trip ALTI: 198m

We were only about 30kms away from the Jaigon/Phuntsholing so we decided to visit the South Khairbari Nature Park which is adjacent to the Jaldarapara reserve. From the Aranya Jungle Camp(very good afghani chicken) where we stayed last night it was 4km back the way we came from on the NH 31. We then turned left onto a dirt road. 12 bone jarring kilometres later we arrived at the park which has a leopard safari and tiger rehabilitation centre. We then got back onto the NH 31 and proceeded eastwards toward Hasimara which is 9kms away from Madari Hat. This road is very well paved but after Hasimara the road deteriorates badly all the way to the border. You go through the towns of Old Hasimarathen its a further 16kms to Jaigon which is probably the filthiest town we have seen so far! We stayed in the Hotel Devi which was INR450 for hot shower & TV.

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Gorumara Wildlife Sanctuary - Jaldarapara Wildlife Sanctuary
Date: 20.12.2008
Trip Distance: 70.08kms
Start-Finish: 0920-1520
Ride Time: 4:38:27
Avg Speed: 15.10km/hr
Start Altitude: 379m
End Altitude: 379m
Trip ALTI: 153m

We chilled out at the park yesterday. In the morning we took the guesthouse's 4 dogs for a 2 hour walk. It was great to explore the villages on the fringe of a wildlife sanctuary. The dogs got into a fight so we walked back occasionally winding up a poor cow. For lunch we had really good fish curry and for dinner native chicken briyani. I must say it was probably one of the best chicken briyani's of my life. The meat was so tasty... even the breast meat!

Today morning we left after a late breakfast. From the guesthouse we followed trails thru some villages northwards towards a road that cuts thru the Gorumara park. This road is surprisingly in very good condition and on the 15km mark we rejoined the NH 31C. From here it gets a little confusing as although we continued on the same road we kept seeing signs for NH 31 as well. We went thru the towns of Banarhat & Binnaguri where we had very good lunch at a place called Heaven Hotel. After lunch we went thru Dalgoan and finally Madari Hat where the main entrance to the park is only 200m from the main intersection in town. Further down we found Jaldarapara Tourist Lodge run by the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation. Rooms were INR1470 full board for 2. We decided to splurge out for a night and stayed here. We go for an elephant safari in the morning which works out to INR400/person for safari, permits and transport to the elephant camp.

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Lava - Gorumara Wildlife Sanctuary
Date: 18.12.2008
Trip Distance: 82.30kms
Start-Finish: 0830-1535
Ride Time: 4:28:15
Avg Speed: 18.40km/hr
Start Altitude: 2285m
End Altitude: 379m
Trip ALTI: 132m

Finally we are back in the plains where the roads are flat and weather relatively HOT! We left Lava after a good breakfast of thukpa and aloo parathas. Theres a massive 29km downhill thru forest and tea plantations before a 1.2km uphill. Then we went downhill again till Gorubathan on the 41km mark. In this section we dropped almost 1800m to slightly below 500m. From here onwards its relatively flat. We went thru the town of Dam Dim on on 53km mark and turned left onto the NH 31. From here its another 7kms to Maya Bazaar where we had lunch. While we were here we learnt that there was a wildlife sanctuary nearby so instead of staying in a crappy town guesthouse we decided to do some exploring. We continued eastward on NH 31 until Chalsa on the 69km mark and forked right towards Lataguri & Mainaguri. This is still actually the NH 31. We were told to go closer to Lataguri where we could find guesthouses but on the 77km mark we saw sign to turn left for Gorumara National Park. We also saw signs for a few guesthouses. We then followed a dirt track for the rest of the way through padi fields and small villages. We followed the signs and had to finally ask for directions to a guesthouse called Dhupjhora South Park which has an amazingly secluded location on the edge of the park. While they were showing us the room I even saw an elephant crossing the river! We were glad to find this place and it was good to do a long day again that didn't bugger us out. We had really tasty native chicken curry for dinner and downed it with kingfishers. Rooms with a great view are INR600 and full board is an extra INR220/person.

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Kalimpong - Lava
Date: 17.12.2008
Trip Distance: 31.58kms
Start-Finish: 0910-1505
Ride Time: 4:01:58
Avg Speed: 7.80km/hr
Start Altitude: 1385m
End Altitude: 2285m
Trip ALTI: 1061m

We took a days rest yesterday. Kat woke up with a dodgy stomach so we decided not ride which was a good thing as we found an internet café with really fast connection where we could upload the photos.

The first 6km towards Algarah is a mild climb but the next 8kms are quite steep & Katrina had to push at some sections. The road is paved though so it was not that bad and we stopped and had lunch in Algarah on the 14km mark at an altitude of 1980m. From Algarah we climbed up to 2399m on the 29km mark before a 2.5km downhill into Lava town. This section of the ride is actually quite nice as we went thru a forest reserve. Avg climb today was 4% and steepest climb was 18%. Lava is a small town with quite a few guesthouses and we arrived just as the clouds were coming in. We stayed in Hotel Orchid which had really clean rooms with TV & hot shower for INR400. On top of that we are looking forward to the fish curry & chicken masala for dinner tonight.

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Cycling Gorkhaland
Chitrey - Kalimpong
Date: 15.12.2008
Trip Distance: 15.97kms
Start-Finish: 0945-1400
Ride Time: 02:52:04
Avg Speed: 5.50km/hr
Start Altitude: 504m
End Altitude: 1415m
Lowest Altitude: 1445m
Trip ALTI: 953m

We only had a day left on our Sikkimese permit so we had to bus it from Pelling to Chitrey. The busses leave Pelling around 7am and it costs us INR160 for two seats and bikes. We had to swap busses in Jorethang but its all part of the same fare. We arrived around noon.

If not the shortest, today is definitely the slowest day of the trip. We only had 16kms to Kalimpong but the whole journey was one big climb averaging 7.5% gradient with really steep bits of about 19%. Kalimpong is another huge concrete monstrosity on the side of a hill. We stayed in a place called Deki Lodge on Tripai Road.

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Khechupari Lake - Pelling (Pemayangtse Monastery)
Date: 13.12.2008
Trip Distance: 26.52kms
Start-Finish: 0900-1245
Ride Time: 03:01:36
Avg Speed: 8.70km/hr
Start Altitude: 1972m
End Altitude: 2150m
Lowest Altitude: 1445m
Trip ALTI: 794m

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Yuksom - Khechupari Lake
Date: 05.12.2008
Trip Distance: 27.53kms
Start-Finish: 1030-1615
Ride Time: 03:35:37
Avg Speed: 7.60km/hr
Start Altitude: 1891m
End Altitude: 1972m
Highest Altitude: 1986m
Trip ALTI: 732m

We met up with Karlos for breakfast at the Yak restaurant again. After a long breakfast exchanging stories again we started riding & pushing our way down from Yuksom. The first 2km is on the same rocky road we came on yesterday. We then forked right here and the road is nonexistent here till the 9.5km mark which is downhill mostly till you reach a waterfall. The road is then paved for the next 4km before turning back to gravel for the next 3kms. About 5km from Rimbi at about 1350m you start a 9.5km climb all the way to Khechupari town. Many sections of this road is bad and we had to get off and push. We even had a section which recorded as a 23% climb!! The climb was 5% on average. We were starving by the time we arrived and only had food on our minds. Karlos mentioned that we could go further up the hill but we were too tired and managed to find a place in town with hot water for INR300. We had some thongba before dinner and crashed..... Not really wanting to spend an extra day here.

Update 07.12.2008
We are still at Khechupari! We woke up yesterday to a lovely sunny day and after breakfast went to see the lake.the walk was nice and the views at the lake were magnificent with the reflection of the surrounding forest and prayer flags in the water. We met an Aussie/American couple there who were staying further up the hill. We decided to have a look on the way back and when we got up there we were greeted by a friendly old man named Pala who instantly invited us for tea. We liked him and the place so much we got a room and went back down to organize our bikes and gear. When we got down we realised that the key for the room in town was in Kats jacket pocket which was now in the room on top of the hill! So after confirming that they didn't have a spare we walked back up to get it. Then back down again. We packed the essentials and stored the bikes away in the tea house then hiked up. We stopped a few times this time and enjoyed the view of the lake and  jungle. When we got up lunch was waiting for us and we were treated to squash curry (a yam type root veg), beans and dhal. It was probably the best vege meal I've had on the whole trip. We then learnt that Pala used to be the personal chef for the Dalai Lama for 30 years!! We had a really good dinner as well while sitting around the fire with Colin, a French guy who is basically living here and Susan, a kiwi who arrived just before dinner.

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Tashiding - Yuksom
Date: 04.12.2008
Trip Distance: 20.64kms
Start-Finish: 1215-1650
Ride Time: 02:55:16
Avg Speed: 7.00km/hr
Start Altitude: 1475m
End Altitude: 1891m
Highest Altitude: 1954m
Trip ALTI: 766m

We set off past noon today as we did a short trek to visit the Gompa on the hill above Tashiding today. It took us about 45mins to cover the 2.5kms there. We were told that we could cycle up there but we chose to walk instead. True enough there is a road that goes about two thirds the way up. It was an interesting place with a lots of tablet paintings (more ideas for the house....). We got going with a 5.7km climb from the bypass road in Tashiding town. On the way we passed some mandarin orchards and stopped to gobble down 10 oranges. We bought some more to go. At about 1841m we started the descent which goes thru the town of Gerethang where we stopped for the best wai-wai we have had so far. The descent goes all the way down to the Phamrong Waterfall at the 14.2km mark at 1580m. From there you climb on a paved road all the way till about 2kms from Yuksom. Here the road forks. Left and you continue on to Pelling while right takes you on a very rocky trail to Yuksom. We had to push the bikes for much of the way as the stones were too loose to cycle in. Average climb for the day was 6% and maximum climb was 16%. We stayed in Hotel Demazong which had double rooms with geyser for INR250. For dinner we went to the Yak restaurant which had really good beef fried rice and curry. We met Jennifer an American girl I had met in Darjeeling while stamping our Sikkim permits and Karlos a German/ethnic Chilean (who wrote in the cycling book in Avocado Hetauda) who has been cycling around the world the past 3 years! We had an interesting night drinking thumba and exchanging stories.

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Jorethang - Tashiding
Date: 03.12.2008
Trip Distance: 45.40kms
Start-Finish: 0830-1650
Ride Time: 05:29:57
Avg Speed: 8.20km/hr
Start Altitude: 612m
End Altitude: 1475m
Highest Altitude: 1504m
Trip ALTI: 1304m

From Jorethang we continued north towards the town of Legship. The road gradually ascends all the way through the town of Rishi at the 16km mark and towards Tatopani (which means hot spring in Nepali) at the 20km mark. Its a steep path down towards the hot spring and we made the mistake of trying to ride down. Halfway down we came across 3 guys repairing a section of the path damaged by landslide. So we left the bikes and continued on foot. We had to cross a bridge to the other side of the river and walked towards the gompa which is visible from the road. When we got there we started looking around and found a group of people sitting in the river by some huge stones with sandbags around them. I went in to feel the water and it was hot! Its the weirdest hot spring I have seen, coming right out of the riverbed. We wanted to stay here but could not find suitable accommodation. What was available was small sheds with a plank bed in them which looked more like a goat shed. We pushed the bikes back up the path and rode the next 5kms to Legship (around 800m+) where we had lunch. After lunch the road forks, left and you go towards Pelling and the right has a sign for Ravangala which is also the same road towards Tashiding & Yuksom. About 1-1.5kms from here you will come to an intersection. The left path goes towards Tashiding but we were told by villagers to go right and up as there was a landslide on this particular road. This detour takes you on a steep ascent on a very rocky dirt path for about 4kms. The road improves after a while as this is the road that carries on to Ravangala. We had to keep on stopping and asking for directions and on the 32km mark we had to follow a very rocky path down for about 1.5kms that takes you back onto the road to Tashiding. Once we joined the road it was exactly 11km to Tashiding. The next 2km until we reached a huge suspension bridge we had to cross another landslide and rough stretches of road. After the bridge the we climbed about 450m to Tashiding. Average climb over the day was 4% and the steepest climb was a whooping 17%! About 2km from Tashiding a little kid ran alongside Kat all the way into town! We stayed in Ashmi Bar & Lodge where they had double rooms for INR300 with hot water. Be warned as the bar is open till late and the noise filters into the rooms!

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Cycling Sikkim
Teesta Bazaar - Jorethang
Date: 02.12.2008
Trip Distance: 32.83kms
Start-Finish: 0830-11200
Ride Time: 02:48:26
Avg Speed: 11.60km/hr
Start Altitude: 520m
End Altitude: 612m

We have entered beautiful Sikkim. From Teesta Bazaar we cycled 4km to the town of Melli. As you cross the bridge just before the town you will have to stamp your passports and permits. There is also a Tourist Information counter which was open but unmanned when we went in. From here its a undulating ride all the way to Jorethang along the river. You will not see Jorethang on the milestones but Naya Bazaar which is only a kilometre away is. At Jorethang there are many guesthouses in the centre of town. We stayed in Hotel Namgyal right next to the SNT bus station.

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Darjeeling - Teesta Bazaar
Date: 01.12.2008
Trip Distance: 42.24kms
Start-Finish: 1030-1515
Ride Time: 3:04:09
Avg Speed: 13.70km/hr
Start Altitude: 2271m
End Altitude: 520m
Highest Altitude: 2430m

What a downhill!! We are bloody glad we did not do this in reverse. We started the day late as we had to go to the District Magistrate Office  of Darjeeling to get our Sikkim permits. They only open at 11am and it was surprisingly quick so we were quickly retracing our 7km ride back to Ghoom. From Ghoom we turned left onto SH 12 to Teesta Bazaar. From here onwards its a mammoth downhill with gradients of -17% in some places. I wish my altimeter gave me data for descents as this was one hell of a steep one.  Good luck to anyone doing this in reverse. At Teesta Bazaar we crossed over Teesta Bridge and made a short climb before finding Chitrey Wayside Inn. They are doing extensive renovations but gave us the dorm room which is INR100 each with hot water. The briyani was good and we tried Sikkim's Dansberg beer for the first time.

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Mirik - Darjeeling
Date: 28.11.2008
Trip Distance: 46.53kms
Start-Finish: 0750-1615
Ride Time: 5:19:31
Avg Speed: 8.70km/hr
Start Altitude: 1666m
End Altitude: 2271m
Highest Altitude: 2482m.... 6m short of our Daman record!

We started off thinking we would be in Darjeeling for lunch. We continued on the SH-12 going north. After 2 hours we were struggling to complete the first 15kms! At Pushapati around the 15km mark we found another border crossing into Nepal though we are unsure if foreigners are allowed to cross the border here. We then found out that it would be a climb all the way to Simana on 23km mark. It was an average climb of 6% and 16% at some places! Whose bloody idea was that? At Simana we were totally shattered and hungry but there was no food to be found. We were told to ride on to Sukhia 4km away which luckily was a gentle slope downhill. At Sukhia we had the worst tasting momo so far. The skin was far too thick and the meat inside was too fatty even for me. From Sukhia it was downhill for a few kms then uphill again all the way up to plus 2400m. Just before Ghoom we had another short climb before joining the NH 55. This road was very rough and bumpy the whole 7kms into Darjeeling. The middle of Darjeeling is very busy so we worked our way higher up into town to be away from the traffic. We finally found a place in Pineridge Hotel for INR600 which had a huge room with TV & fireplace and great views of the mountain range. In the end our total amount we climbed today showed 1364m almost as much as the ride up to Mirik.

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Bagdogra - Mirik
Date: 26.11.2008
Trip Distance: 51. 98kms
Start-Finish: 0715-1625
Ride Time: 6:08:18
Avg Speed: 8 . 4 0 km/hr
Start Altitude: 189m
End Altitude: 1666m

We knew we had a lot to climb today and our trip ALTI showed 1543m at Mirik. It was a good slog up the hill on 10-12% gradients at many points. The climb started at the 29km mark and it was unrelenting with hardly any downhill breaks. The landscape was magnificent with tea estates all around and small settlements in-between. For lunch we could only wai wai noodle which is basically a Nepali version of maggi mee. The owner of the shop was really nice and made us have lunch in what looked like his daughter's bedroom. It also seems like most of the population here are Nepali of Gorkha origin and there are signs of disenchantment with Gorkhaland flags everywhere. There is an armed faction that is fighting for an autonomous nation of Gorkhaland that includes all of Sikkim & a lot of Darjeeling . The last few kilometres into Mirik was through rhodedendrum forests and we arrived as the sun was setting which it does very early in these parts as the whole of India shares one standard time. We found a really nice room for INR400 in Hotel Ratnagiri with hot shower and great view. We might stay here an extra day to chill out and enjoy the curries at Jagjeet Restaurant.

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Inaruwa - Kakarbhitta/Raniganj - Bagdogra
Date: 25.11.2008
Trip Distance: 40.37 kms
Start-Finish: 0745-1440
Ride Time: 2:32:59
Avg Speed: 15 . 8 0 km/hr
Start Altitude: 138m
End Altitude: 189m

We faced another bus journey today. We could not cycle all the way to the border in a day so we had breakfast and waited on Mahendra Highway (H01). The first bus that arrived going to Kakarbhitta was sardine packed and had loads of people on top. We decided against hopping on. I was keen on going back the 13kms towards the boat crossing where we saw busses waiting last night but Kat was insistent we move forward. She was spot on as when we arrived in Itahari bus station there was an almost empty bus waiting to go to Kakarbhitta. This was a much more comfortable ride and we were at the border around noon. One last dhal bhat for lunch and we set off crossing the Kakarbhitta/Raniganj border which was easy enough. We were in West Bengal and pleasantly surprised with what we saw and experienced. Firstly quite a few people were friendly, the scenery was totally green with lowland tea plantations and the roads were all smoothly paved! This was a totally different India.... We found a place to stay in Bagdogra and went looking for mutton briyani.

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Hetauda - Inaruwa
Date: 24.11.2008
Trip Distance: 17.60 kms
Start-Finish: 0730- 1935
Ride Time: 1:25:53
Avg Speed: 14 . 3 0 km/hr
Start Altitude: 510m
End Altitude: 138m

WHAT A DAY! We cycled, bussed, boated and jeeped our way here. In the morning we cycled the short ride to the Hetauda bus station where we waited 2 hours for a bus that was supposed to arrive in 5mins. The bus jouney took us more than 8 hours to get to Bandabari where we thought we were to catch a boat then bus to Kakarbhitta. But when we arrived we realised that we were still some 10kms away from where the boats were. So we hopped on a jeep which took us closer. When the jeep could go no more we jumped off loaded the bikes and rode the last 1.5kms to where some rickety boats were. After some hassle we managed to load the bikes and go over the river. This is the area where a dam broke 4 months back and caused massive flooding in Bihar displacing more than 2 million people in India & Nepal. On the other side we had to push our way through sand and finally cycle 13kms to Inaruwa where we were escorted to a surprisingly good guesthouse in the middle of nowhere! It still leaves us another 150kms to the border tomorrow so we are looking forward to another bus/cycle mission.

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Daman - Hetauda
Date: 23.11.2008
Trip Distance: 58.60 kms
Start-Finish: 0930- 1515
Ride Time: 3:40:53
Avg Speed: 15 . 9 0 km/hr
Start Altitude: 2304m
End Altitude: 510m

We got up really early today to catch the sunrise from the watch tower. We then had an extended breakfast chatting to an elderly Quebecian couple who spend half of every year on the road mostly in Asia. We then did the short 3.8km climb up to about 2488m before starting our 55km downhill. And a tough downhill it is with many switchbacks and sections of rocky surface around blind corners. We ended up averaging around 15km/hour over the course of the day. Around tge 35km mark we had a pleasant surprise. I stopped to take a picture of Kat cycling by field of yellow flowers, after putting the cam away I started off and round the next corner I bloody see Richie sitting on a motorbike. Turns out he bought a Royal Enfield in Pokhara and plans to bike it to Sikkim then all the way to Goa! We stopped for tea and promised we'll meet up in Darjeeling. After a long break we said our goodbyes and headed to the Avocado & Orchid Motel which had great food and a guestbook full of stories from fellow cyclists dating back to 1995. Tomorrow we have to try catch a bus to Kakarbhitta on the eastern border with India. Its a shame we can't cycle the last 350kms or so to the border.... Nevermind. Save it for next time with the kids!

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Kathmandu - Daman
Date: 22.11.2008
Trip Distance: 24 . 38kms
Start-Finish: 0615- 1505
Ride Time: 2:43:36
Avg Speed: 8 . 9 0 km/hr
Start Altitude: 1295m
End Altitude: 2304m

Yesterday we tried to extend our visas for 5 more days as they run out on the 25th. Unfortunately you still have to pay a minimum of USD30 per person no matter how few days you want. We had already spent 42 bucks on our first extension in Pokhara so we didn't want to get screwed over twice. So now we have 4 days to leave the country. There was no way we were going to make it to Daman in a day which is 80kms and mostly uphill. So we caught a local bus to Naubise then another to Tistung which is at 2030m. From Tistung its a 10km downhill on the Tribhuvan Highway (H02) or Rajpath as it is popularly known to about 1700m before climbing all the way up to more than 2300m. Its a great panaromic view from Daman and we tried to make out Dhaulagiri to Saggarmatha.

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Around Kathmandu
Date: 21.11.2008
Trip Distance: 10 . 91kms
Start-Finish: 0945- 1050
Ride Time: 0:59:28
Avg Speed: 1 1 . 0 0 km/hr
Start Altitude: 1295m
End Altitude: 1295m

We had to go collect our Bangladeshi visas today. Traffic was a stark contrast to what it was yesterday when the bandh (strike) was on. It was just like any other indian city and we are glad we will leave tomorrow.

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Big Fig Tented Camp - Kathmandu
Date: 19.11.2008
Trip Distance: 67 . 15kms
Start-Finish: 0730- 1930
Ride Time: 6:11:56
Avg Speed: 1 0 . 8 0 km/hr
Start Altitude: 396m
End Altitude: 1295m

We knew this was going to be a tough day. We had about 80kms to go and a climb up to about 1250m or so we thought. We knew the Kathmandu valley was about 400m above the Pokhara valley which was at 800m. We took it easy in the morning stopping often for drinks and even had a fresh sugarcane stop. We didn't drink the juice.... But chewed on a whole cane stalk. It was sooo cool and refreshing and it reminded me of when I was a kid and papa used to cut small pieces for us. We used to chill them in the fridge and munch on them greedily. After lunch we were still at the 750m mark and had another 30kms to go. But then the hard climbing started and when we got to around 1250m we could still see a mammoth climb ahead. It was by then 4pm and we knew we won't make it before dark. So we hopped off our bikes and got a bus for Rs.100 bikes and us all the way to Kathmandu. There was a massive traffic jam going into the city and it was about 7pm by the time we got to the city's ring road. We got off loaded our bikes up in the dark and set off towards the hotel. It was not too hard to find and they were very nice to us when we got there. We ordered briyani room service and watched a movie. Thank you Kumaran & Sha..... for the lovely gift once again!

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Dumre - Big Fig Tented Camp
Date: 18.11.2008
Trip Distance: 57 . 64kms
Start-Finish: 0730- 1530
Ride Time: 4:28:57
Avg Speed: 1 2 . 8 0 km/hr
Start Altitude: 493m
End Altitude: 396m

We set off thinking we would spend the night in Malekhu. On the way we met an Australian named Sean www.cape2cape.info who is riding from the Cape of Tasmania to some cape in Spain. He had Rohloff hub gears too.... got to get myself one when I get back. Seems like so much less maintenance. After lunch we stopped at the Big Fig Café for coffee. The waitress told me to check out some tents they had. Quite sceptical I went to have a look and it turned out to be really nice safari styled tents on the riverbed. So we decided to stay the night. They made us really good sandwiches for dinner and we tried thumba which is basically fresh millet beer.

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Pokhara - Dumre
Date: 17.11.2008
Trip Distance: 72 . 85kms
Start-Finish: 0815- 145 0
Ride Time: 4:58:40
Avg Speed: 1 4 . 6 0 km/hr
Start Altitude: 788m
End Altitude: 493m

Getting out of Pokhara was a bit of a pain because of the traffic but also cos we haven't been on the bikes for more than 3 weeks. After warming up those muscles we got into stride. Surprisingly we actually gradually descended slightly so it was a good first day back. We stayed in Mustang Lodge in Dumre which had a really small room but good cable reception!

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Waling - Pokhara
Date: 18.10.2008
Trip Distance: 66.06kms
Start-Finish: 0700 - 1355
Ride Time: 05:20:02
Avg Speed: 12.30km/hr
Start Altitude: 690m
End Altitude: 723m

When we went to load the bikes up in the morning Kat noticed that her front tyre was flat. I told her to check for punctures while I went and got my bike. Then I noticed that my back tyre was flat. I had locked the bikes up back to front. We pumped the tyres up and there was no puncture so it looked like someone was playing a prank on us. We set off after a breakfast of puri, potato curry & paal kova(milk sweet). Throughout the day we cut through the valley on undulating terrain gradually climbing to an elevation of 1078m. In total we climbed 882m today most of it around 3% gradient. Around the 30km mark we got our first good view of the Himalayan Range we were cycling towards. There are two big downhill's sandwiched by a sort climb the last 12kms into Pokhara. We headed straight for the Lakeside area where we gorged ourselves on pasta and lasagna. We were both feeling sick with runny noses and a sore throat. We found a nice little guesthouse called Mera Peak which had clean rooms with hot water and fuzzy cable for Rs.500. Plus it also had a great view of the mountain peaks through the window for us to gaze at while recuperating. Road conditions were average to good. I had to watch myself on the downhill bits as there were many patchy stony sections and were riddled with bumps.

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Tansen - Waling
Date: 17.10.2008
Trip Distance: 66.19kms
Start-Finish: 0710 - 1330
Ride Time: 04:30:18
Avg Speed: 14.60km/hr
Start Altitude: 1192m
End Altitude: 690m

Yesterday we were up at 4am to do the short trek on top of Shreenagar Hill where we had our first views of the snow capped peaks of the Himalayan Range . The rest of the day we spent mostly eating really good buffalo momo and buff chilli! From Tansen we cycled back down to Barthung and after a quick breakfast of potato pakora's we joined the Siddharta Highway once again. The first 8kms or so out of Barthung is a gradual ascent the you got a mammoth 19km downhill all the way down(350m) to a town called Randi where the highway intersects the Kali Gandaki. From here you start climbing again through the town of Gyaling onto Waling. The scenery was spectacular as usual as we could see some unnamed peaks at certain points and once again we had a huge river by the side of the road. In Waling we stayed in a place called Little Heaven Tandoori & Lodge. Coming from Tansen its a right turn on a rocky road in the middle of the town. Rooms with attached bath were Rs.300 with clean sheets and cable. Road conditions were good except for a few patchy sections due to landslides. The temperature early on in the day was very cool but it gradually got hotter towards noon.

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Butwal - Tansen
Date: 15.10.2008
Trip Distance: 41.75kms
Start-Finish: 0810 - 1425
Ride Time: 04:31:08br> Avg Speed: 9.20km/hr
Start Altitude: 169m
End Altitude: 1192m

Finally we headed towards the Himalaya . After heading east on Mahendra Highway for the past week we headed north on the Siddharta Highway (H10). A quick breakfast of puri and we headed through the valleys of the Mahabharat Range . The first 2 kms had a really rough gravel road, it looked like the last monsoon rains had triggered many landslides. Fortunately the road conditions improved and most of the way is a tarmac road except for a few other sections of landslides. The scenery was breathtaking and for about half the journey we had the Tinau Khola (River) running alongside the road. Kat kept on nagging me not to get too close to the edge but it was really nice to see and hear the rapids as we rode. On average we climbed about 3% gradient. We reached Bartung on about the 37km mark and we stopped for momo and ciao mien. Here the rode forks, keep right and you go on to Pokhara. We forked left towards Tansen and it was another 200m climb over 4kms. We headed towards the White Lake Hotel which had quaint clean rooms with hot water and cable for Rs.500. They are building a new wing which should open soon.

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Lamahi - Butwal
Date: 13.10.2008
Trip Distance: 69.44kms
Start-Finish: 0700 - 1630
Ride Time: 04:42:04
Avg Speed: 14.70km/hr
End Altitude: 169m

Finally we succumbed to the long distances. The first 25kms out of Lamahi are pretty flat, then you start climbing. There are 2 major climbs the highest going up to 444m.(According to my VDO MC1.0+) Around the 48km mark you start to descend. We got to the town just before Bhagawanpur around lunch time. Im not sure of the name of this town but if you head south you will pass through Bhagawanpur and on to Krishnanagar on the Indian border. Im not sure if this border is open to foreigners but it looked quite busy. We tried looking for a guesthouse here but only found 1 dump so we started cycling towards Butwal. After about 10kms we decided to call it quits. We stopped under some shade and got the bags off to wait for a bus that wasn't full to come by. After about half an hour one stopped and we loaded the bikes on top and the panniers went into a booth that had a live goat in it! Kat was stressing that it would start chewing on her panniers like how the goat at the hotel we stayed in Kohalpur chewed on my handlebars! 10kms later the bus breaks down, so everyone gets off and we start looking for a new bus to put everything on. This time we end up on the roof of the bus with the bikes and the panniers. It was so bloody uncomfortable I promised myself we would never do this again. Sitting on a Brooks saddle is much comfier! We got a place in Hotel Sindoor which had a really nice room for NpRs.700 and they made really good mutton briyani.

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Kohalpur - Lamahi
Date: 12.10.2008
Trip Distance: 114.60kms
Start-Finish: 0800 - 1715
Ride Time: 07:21:39
Avg Speed: 15.50km/hr
End Altitude: 245m

Once again we did a 100km plus day.... which is the only thing we did not enjoy about todays ride. The reason we rode all the way to Lamahi was because there were no guesthouses inbetween. Towards the end we were struggling quite a bit as we did encounter a few climbs towards the middle and end of the ride and we have not been used to these kind of long days. We could have pitched our tent but the the problem of food would have cropped up as we would have been isolated. Maybe we should have brought a stove for cooking! Well if I ever come back this is the way to go in Nepal . The ride itself was magnificent as the Mahendra Highway cuts through into the Inner Terai hence we had to go over the Chure Hills and then come over them again, so for a short section you can see the Mahabharat Range on your left and the Chure Hills on your right.

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Bardia National Park Thakurdwara - Kohalpur
Date: 11.10.2008
Trip Distance: 63.10kms
Start-Finish: 0930 - 1415
Ride Time: 03:30:36
Avg Speed: 17.90km/hr
End Altitude: 139m

Jit the owner of Riverview Lodge personally drove us to Anbassa in his pickup. We didn't really want to cycle back on that rough road again so we decided to take a lift. At Anbassa we started riding again through the park for the first 30kms. We even saw two elephants through the thicket. We stopped for momo again and get to Kohalpur just after 2. We stayed at Hotel Mechi Kali, which is located about 1km east from the roundabout on Mahendra Highway . Road conditions were good and traffic very light.

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Chisapani - Bardia National Park Thakurdwara
Date: 08.10.2008
Trip Distance: 31.57kms
Start-Finish: 0930 - 1815
Ride Time: 02:43:28
Avg Speed: 11.70km/hr
End Altitude: 127m

I thought I'll be out of bed by 4.30 considering the crammed dingy room we were in. But we were so tired from the ride yesterday that we lulled in bed for another hour and half. After tea we set off again across the bridge. Straight away we could tell that this ride was going to be nice. Its through a dense forest and we probably only saw 4 or 5 cars and motorcycles all the way to Anbassa which is about 18km from Chisapani. This is where you turn right to head towards Thakurdwara where the Bardia National Park head office is. At Anbassa we were approached by Bhavani who was trying to get us to stay at his resort. I would normally have said no but he offered to cycle with us there. It was quite useful as he took us on alternate routes par allel to the really stony and dusty track to Thakurdwara. These routes were actually trails that locals used to walk and cycle on. It took us a good hour and half to cover the 13kms to Riverview Lodge . But at the end we even saw 2 spotted deer. This cheered me up looking forward to the great trekking that lay ahead.

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Mahendranagar - Chisapani
Date: 07.10.2008
Trip Distance: 128.00kms
Start-Finish: 0930 - 18155
Ride Time: 07:27:36
Avg Speed: 17.10km/hr
End Altitude: 209m

We should have left earlier in retrospect but they brought us breakfast really late! The ride eastwards along the extremely good Mahendra Highway reminded us of our rides back in Lao. Most Nepalese do not own motorised vehicles so we ended up overtaking more vehicles than the random bus, car or motorbike that overtook us. It was fun going by the horse and buffalo carriages and racing with the panting kids who try to keep up with us. We were told that we would find accommodation at Atariya, Lamki & Chisapani on the way to Bardia National Park . But we were misguided into thinking that Chisapani was only about 80kms from Mahendranagar... Since we had a terribly outdated map of Nepal . Ataria was only 45kms away so we decided to head to Lamki which was supposed to be 15kms before Chisapani. After about 70kms of riding we realised that Lamki would actually be about 110kms from Mahendranagar. On the way we had our first taste of 'momo' which is actually a goat meat dumpling and looks more like something you would find in a Dim Sum restaurant. You get a plate with about 6 of these and a bowl of peppery goat soup. We loved it so much we had seconds. By the time we finally arrived in Lamki it was 4.30 but the guesthouse didn't have power and water. The proprietor told us to ride on to Chisapani so off we went again. When we arrived in Chisapani it was dark and it looked like power was out here too. We stopped and asked for a guesthouse and some guys told us to go over the huge bridge the Japanese had built. So we ride on another 3kms in the dark until we reach a checkpoint which was obviously the entrance to the National Park. They tell us its too late to ride in and ask us to spend the night back in Chisapani. So we cycle back over the bridge and finally find the guesthouse. Its 100 Nepali rupees (USD1.40) which makes it our cheapest room ever but it also has no shower and the power keeps going out. Good thing they had cold Carlsberg as we went to bed without a shower after doing 128kms our... longest day ever!

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Sitarganj - Mahendranagar
Date: 06.10.2008
Trip Distance: 61.51kms
Start-Finish: 1030 - 1745
Ride Time: 04:32:12
Avg Speed: 13.50km/hr
End Altitude: 200m

Its a good thing we did not attempt to complete this ride yesterday. Firstly we would probably have been stuck on the Indian side in another filthy place called Banbasa. More importantly the place we stayed in last night Krishna Towers had cable so we got to watch Liverpool come back from 2 goals down to beat Man City 3-2. We reached Khatima and found out that one of the bridges leading to Banbasa had caved in. We were given directions to take a right 4km out of town and follow that road. We spent the next 20kms heading towards Banbasa on narrow trails along the river. The last 3kms we followed a local guy through the woods who said he knew a shortcut. We had a meal in Banbasa and headed for the border. We had to stamp out on the Indian side. Here we met Ge i r an Icelandic biker doing a world tour on his BMW motorbike. We arranged to meet at the same guesthouse in Mahendranagar. At the Nepali side we nearly went thru without stamping our passports. Good thing we turned back and looked for the small immigration post to enter the country legally. From there it was another 6kms to Mahendranagar where we stayed in Sweet Dreams Hotel for NRs. 560. Food was good and we got to exchange stories with G ei r over some San Miguel beer. You can read about Geir's exploits at http://geirs.blog.is

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Udham Singh Nagar (Rudrapur) - Sitarganj
Date: 05.10.2008
Trip Distance: 76.10kms
Start-Finish: 0645 - 1430
Ride Time: 04:35:44
Avg Speed: 15.40km/hr
End Altitude: 198m

We were now officially in Uttarakhand. From U.S Nagar we followed the NH 74 to Kichha where we had breakfast. Then we went in the totally wrong direction for 12kms before we realised our mistake and turned back. Back at Kichha we realised where we went wrong and it was no fault of ours as you have to make a right, left then left again to stay on the NH 74. No signs once again! We made it to Sitarganj and spent the night in Krishna Towers (A hotel with modern facilities) just outside of town on the right hand side on the way to Khatima. The riding scenery started to improve along this ride and the temperature hovered around 29-31 deg celcius much cooler than in Uttar Pradesh. Road conditions are a bit mixed though with intermittent bad stretches.

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Moradabad - Udham Singh Nagar (Rudrapur)
Date: 04.10.2008
Trip Distance: 75.57kms
Start-Finish: 0620 - 1330
Ride Time: 05:02:32
Avg Speed: 14.90km/hr
End Altitude: 208m

We could not have left this filthy town sooner. On the streets leading out garbage was dumped on both sides giving out a reeking stench, I wonder how people accept this as normal! At Rampur we headed northeast on the NH 87 towards Udham Singh Nagar or Rudrapur. Traffic eased off on this road but the ride was quite bumpy on certain stretches. We stayed in a nameless place about 2km out of town on the right side of the road. They had a good room service menu and the room was Rs. 800. We can't get over the fact that accommodation is costing us around USD15-18. More than half our daily budget! Good thing the food here is cheap.

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Garhmuktesar - Moradabad
Date: 03.10.2008
Trip Distance: 72.83kms
Start-Finish: 0900 - 1445
Ride Time: 03:58:38
Avg Speed: 18.30km/hr
End Altitude: 191

I have no idea why the indians insist on building their highways through the middle of towns. These towns end up being filthy dusty places that look more like dumpsites. We are not enjoying the ride one bit. Hopefully it will get better once we get off the NH 24. We stayed in a filthy place called Hotel Milan where we hardly got any sleep due to mosquitos.

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Connaught Place New Delhi - Garhmuktesar
Date: 02.10.2008
Trip Distance: 100.10kms
Start-Finish: 0550 - 1445
Ride Time: 05:59:05
Avg Speed: 16.70km/hr
End Altitude: 218

Yesterday we just chilled out, had some good tandoori, I got some sandals and an india road atlas while Kat got herself a pair of trackpants. We wanted to get out of the city early and it was a good hour before we reached Shahdara on the NH 24 . The roads were very very dusty and there was a perpetual smog over us. We passed through Ghaziabad and Hapur and kept going as we wanted to get as far out as possible. Around 40kms from Garhmuktesar we started seeing signs for Skylark Resort so we headed there and got a room for Rs.750. There is a section of toll road after Ghaziabad which is dual carriageway.

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New Delhi Airport - Connaught Place New Delhi
Date: 30.09.2008
Trip Distance: 24.94kms
Start-Finish: 1535 - 1730
Ride Time: 01:39:41
Avg Speed: 15.00km/hr
End Altitude: 230

Instead of taking a train to Calcutta as we originally intended we ended up catching a flight to Delhi . Ramadan was ending so all train seats were booked up. In the end going to Delhi seemed a better route as we would go eastwards through the whole of Nepal then onto Darjeeling & Sikkim trying to make it to the Bhutan border just before Christmas. So we landed in Delhi which has the best roads in India . From the airport we were told to head towards Connaught Place and follow signs saying CP. Easy enough but we did take a diversion somewhere and took the long way round. Traffic was average... Not as busy as we thought it would be except for a few sections where they are doing work on the Metro.

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Gampaha Railway Station – Seeduwa – Bandaranaike Airport
Date: 18-19.09.2008
Trip Distance: 26.24kms
Start-Finish: -
Ride Time: 01:40:43
Avg Speed: 15.60km/hr
End Altitude: 2

Once again we had to load the bikes up on the goods train. We should have arrived in Gampaha around 4am but I was asleep and Kat was half awake when we arrived. She stuck her had out the door and looked around for a bit, then she asked a nun where we were and when she finally realized this was our stop the train started moving so we went all the way to Colombo Fort before catching another train back to Gampaha. When we arrived it was almost 6am so we collected the bikes had a quick brekky and headed for Jaela. We went thru the same roads we passed thru when we stayed there with Kats parents so it was a little trip thru memory lane. Along the way we stopped for the internet then found the same guesthouse we stayed in the first time we arrived 2 months ago. They remembered us, tried to charge us 3 dollars extra, we started pushing the bikes out before they went….. OK… OK…. Same price! For lunch we took a bus to ODEL’s in Jaela had some Lump rice and attempted to do some shopping. Ended up buying 5 DVD’s from a place called Malaysian Tech…. good old Malaysian fake DVD’s… the best quality in the world. We spent the rest of the day drinking arrack and playing scrabble before a nice chicken curry dinner.We were up around 5.30 the next morning and were off by 6am to the airport. Took us only 30mins. What could have been a very stressful experience of haggling over checking the bikes onto Air India ended up a breeze. The Air India duty manager Mr. Nish had seen us cycling to the airport on the way to work. He took it upon himself to make sure the bikes and our panniers were all checked in for no extra cost and loaded up onto the plane. Amazing what positive thinking can do! So long Ceylon…. We will definitely come back, this country has left such an impression on us and the fact that we were not allowed to go to Jaffna and the north has left us wanting more. I will come back. And I will ride all the way to Jaffna!

 
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Kalmunai - Batticaloa
Date: 16.09.2008
Trip Distance: 44.38kms
Start-Finish: 0600 - 1015
Ride Time: 03:05:56
Avg Speed: 14.30km/hr
End Altitude: 2

From Kalmunai we got an early start as we were trying to avoid the heat of yesterday. The first sign only said 40kms to Batti but inbetween you get a sense that they've added a km here and there. The road is a little bit better but still quite bumpy and we passed through quite a few checkpoints. At one they insisted on opening my bag, they managed to open one of my panniers as I would not help them and they kept asking idiotic questions when they looked at my passport. Asking "Who is this?" You get to understand why tge Tamils here are really pissed off as the military make a real inconvenience of their lives.

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Arugam Bay - Kalmunai
Date: 15.09.2008
Trip Distance: 69.96kms
Start-Finish: 0800-1605
Ride Time: 05:00:11
Avg Speed: 13.90km/hr
End Altitude: 171

After 5 days of chilling and wiping out in the surf we set off for the last leg to Batticaloa. It was a hot day but it truly was a beautiful ride. Once we crossed Pottuvil the scenery was breathtaking. On the left you get a view of the hill country over the Sakamam sanctuary and on the right you get intermittent stretches of the coast. The distance between towns are quite big and the countryside is sparsely populated so traffic is light. The road though is quite bumpy and full of potholes. At Kalumunai we turned right onto what is known as Resthouse Rd and ended up in a place called London Guesthouse which is more a bar than anything else. Its a shame there is nothing along the beach as the water here is a pristine blue.

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Kataragama - Monaragala
Date: 09.09.2008
Trip Distance: 76.34kms
Start-Finish: 0655 - 1400
Ride Time: 05:14:09
Avg Speed: 14.50km/hr
End Altitude: 171

We did it! We cycled throung Yala national park, got chased by elephants, nearly eaten by a leopard while being held up by LTTE guerrillas. I wish! Only animal we saw was a monkey... wild one for a change. And soldiers all along the B35, every 200m there was either a patrol or a sandbox or a military garrison. I'm pretty surprised they let us ride on the road if they thought there were so many LTTE roaming about. From Kataragama the first 6kms towards Seela Kataragama was a beautiful tree lined road but after this there was no tree cover once we entered the national park. At Buttala we turned right on the A4 and it was 17kms before we hit Monaragala climbing 100m in the process. Road conditions on the B35 were average while on the A4 it was mostly newly paved.

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Hambantota - Kataragama
Date: 08.09.2008
Trip Distance: 51.54kms
Start-Finish: 0700-1145
Ride Time: 03:15:44
Avg Speed: 15.70km/hr
End Altitude: 76

We really enjoyed todays ride! Hardly any traffic on an excellent stretch of road on the A2. At Wirawila we forked right off the A2 onto the Tissamaharama road which leads onto the Kataragama road. Lots of shade from the trees and we saw lots of migratory birds and even a crocodile... which we were unsure if it was alive or dead. We did the stone throw test and it didn't move. I'm assuming that it was dead, Kat couldn't have smelt that bad so early in the morning. We ended up in a real chilled out guesthouse called Jack's Place about 2km before the town centre.

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Naotunna - Hambantota
Date: 07.09.2008
Trip Distance: 77.52kms
Start-Finish: 0710-1345
Ride Time: 04:56:04
Avg Speed: 15.70km/hr
End Altitude: 4

We were up early but needed to clean our really grimy chains. On the way we saw some really beautiful beaches at Dickwella and Tangalla. Better than any of the beaches we had been to so far in Sri Lanka. Strangely the water seems clearer here, we noticed it even yesterday when we took a dip at Thalala beach. We also gradually noticed a decrease in traffic. Just before Hambantota there is diversion of the existing A2 due to a huge inland seaport. That added about 8-10 kms on top of what we had expected to do. Road conditions were average but the 2kms into Hambantota were terrible!

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Matara - Naotunna
Date: 06.09.2008
Trip Distance: 14.14kms
Start-Finish: 1315-1500
Ride Time: 00:56:30
Avg Speed: 15.30km/hr
End Altitude: 3

After taking the 9.30am train from Panadura to Matara we loaded up our bikes which were waiting for us at the station. We had sent it on the goods train the night before. We thought we would head for Dickwella but found this nice place called Hotel Palm Hill on Thalala Beach Naotunna about 14kms from Matara. Naotunna is actually not on either of our maps. Its inbetween Gandara & Hunnadeniya. The roads are being upgraded here so intermittently we had bad patches of gravel. But mostly traffic was light.

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Mount Lavinia - Panadura
Date: 04.09.2008
Trip Distance: 23.81kms
Start-Finish: 1300 - 1500
Ride Time: 01:36:42
Avg Speed: 14.70km/hr
End Altitude: 6

On the map it looked like we had about 30 odd kilometres to go. We had to go through Malabe, where it poured down for an hour, so we stopped under some shade and played scrabble. From there we rode thru Maharagama and Dehiwala, this way we totally bypassed the Colombo traffic. Just before Maharagama we saw the Parliament building, we were surprised as it wasn't even on our map. Its a huge building that's surrounded by a moat apparently as a security measure to avoid an LTTE attack. From there it was another hours ride thru Dehiwala where we turned left on Galle Rd. Traffic was busy around Maharagama and Dehiwala while road conditions changed a lot from bad to good and vice-versa.

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Weliweriya - Mt Lavinia
Date: 29.08.2008
Trip Distance: 42.63kms
Start-Finish: 0730-1330
Ride Time: 2:44:44
Avg Speed: 15.50km/hr
End Altitude: 5

And so after 5 days of luxury with my parents we had to ride out of Mt Lavinia to begin the last leg of our Sri Lankan oddesy. Before we could even begin Kat had a problem with her front gear cable which had been giving way for some time. It needed replacement so we went down the road and got it fixed for Rs150!! Cable, housing & labour! Off again to Panadura, albert was looking forward to our visit as we promised him we would cook dinner. On the way we bought some prawns for curry. The ride was uneventful and we were getting tired of the persistent traffic.

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Weliweriya - Mt Lavinia
Date: 29.08.2008
Trip Distance: 42.63kms
Start-Finish: 0730-1330
Ride Time: 2:44:44
Avg Speed: 15.50km/hr
End Altitude: 5

On the map it looked like we had about 30 odd kilometres to go. We had to go through Malabe, where it poured down for an hour, so we stopped under some shade and played scrabble. From there we rode thru Maharagama and Dehiwala, this way we totally bypassed the Colombo traffic. Just before Maharagama we saw the Parliament building, we were surprised as it wasn't even on our map. Its a huge building that's surrounded by a moat apparently as a security measure to avoid an LTTE attack. From there it was another hours ride thru Dehiwala where we turned left on Galle Rd. Traffic was busy around Maharagama and Dehiwala while road conditions changed a lot from bad to good and vice-versa.

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Kurunegala - Weliweriya
Date: 28.08.2008
Trip Distance: 74.27kms
Start-Finish: 0700-1415
Ride Time: 4:18:04
Avg Speed: 17.20km/hr
End Altitude: 41

We slept in till 5.30 today..... Yes that's sleeping in! Found a nice place for breakfast in town and when we finally left it was around 7.30. 9t was another 100kms to Colombo and then another 12kms to Mt Lavinia. But we did not really feel like going thru Colombo and we also wanted to do as much today so we could arrive early tomorrow. At Ambepussa the A6 turns into the A1. We were making good time and reached Nittambuwa by lunch time. By now we had decided we were going to fork left at a town called Belummahara. On our map it looked like we could bypass Colombo and connect with Mt Lavinia somehow. About 3kms after we turned off we found a place on our left that was decent enough. Leaves us about 30kms to go tomorrow. Weather was good today, it drizzled for a while towards the end of the ride and road conditions on the A6 & A1 were good, once we turned off though it became quite bumpy and traffic didn't really ease off as many trucks were also using this road to bypass Colombo.

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Kandalama - Kurunegala
Date: 27.08.2008
Trip Distance: 69.70kms
Start-Finish: 0545-1315
Ride Time: 4:47:22
Avg Speed: 14.50km/hr
End Altitude: 141

We set off with a beautiful sunrise overlooking the tank. We had to make our way back towards Dambulla town before heading southwest on the A6. We stopped for really good string hoppers and bread with spicy dhal about 5kms from Dambulla. The weather wasn't as hot today and the ride consisted of more tree cover than the past 2 days. We stopped for coconuts as usual and tried some boiled corn as well. I shared mine with a dog who waited for me to bite the kernels off and spit it down. As we entered Dambulla we veered right towards the lake. Most places were fully booked because its wedding season so it took us a good hour to look for a decent place. Road conditions were good and you ride up to about 240m before coming back down again.

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Maradankadawala - Kandalama
Date: 26.08.2008
Trip Distance: 54.19kms
Start-Finish: 0545-1500
Ride Time: 3:54:56
Avg Speed: 13.80km/hr
End Altitude: 192

After a restless night in a rat infested room, we were just glad to be on the road again! We followed the A9 south, there was light traffic and we made it to Kekiwara around 7 for breakfast. It started getting hot around 9 and gradually climbed to around 41 degrees in the sun. At times we cruised happily when we were shaded by huge trees and the ride is always more enjoyable that way. Today's ride though is all about road kill! First we saw 2 cats splat on the road, then a puppy. When we stopped for a water break we saw a dead mongoose behind us by the side of the road. I prodded it but it was quite hard... so not for lunch! Then we saw a huge ass iguana come onto the road and drag another splattered dog off. We stopped and took some pictures. When I went after it with the camera it turned around and snarled at me. That was one huge lizard.... Would have fed 8 people! Kat decided that we should stay in a place called Little Dream on the Kandalama road past Dambulla. We looked for it for a good hour, then gave up and had lunch at the 5 star Amaya Lake nearby. On the way back to Dambulla we stopped and asked some tuk-tuk drivers if there were any guesthouses nearby, and the said there was one on a side road up ahead. Sure enough its the bloody place were looking for! Much better than last night. Riding along the walls of the tank was amazing and really windy. Road conditions were good.

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Anuradhapura - Maradankadawala
Date: 25.08.2008
Trip Distance: 46.22kms
Start-Finish: 0545-1230
Ride Time: 3:05:51
Avg Speed: 14.90km/hr
End Altitude: 143

We set off early on the A12 towards Tricomalee. We were aiming for a town called Mihintale, the site where Buddhisms was born in Sri Lanka . Its a big site, you can choose to climb all 1800 steps to the top or ride round the back. We chose the latter but it was steep. At the top theres a lot to see and do, we spent an hour and half scouring the place. Entrance was Rs 250. After breakfast in town we set off south on the A9, we are saving Tricomalee for when my parents l eave . We reached a place called Maradankadawala and stopped for the night. It was a nightmare resthouse, Kat will definitely mention more about it in her blog. Road conditions were average and the terrain relatively flat.

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Around Anuradhapura
Date: 24.08.2008
Trip Distance: 42.17kms
Start-Finish: 0700 - 1530
Ride Time: 3:16:56
Avg Speed: 12.70km/hr
End Altitude: 99

We caught the train to Anuradhapura , since we didn't have time to cycle there and back in time to meet my parents in Mt Lavinia a week later. The hitch was that we were taking the Intercity Express there which did not carry any luggage, so after making a few inquiries in the Parcel Office in Colombo Fort station they assured me that they would put it on the cargo train the day after we leave and we would receive it that same evening. Sure so the first day in Anuradhapura we just lazed around, Kat wasn't feeling too well anyways, then we took a walk into town to use the internet. When we went to the station to pick our bikes up we met a guy who offered to take us into the ruins the next day for free…. Meaning we pay him and we don't pay the entrance fees which were going to come up to around USD50++ Sounded like a good deal so we took him up on the offer and for Rs2000 Niranjan became our first cycling guide. He had a really beat up 1-speed mountain bike and it took effort for him to even climb the smallest inclinations. But we cycled everywhere, through the maze of temples and ruins and shrines. He knew all the short cuts and all the dirt roads that connected up. Only the killer heat spoilt it a little bit. Other than that we had a great time.

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Around Hikkaduwa
Date: 12-21.08.2008
Trip Distance: 50.55kms
Start-Finish: -
Ride Time: 3:19:19
Avg Speed: 15.20km/hr
End Altitude: 5

No one wanted to cycle with me from Ella so we vanned the bikes to Hikkaduwa! Around Hikkaduwa we made constant runs to the town center and further south to Donduwa harbour for seafood, groceries and other supplies.

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Around Ella
Date: 09-11.08.2008
Trip Distance: 15.92kms
Start-Finish: -
Ride Time: 1:25:49
Avg Speed: 11.10km/hr
End Altitude: 1050

From Nuwara Eliya we rode the short distance to Nanu Oya the closest train station. It was an ancient station, with really old equipment . The train was delayed 4 hours so by the time we arrived in Ella it was getting dark and we had to cycle 1km up a hill in the dark! The next day we rode to the base of Little Adams Peak and back.
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Around Peradinya & Kandy
Date: 01-07 .0 8 .2008
Trip Distance: 23.69 kms
Start-Finish: -
Ride Time: 1 : 45 : 22
Avg Speed: 13.40 km/hr
End Altitude: 501 m

Around Peradinya and Kandy we didn't really do as much cycling as we expected, went to the bakery a couple of times to get provisions and we did a trip into Kandy to sort out our blinking Indian visas. Looks like we will have to come into Kandy again before we leave Sri Lanka as they will only have the visas done after the 12 th . So we will probably head thru here again before we head up north to Anuradhapura .

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Kegalla - Perdinya
Date: 31.07.2008
Trip Distance: 35.49 kms
Start-Finish: 0815-1215
Ride Time: 3:09:34
Avg Speed: 11.20 km/hr
End Altitude: 541m

Breakfast was supposed to be served at 7am, and we heard that we would be given 'bedtea', which basically is tea served to you in bed just as you wake up in the morning. Well we never got our tea in bed and we were still waiting for our tea at the breakfast table at 7.45. We set off and started gradually climbing to 240m before coming all the way back down to about 120m. Andrew was a bit disheartened at this point as it took him a lot of effort to climb the hills. We took lots of rest stops in-between climbing. We realized about 10kms out of Peradinya that we were probably going too slow to reach the villa before the rest and we wondered if they would see us on the way up. Sure enough as we finished the last climb I stopped to wait for Andrew at a police checkpoint. Just as he arrived I saw Kat running up to us, they were looking out and had seen Andrew climbing the last few meters. From there it was another 6kms to the villa and we made it in no time. I was really impressed with Andrew, he kept on riding through the cramps and the numb bum that he had. Over the next couple of days I will be trying to tempt him into climbing up to Nuwara Eliya, that's a ride up to 1889m.

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Eakala - Kegalla
Date: 30.07.2008
Trip Distance: 62.90 kms
Start-Finish: 0815-1600
Ride Time: 4:35:00
Avg Speed: 13.90 km/hr
End Altitude: 180m

We set off with a plan to reach Kandy in 3 days. This was the first time I was on the bike without Kat for company. Andrew and me took it easy cycling thru the roads parallel to and adjacent to the Kandy road to avoid the traffic and also to get him acclimatized to riding on the Sri Lankan roads. At Nittambuwa we had to join the Kandy road, by then we had already done about 25kms and Andrew felt good about doing more than 40kms. We pushed on thru to Kegalla with a short climb the last 2.5kms. It took the wind out of Andrew but he felt good about being able to get as much done the first day. We had 3 coconut stops, the last one we even had a durian!! That gave us the energy to do the last climb. At Kegalla we found a nice guesthouse off the Kandy Road and stopped for the night, had a few beers and shared some arrack with a couple of locals. We hit the sack by 10 looking forward to making it to Kandy before Kat, Jossy & Julie arrived.

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Around Ekala
Date: 25-29.07.2008
Trip Distance: 27.57 kms
Start-Finish: -
Ride Time: 2:12:34
Avg Speed: 12.40 km/hr
End Altitude: 12m

We spent the next few days based in Ekala relaxing catching up and playing lots of cards. We taught everyone Cho Tai Ti, Jossy and Julie caught on fast, but Andrew still needs some practice. We cycled to the shops to do groceries in the mornings and Andrew and me did make one run into Jaela town to get some fish. It was do be his practice run before he decided whether to cycle to Kandy with me. He enjoyed to be back on a bike after a long time and decided to brave the ride up to Kandy.

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Colombo - Ekala
Date: 24.07.2008
Trip Distance: 29.65 kms
Start-Finish: 0900-1110
Ride Time: 1:48:54
Avg Speed: 16.30 km/hr
End Altitude: 2m

We set off early wanting to arrive at the villa before Kats parents did so we could do some shopping to get essentials like beer and tonic! We headed back towards the airport to Jaela and turned right at the police station towards Ekala. After 6kms we hit the Air Force base and the villa was in a gated community called The Nest. We made it there quite early so we told the caretaker Shanaka that we would follow him to the airport to pick Kats parents up. They all had a nice surprise as they were not expecting us, we stopped off for a nice lunch at a hotel before heading to the villa.

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Panadura - Colombo
Date: 23.07.2008
Trip Distance: 27.56 kms
Start-Finish: 1100-1415
Ride Time: 1:46:18
Avg Speed: 15.50 km/hr
End Altitude: 2m

After spending 3 nights with Albert and Jaya, we decided to head to Colombo to spend our final night before Kat's parents arrived. On the way Kat realized that her mum had a free booking at the Continental Hotel which came with the flight. Since she wasn't going to use it we called them up and asked if we could use the room, they said why not so we headed straight there. The was heavy security into Colombo as they were having the SARC or South Asian Regional Conference over the weekend. The Continental was located right in the middle of it so we had quite a few raised eyebrows when we said we were staying there... don't think they ever had two cyclist stay there.

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Around Panadura
Date: 22.07.2008
Trip Distance: 35.37 kms
Start-Finish: 1000-1530
Ride Time: 2:27:13
Avg Speed: 14.40 km/hr
End Altitude: 5m

We decided to cycle inland today. From Albert's house we cycled eastwards not knowing where we would end up. We cycled through the countryside and through some rubber plantations and smaller villages. What surprised me was the overall level of development here, most people had brick houses and schools were to be seen everywhere. We had gotten a taste for the local orange coconuts and stopped often to have them. What was really nice about them was their soft succulent flesh inside, you didn't get a lot of it but you could scoop up a nice translucent layer with the small husk spoon the coconut wala made for you. The roads inland were good but we did go off road a few times onto trails that led back onto the trunk roads.

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Jaela - Panadura
Date: 21.07.2008
Trip Distance: 53.47 kms
Start-Finish: 0915-1530
Ride Time: 2:54:12
Avg Speed: 18.40 km/hr
End Altitude: 5m

Jaya arrived yesterday so we spent the day mostly at home drinking Lion lager and stout and catching up. We decided to ride down to Bentota today to spend the day at a nice beach as the beaches around Panadura were rough and quite dirty. On the map we thought we had about 25kms to go to Bentota but after a while we realized that it was actually 25 miles. We stopped off at Beruwala in the end at not a particularly nice beach, it was dirty as hell! Played some cards and headed back to Panadura. We were glad to be back on our bikes and surprised we were doing 50km plus days without any effort after the long layoff.

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Jaela - Panadura
Date: 19.07.2008
Trip Distance: 55.75 kms
Start-Finish: 0900-1500
Ride Time: 3:39:21
Avg Speed: 15.20 km/hr
End Altitude: 5m

From Jaela we set off early after chomping down on the fried rice from the night before and washing it down with some coffee. It took us about an hour and a half to reach Colombo. We ended up going around in a bit of a maze, asking for directions often. We needed to get onto Galle Road which is the coastal road going all the way to Galle. After a light snack in a bakery we made it out of Colombo and headed into Mt Lavinia where we called Albert. We called him from the beach right next to Mt Lavinia Hotel not realizing that's where he was entertaining some guest. He gave us directions to his place and told us he'll be there to meet us. It took us little more than an hour to get there, where he had a nice little pad hidden off the main road. The roads in the city were good but not very well sign posted while Galle Road had a shoulder to ride on.

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Bandarainaike Airport - Jaela
Date: 18.07.2008
Trip Distance: 18.06 kms
Start-Finish: 1530-1830
Ride Time: 1:21:28
Avg Speed: 13.30 km/hr
End Altitude: 2m

We arrive in Sri Lanka, eager to make use of the week before Kats parents arrive to do some riding along the west coast of the country. Jaya is setting up a transformer factory in Moratuwa and Albert a Filipino engineer I used to work with was stationed in nearby Panadura overseeing the operations. By the time we loaded our bikes up and left the airport it was almost 4 in the afternoon. We decided to stay somewhere close by then make the journey to Panadura through Colombo the next day. Coming out of the airport the whole area was bunkered down like a battle zone, there were checkpoints everywhere and pillboxes scattered around in strategic points manned with sub-machine guns. Along the roadside we rode past military patrols every 200-300 meters. I smiled and tried to make contact with every one of them. Almost all of them acknowledged and smiled back with a slightly amused and shocked expression! We found a guesthouse just outside Jaela in a town called Seeduwa. The Negombo Road condition was average with small potholes here and there and traffic was moderate. In many places we could ride on the shoulder unless there were vehicles parked in the way. The one thing we got to get used to were the busses stopping frequently and having to go around them.

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Around Yangon
Date: 21.05-16.06.2008
Trip Distance: 75.70 kms
Start-Finish: -
Ride Time: -
Avg Speed: 11.10 km/hr
End Altitude: 30

>We brought our bikes to Yangon, Kat got sick for the first week with some form of Elephantitis so we hardly rode around at all. Then just as we were to leave up north we met Jyotish who was running a school in the delta and offered our help. So we rode around Yangon mainly, mostly doing shopping and running errands around town. Manuel(the guy we bunked with for 3 weeks) and me went on a ride one time and that was it. Even when we went to Bagan for 4 days we didn't really have time to ride up there so we caught the bus and left the bikes at Manuel's. So we can't really say that we cycled Myanmar, though I'm not complaining as the roads were atrocious! Hopefully we can go back one day when the land borders and open and the bloody junta long gone..... buried in those potholes.

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Mae Suai - Chiang Mai
Date: 09.05.2008
Trip Distance: 64.36kms
Start-Finish: 0715-1530
Ride Time: 4:04:48
Avg Speed: 15.70km/hr
End Altitude: 424

We followed Route 118 for about 60kms to Mae Kachan. By then the riding was getting to us as we were hardly passing any scenery worth looking at and we were melting in the sun. It was a good move in the end, right after we caught the sawngthaew we noticed that a lot of the way was undergoing roadworks. Cycling up and down in those hills approaching Chiang Mai would have been nice but not when you have to cycle in loose stones and gravel. We arrived in Chiang Mai with enough time to go to the train station and we booked ourselves on the Sunday afternoon coach to Bangkok.

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Chiang Rai - Mae Suai
Date: 08.05.2008
Trip Distance: 53.39kms
Start-Finish: 1000-1430
Ride Time: 3:15:00
Avg Speed: 16.40km/hr
End Altitude: 539

From Chiang Rai we followed Route 1 for another 20kms or so, then turned right onto Route 118 heading to Chiang Mai. We did not really enjoy cycling on Route 1 and were glad to get off it. Traffic was building up on it the more we drove south so Route 118 was better with slightly lesser traffic. We stopped for the day in Mae Suai in a motel that charged by the hour!!

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Around Chiang Rai
Date: 05-07.05.2008
Trip Distance: 25.27kms
Start-Finish: -
Ride Time: 2:11:09
Avg Speed: 11.50km/hr
End Altitude: 462

We did not really do much in Chiang Rai, all the rides we did were to go into town for food and drinks and 7-11, we tried really good Thai muslim briyani and had some really good beef noodles. The rest of the time we vegetated in from of the TV watching DVD’s and catching updates on Burma on the BBC.

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Tachilek - Chiang Rai
Date: 05.05.2008
Trip Distance: 65.56kms
Start-Finish: 0850
Ride Time: 3:28:08
Avg Speed: 18.90km/hr
End Altitude: 454

From Tachilek where we had to spend the night due to the delays we had on the bus the day before from Kengtung, we headed back across the border into Mae Sai. The day before we had experienced heavy rains in Burma due to the after effects of the cyclone that ravaged the south of the country. From Mae Sai we rode straight to Chiang Rai on Route 1, nice wide shoulder and beautifully paved road.

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Around Mae Sai & Tachilek & Kengtung
Date: 01-04.05.2008
Trip Distance: 33.34kms
Start-Finish: -
Ride Time: 3:11:43
Avg Speed: 10.40km/hr
End Altitude: 465

From Mae Sai we crossed the border in Tachilek, we could ride as far as the bus station which was about 6km in on the road to Kengtung. We would not be able to go further, we could but they would have turned us back at the first military checkpoint a few kilometers ahead. In Kengtung we rode around town with Michelle on our birthdays going to a few temples and markets.

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Chiang Saen - Mae Sai
Date: 30.04.2008
Trip Distance: 45.78kms
Start-Finish: 0930-1330
Ride Time: 2:55:32
Avg Speed: 15.60km/hr
End Altitude: 474

We watched the Euro Cup semi between Barca & the scum last night. Scum fluked a goal out of nothing after being outplayed for most of the game. Well that's football. We'll just have to beat them in Moscow now in what could be the biggest game in club football ever! Small task of overcoming Chelsea tonight, but I like our chances when we go into the game knowing we must score! We left around 9 again as its been raining a lot in the early mornings. After a quick breakfast we headed on route 1290 towards Sop Ruak which today is a magnet for package tour groups coming to see the Golden Triangle. The Golden Triangle is actually a few thousand square km encompassing Thailand, Lao & Myanmar. We stopped off at Wat Phra where theres a viewpoint of where the actual borders meet. The ride there is on a even and flat road. After that we set off straight for Mae Sai, the initial 5kms being a bit undulating but after that the route flattens out all the way to the Myanmar border. We have to find out now if we can cycle into Myanmar or not.

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Huay Xai/Chiang Khong Border Crossing - Chiang Saen
Date: 29.04.2008
Trip Distance: 58.99kms
Start-Finish: 1100-1715
Ride Time: 4:02:14
Avg Speed: 14.60km/hr
End Altitude: 419

After clearing immigrations on the Thai side we popped in quickly to Chiang Khong town to get some baht and have a coffee. Immediately we saw the difference between Lao and here, the town was lined with shops selling everything you could think off. We finally set off around 11 into the infamous Golden Triangle area which used to be controlled by opium warlord Khun Sa and the Shan United Army. The going was tough from the start, very undulating and we were generally climbing. Welcome to Thailand! Around the 17km mark there is a turnoff right to follow the Mekong to Chiang Saen but this road is 12km more for a reason. We chose the shorter route of course and around the 19km mark we started a steep climb that lasted only 4kms but was 12-18% inclination at some points!! We climbed from 400m to about 770m. The last 1.5kms we just pushed the bikes as we were just poofed out! After the climb there was a big downhill then a easy ride into town. Road conditions here were quite patchy with good stretches and also some with lots of potholes and cracks.

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Around Louang Prabang & Huay Xai
Date: 25-29.04.2008
Trip Distance: 13.62kms
Start-Finish: -
Ride Time: 1:25:37
Avg Speed: 9.50km/hr
End Altitude: 398

And so we end the Lao leg of the trip with some short rides around Louang Prabang and the border town of Huay Xai. We got here from Louang Prabang on a beautiful 2 day boat ride along the Mekong stopping off in Pak Beng along the way. We leave for the border now into Chiang Khong then head towards the Golden Triangle then hopefully onwards to Mae Sai and into the unknown in Myanmar. In all we covered 1599kms in Lao and loved every minute of it.

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Kiew Ka Cham – Louang Prabang
Date: 24.04.2008
Trip Distance: 81.37kms
Start-Finish: 0845-1600
Ride Time: 5:34:28
Avg Speed: 14.50km/hr
End Altitude: 352m

The ride started off really nicely as we rode off into the clouds and its downhill for 22kms. Then you climb right back up again from 375m to about 1050m over 16kms. Then its back down again to about 300m before a final climb about 10kms out of Louang Prabang. We made it to our guesthouse about 4pm tired and relieved to have completed the ride. And a bit sad too as this was our final leg of our long amazing ride through the Land Of A Thousand Elephants.

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Kasi - Kiew Ka Cham
Date: 23.04.2008
Trip Distance: 88.69kms
Start-Finish: 0445-1730
Ride Time: 8:55:30
Avg Speed: 9.90km/hr
End Altitude: 1359m

What a ride!! Grueling… grueling ride. We set off at 4.45am after watching the Liverpool Chelsea semifinal at Anfield. Too bad Riise scored an injury time own goal in front of the kop…… no worries Riise, we will go to the Bridge and slap these gay blue boys off the park. OK… back to the ride, the first set off hills are a precursor to whats coming up. Initially it’s a gradual climb for about 14kms or so to about 700m. Then you drop back down to 550m before climbing all the way up to 1425m over 24kms. We stopped off for lunch at Phou Khoun and in hindsight probably should have stayed the night there. After lunch we started climbing and descending like madmen with no end in sight. At 5.30pm with 7km to go we were hit with a thunderstorm…. Then Kat managed to break her handlebar mounting for the brakes and there was no repairing them in the downpour. We hitched a lift with a pickup the rest of the way to Kiew Ka Cham…. Wet, tired and cold. It would probably have been better to break this day up into 2.

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Vang Vieng - Kasi
Date: 22.04.2008
Trip Distance: 61.11kms
Start-Finish: 0800-1330
Ride Time: 4:21:37
Avg Speed: 14.00km/hr
End Altitude: 496

We got up and Kat was quite anxious with the ride. With had a big breakfast of banana pancakes and Bombay toast. By 8 we set off thinking we will start climbing around a small town called Phatang at the 18km mark. It was a gradual climb but the real climb on started around the 26-28km mark. From here it’s a steep climb with 10-12% in some sections. We made good time, and I only allowed myself 1 stop around the 36km mark. After the next climb 300m from where we stopped we started rolling downhill for most of the way to Kasi. Road conditions were quite good and it was quite cloudy and overcast which was quite good. We can’t figure out whether the mountains are just covered in mist or haze or some sort of smog. We were starving as we entered Kasi so we stopped off at a good Chinese restaurant for some stir fried veg and sautéed pork. We were then directed about another kilometer north of town where we ended up in a very new looking guesthouse with cable. Yes a luxury but I am hoping we can watch the European Cup semifinal between Liverpool & Chelsea at Anfield tonight.

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Hinheup - Vang Vieng
Date: 20.04.2008
Trip Distance: 63.10kms
Start-Finish: 0700-1245
Ride Time: 4:30:46
Avg Speed: 13.90km/hr
End Altitude: 358

And the riding gets tougher! From Hinheup it was just up and down all the way between 280-320m. Road conditions were good and we made good time. Only the last 10kms were relatively flat going into Vang Vieng.

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Vientiane  - Hinheup
Date: 19.04.2008
Trip Distance: 95.00kms
Start-Finish: 0630-1500
Ride Time: 5:44:19
Avg Speed: 16.50km/hr
End Altitude: 310

From Vientiane we followed Route 13 north. The ride is pretty flat on a decent road. There is only one notable pass about 12km before Hinhoep. This leaves us 67 kms to Vang Vieng tomorrow.

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Around Vientiane & Hin Khana Waterfalls
Date: 12-18.04.2008
Trip Distance: 117.43kms
Start-Finish: -
Ride Time: 7:27:41
Avg Speed: 15.70km/hr
End Altitude: 255

Once again we came back to Vientiane on the local bus from Thakek. For the first time ever we did not have to pay extra for the bikes, they loaded them on top of the bus and securely fastened them with ropes. Once again we were dropped off in the southern terminal so we had a 10km ride into the city. The next morning Sing and me rode to Skyline Resort to drop off the bikes before heading off to his village for the Pi Mai celebrations. We picked up the bikes 3 days later when Sing took us to the disco at the resort. Next morning I took a ride with Sing to get some noodle soup before Kat & me rode to say goodbye to him at the airport. On the way back from the airport we met 2 Australian cyclist, Alex & Helen who had just rode in over the Friendship Bridge. We gave them directions to our hotel and we spent the next 2 days together. We rode  north on Route 13 to Hin Khana to see the unspectacular waterfalls and went for another massage at Wat Sok Pa Luang.

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Gnommalath - Around Thakhek
Date: 10.04.2008
Trip Distance: 77.64kms
Start-Finish: 0600-1100
Ride Time: 5:00:02
Avg Speed: 15.50km/hr
End Altitude: 265

From Gnommalath its 58kms to Thakhek but this log includes our rides the next day in the town and the trips to the bus station. Road conditions here were great all the way to Thakek. I must say that we saw lots of work on this road due to the dam worksso expect better road conditions all the way from Thakek to Lak Sao in the future. The landscape is also amazing here, almost like the ride towards Ban Na Hin, but the latter is better. We have a rest day tomorrow then head to Vientiane on the 12th to spend the Lao New Year with Sing's family.

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Thalang - Gnommalat
Date: 09.04.2008
Trip Distance: 48.98kms
Start-Finish: 0750-1430
Ride Time: 3:58:27
Avg Speed: 12.30km/hr
End Altitude: 245

From Thalang we headed south on the N1E. We stopped at Nakai to have breakfast with Soon Ho, a German but of korean ethnicity. He was travelling on moped and doing the loop from Thakek. The road conditions here are very rough with lots of loose gravel. The windy undulating turn makes it worse and Kat fell of her bike once. From Nakai it only gets worse as its a bone jarring ride downhill. The road improves again at the Nam Theun 2 powerplant 20kms from Gnommalath. Once again we could enjoy the scenery instead of looking at the gravel all day.

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Ban Kong Lor  - Thalang
Date: 08.04.2008
Trip Distance: 37.99kms
Start-Finish: 0730-1700
Ride Time: 4:09:35.... Much longer actually!
Avg Speed: 9.10km/hr
End Altitude: 595

After consulting with various locals they all told us that we will not be able to ride from the other side of the cave through the Phou Hin Boun NBCA. But we decided to try anyway! We had bought a new map recently, Gecko Maps Laos 2008 Edition, and it showed a trail leading out to Thalang on the N1E. We loaded the bikes on the boat, its 110,000 kip normally for 2 people including the entrance fee. We paid 40,000 kip more for the bikes. We went through the 7km long cave, stopping many times to get off and push the boat through sections of rapids, this is truly one of the most amazing natural wonders of the world. On the other side we loaded up the bikes and went through about 4 really isolated villages deep in the Phou Hin Boun. They were surrounded by karst limestone on all sides. I wonder if they realize what a beautiful place they live in. After about 10km there was a fork in the road and we headed left towards Thalang. I am assuming the right road will lead towards the town of Lao on the N1E just before Gnommalath. Well maybe we should have taken this path as the left one we took brought us to a steep 4km climb up 400m. Doing this on a road is tough enough but on a stoney and rocky trail it was gruelling work. We pushed and stopped every 200m or so. Luckily Kat found some tok-toks to haul our bikes up the last 500m. Instead of descending after this we stayed at the same elevation and the trail got worse and very muddy. We had to get off to push the bikes through and around muddy sections often. About 20kms from the N1E Kat found us another lift and we gladly hopped on as it was getting late and we were running low on water. When we hit the N1E we had to head north for 3km before reaching Thalang.

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Ban Na Hin  - Ban Kong Lor
Date: 07.04.2008
Trip Distance: 44.94kms
Start-Finish: 0715-1300
Ride Time: 3:25:53
Avg Speed: 13.00km/hr
End Altitude: 228

We ended up taking the 'newer' road which was where our guesthouse was on. The road runs parallel to the Nam Theun Dam project. Its a rough gravel track, but after 5kms we were pleasently surprised to see a newly paved road. This continues all the way to the Ban Kong Lor except for a few stretches of good laterite road. Roadworks were in progress and the laterite roads should be complete by end 2008. The ride is through really beautiful karst scenery once again. We got to Ban Kong Lor early and decided on a homestay with Mr. Pin's family.

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Skyline Resort KM10 Route 8  - Ban Na Hin (Khoun Kham)
Date: 06.04.2008
Trip Distance: 35.97kms
Start-Finish: 0700-1300
Ride Time: 2:56:55
Avg Speed: 12.10km/hr
End Altitude: 209

This was a brilliant ride through karst limestone formations. We went over 2 passes, the second of which is 4km long and 12-14% gradients in some sections. You reach a sala viewpoint at the top overlooking some stunning karst scenery. From there on its downhill all the way to Ban Na Hin (Khoun Kham). Road conditions were very good and I even clocked 60km/hour at one stage. About 5kms before you hit town we saw a sign for a turnoff to Kong Lo caves. The road looks like a dirt track. We are still undecided whether to take this road or follow a newer lookin road from Ban Na Hin (Khoun Kham).

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Pakxan  - Sky Line Eco-Resort on Route 8
Date: 04.04.2008
Trip Distance: 100.07kms
Start-Finish: 0630-1515
Ride Time: 06:10:25
Avg Speed: 16.20km/hr
End Altitude: 246

We tried to set off early today, we were all packed by 0545. But we had had a huge dinner last nite and after breakfast nature called for. We got going aiming for Viang Khan about 90kms away. About 30kms out, Route 13 starts running along the Mekong at many points. The landscape gets really beautiful here as we passed by the Nam Kading NBCA and you see the Sayphou Phapet range. Road conditions were good and traffic was very light. At Viang Kham we had the option of staying in a guesthouse 1km south but we were told that there was one 7kms heading east where we wanted to go anyways tomorrow. Feeling surprisingly strong even after 91kms we rode on for a further 9kms before we reached this resort along the Nam(river) Thon. It was a pleasant surprise to see this quiet place with cold Beer Lao and kaw phat mùu. Later in the night we met Khamsing, a Lao born US citizen living in Alaska. We joined him for a dinner of squirrels and he offered to drive us to Pakha the next day to check out the road conditions of Route 10 up north to Phongsavan.

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Somsavad - Pakxan
Date: 03.04.2008
Trip Distance: 92.03kms
Start-Finish: 0645-1430
Ride Time: 5:51:49
Avg Speed: 15.60km/hr
End Altitude: 207

From Somsavad we followed Route 13 eastwards towards Pakxan. Around the 20km mark we stopped off at Wat Pha Baht Phonsan. Pha bàat means Buddha footprint. Its a weird enough shrine. The footprint being more than a meter long makes Buddha out to be a giant. We had the place all to ourself so we meditated by the pha bàat and banged on the gong a few times. From there we rode straight to Pakxan only stopping off for lunch about 4kms out. Road conditions were good and traffic was light. It got a bit hot between 11-12 but after that we had cloud cover for long stretches.

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Vientiane  - Somsavad
Date: 02.04.2008
Trip Distance: 69.65kms
Start-Finish: 1000-1530
Ride Time: 4:12:37
Avg Speed: 16.50km/hr
End Altitude: 210

From Vientiane we headed up Route 10 then turned right onto Route 13S at the 14km mark. The roads are well paved here. Also worth mentioning is that it was NOT unbearably hot today as the was lots of cumulous cloud formations which blocked out the sun a lot. We were aiming for a town called B. Hai but ended up in a really new guesthouse closer to the next town called Somsavad. It leaves us with a 85km ride to Paksan tomorrow.

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Friendship Bridge Visa Run
Date: 31.03.2008
Trip Distance: 55.92kms
Start-Finish: 9:30-5:30
Ride Time: 3.32.15
Avg Speed: 15.80km/hr
End Altitude: 206

We decided to take a dash into Thailand to renew our visas. Renewing them at the immigration office in Vientiane would have cost us USD2/day and we needed to extend for 3 weeks. That meant USD84 for the both of us.... Bit pricey considering a new visa is only USD35 for British nationals and free for me once I cross a border and come back. So off we went thinking it was only 10kms out of the city limits. Pretty soon we realised it was much more than that when we stopped and asked for directions. On the way we met a french couple on a tandem going over the border and stopped for a chat. They were from the alps and had been on the road for 8 months. At the Lao side of the bridge we stamped out and tried to sneak in again but the man processing Kats visa was on to us and told us we had to cross. So we crossed the border, had lunch and came back over. Kat fell over when she trapped her wheel in the railway line that goes through the middle of the bridge. CYCLIST BEWARE! Back on the Lao side we got through with no issues and stopped over in the Beer Lao brewery on the way back. They do a free tour and give you free beers! We had 2 each! Feeling tipsy we head back into Vientiane stopping off at the Great Sacred Stupa.

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Vientiane
Date: 27-30.03.2008
Trip Distance: 32.16kms
Start-Finish: -
Ride Time: 2:26:37
Avg Speed: 13.10km/hr
End Altitude: 277m

The bus dropped us off at a bus stand 10kms out of town. From there we cycled in really early. It was a nice ride in past the Patuxay monument which looks vaguely similar to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The day our parents left we rode to the airport which is about 4kms out then headed to a Wat to get a nice herbal sauna and massage while participating in a meditation workshop.

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Pakxe – Tad Fan & Tad Yuang Waterfalls - Pakse
Date: 26.03.2008
Trip Distance: 42.16kms
Start-Finish: 0830-1600
Ride Time: 2:05:10
Avg Speed: 18.60km/hr
End Altitude: 191m

We decided to ride to the waterfalls, but in the morning Boun told us to hitch a ride on one of the jumbos that were taking some trekkers. The jumbo dropped us off at the turnoff to Tad Fan, so we rode the 2km east to Tad Yuang. At the turnoff it’s a 1km gravel road to the falls and a short trek down to the falls. Which is quite nice as you get to swim at the base below, though it was freezing. After that we rode back to Tad Fan. It isn’t as interesting as you can only view the falls from a lookout or trek down to the base. Its quite a slippery path down so be careful.

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Pakxong - Pakxe
Date: 17.03.2008
Trip Distance: 74.55kms
Start-Finish: 0530-1700
Ride Time: 4:45:10
Avg Speed: 15.60km/hr
End Altitude: 191m

We were about 170kms from Pakxe, but after the phone call from mum saying they were coming next week we needed to get to Pakxe fast! 705kms of riding and 3 truck rides later we arrived in Pakxe in time to sign up for a jungle trekking expeditionin the Xepian National Protected Area.

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Savannakhet - Pakxong
Date: 16.03.2008
Trip Distance: 76.94kms
Start-Finish: 0630-1330
Ride Time: 4:51:55
Avg Speed: 15.80km/hr
End Altitude: 239m

From Savannakhet we followed Route 9W which actually loops around in the south-east direction to Lak 35 where it meets Route 13. From Lak 35 its another 35kms or so south to Pakxong. Road condition is very good but slightly rougher surface than Route 9.

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Seno - That Ing Hung - Savannakhet
Date: 13.03.2008
Trip Distance: 50.62 kms
Start-Finish: 0630-1130
Ride Time: 3:30:13
Avg Speed: 14.40 km/hr
End Altitude: 164
Highest Temperature: 46°C!!

What a bloody scorcher! Not sure if my cyclo was faulty but heat we felt today was like no other. Around 1030 it just starts rising, we probably need to get started very early it the next few weeks to avoid the heat. We headed west along Route 9 again. 13kms out of Savannakhet we turned left(south) and stopped off at That Ing Hung. Its a 3km ride from the turnoff. Entrance is 5000kip/person and women will need to use a traditional phàa nung(sarong) which they provide for a small donation. It features a Lao stupa in the middle surrounded by seated buddhas on all sides. It was a nice break watching the Lao make offerings to their faith. After that we headed back on Route 9 into Savannakhet. Its a straight road in and its easiest to head straight to the Mekong river to get your bearings. We noticed that there were very few signposts with St names except on this street. Its a nice quiet town with a very laid back feel to it.

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Moang Phalan - Seno (about 6kms out)
Date: 12.03.2008
Trip Distance: 67.95 kms
Start-Finish: 0730-1300
Ride Time: 3:49:42
Avg Speed: 17.70 km/hr
End Altitude: 253

We headed west on Route 9 again. Before setting off we went down to the banks of the river in Moung Phalan to check out the dino footprints. Tell you what, had they not circled them with white paint we would have looked for them forever! After about an hours riding we bumped into Stephan & Angelica, a german couple three weeks into a year long trip. The roads were still very good most of the way but we did find many places where they had patched up potholes, though I must say they patch them up really well. By noon it was 41 degrees so we decided to break up the jouney in Seno instead of pushing on to Savannakhet.

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Sepon - Muang Phalan
Date: 11.03.2008
Trip Distance: 100.39 kms
Start-Finish: 1000-1700
Ride Time: 5:09:21
Avg Speed: 19.40 km/hr
End Altitude: 200m

From Sepon we followed Route 9 westwards. We stopped off at Ban Nabo where there is a turnoff north towards an Australian gold and copper mine. We heard that there was a frenchman that ran a bar here so we wanted to stop off to get some local info and map if possible. Turns out the bar closed down sometime back so we decided to head straight for Savannakhet where hopefully we could get a map. We were also in dire need to get our hands on some kip, we have been using dollars so far and getting change in kip. The ride itself took us through the countryside, past many small villages. Again there was hardly any traffic and we could ride side by side on a very good and smooth road. We finally stopped off here as it would leave us another 100kms tomorrow, found ourselves a rustic cottage and had buffalo and pork satay for dinner.

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Lao Bao Dansavanh Border Crossing - Sepon
Date: 10.03.2008
Trip Distance: 49.49 kms
Start-Finish: 1030-1500
Ride Time: 2:47:27
Avg Speed: 17.70 km/hr
End Altitude: 201m

From our hotel we headed towards the border pass all the women offering kip for 5000 to the dollar!! The official rate is 8800.... Formalities at the vietnamese side were pretty straight forward. Off to the Laotian side and Kat needed a visa. Its USD35 for the visa and they charge an extra dollar cos it was lunch time. I didn't need a visa (thank you ASEAN) and they gave me 30 days, they only used to give 15. We set off into Lao..... After a quick break for some really good loa fried rice we set off for Sepon. The roads were amazingly good and there was verry little traffic on it. We loved Lao already! On the way we met Matt & Maureen from USA going the other way into Vietnam. At Sepon we got some Bia Lao and treated ourselves to Lao hotpot.

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Hue - Lao Bao
Date: 09.03.2008
Trip Distance: 13.07 kms
Start-Finish: 1000-1600
Ride Time: 1:00:10
Avg Speed: 13.00 km/hr
End Altitude: 218m

From Hue town center we headed across the Perfume River towards the Citadel and rode around the moat going towards Hanoi. Around the 7km mark there is a bus stop we we stopped at to catch our ride. We had bought some local raincoats which did a good job of keeping us dry from the rain but our bikes still took a beating and is back to its filthy self. After loading the bikes into the minivan, some lunch and getting ripped off for VND10,000 for taking a piss we set off with about 15 other passengers crammed in. The journey itself was pretty quick and we were looking forward to seeing the sun. But after 2 hours we knew we were close to the border but still no sun. Suddenly out in the horizon as we went over a pass full of clouds the sun just appeared almost as fast as it had disappeared 2 weeks ago when we rode down from Dalat to Nha Trang. SADs over we are both back to our normal happy life! At Lao Bao we got dropped of and proceeded to ride into every Hotel and Guesthouse in the area, in the end we ended up paying USD10 in a place where we were the only guests. A good hearty meal of Vietnamese BBQ port spare parts and chicken and we were off to bed.
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Hue - Hue ....
Date: 08.03.2008
Trip Distance: 5.60 kms
Start-Finish: 0830-1030
Ride Time: 00:27:49
Avg Speed: 12.00 km/hr
End Altitude: 8

We attempted to ride out of the dreary Hue weather today morning. We did not get very far. As soon as we set off it started pouring down and we were soaking wet within a few minutes. If there is one thing I can't stand it's the rain and being wet and cold. I decided to call it quits and look for another room. Kat agreed gleefully! Another hour of this shitty rain and we would have been getting on each other nerves... I was already depressed with the weather over the past week. Kat seems to think I have SADs which is Seasonal Affective Disorder. Apparently this is actually a disease!! Well anyways we have now found a local bus out of Hue that will take us to Lao Bao in the morning. From there we will cross the Lao border on bicycle where everyone says its nice and sunny!!

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Lang Co Beach - Hue
Date: 06.03.2008
Trip Distance: 68.27 kms
Start-Finish: 0616-1130
Ride Time: 4:02:43
Avg Speed: 17.00 km/hr
End Altitude: 8

After a restless night due to mossies we set off early. Its a fairly relaxing ride with only 2 small passes. The first is a 2km climb and the second about 1.2kms. The final 20kms is on a toll road into Hue.

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Hoi An - Danang - Lang Co Beach
Date: 05.03.2008
Trip Distance: 71.17 kms
Start-Finish: 0718-1430
Ride Time: 5:09:17
Avg Speed: 13.80 km/hr
End Altitude: 0

It was a wet wet day, we got up early thinking we would leave at 6 but one look out the window told us that it was raining. We dragged ourselves out of bed anyway and got geared up. After a breakfast of olive bread with laughing cow and peanut butter we set off. We retraced out steps to Danang along the coast. From Hoi An town we followed Hai Ba Trung eastwards, after 4kms we turned left and headed north. It was still drizzling and very foggy, but it made a really nice setting when we passed Marble Mountain. Around the 26km mark we turned left into Danang, a good landmark is a funky sculpture opposite the turnoff that look like big pipes on an oil-rig. From here its straight all the way, we joined Le Duan and then HW1 after stopping off for pho and caphe. The climb started around the 48km mark and its a 10km ride to the top, uphill all the way. After more pho and caphe at the top we began the descent which took us all of 25mins through some amazing hairpin bends. At the base its Another 3kms into Lang Co beach.

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Lien Nghia (Duc Trong) - Dalat
Date: 21.02.2008
Trip Distance: 34.56 kms
Start-Finish: 0645-1220
Ride Time: 3:30:38
Avg Speed: 9.80 km/hr
End Altitude: 1424m

We set off early today, wanting to make it to Dalat by lunch. From Lien Nghia we headed towards Finom. As we left the town we could see Gougah Falls towards the right of the road. It was quite impressive even in dry season. It was a pleasant surprise and it means we have seen all the waterfalls leading up to Dalat. At the 20km mark we reached Pren Pass. Instead of seeing a road leading up to Dalat we saw a fork with both saying Dalat. A couple on a motorbike pointed us to the right lane indicating it was better for bikes. Indeed this was quite a new road and you arrived in Dalat from the east. It was a little longer though, we expected it to be 10km from Pren Pass but we cycled for 13-14kms using this road. Surprisingly it was a very pleasant ride considering that it was drizzling for most of the way. You gradually climb to about 1425meters with the highest gradients being about 8-9% at a few points. So we made it 200kms from Dam Dien to Dalat and completed our first mountain leg.

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Di Linh – Pongour Waterfalls – Lien Nghia (Duc Trong)
Date: 20.02.2008
Trip Distance: 61.23 kms
Start-Finish: 0930-1730
Ride Time: 4:34:14
Avg Speed: 13.30 km/hr
End Altitude: 888m

We set off late once again, but with good reason this time. Liverpool beat Inter at home in the first leg of the last 16. 2 goals in the last 5mins sealed it…. another European Cup beckons. So we were up till 5am watching that, plan was initially to set off straight after the game as we had gone to bed early, but we fell asleep after all the ‘action’. We set off thinking that we would make it to Finom about 53kms away. The first 25kms from Di Linh were a breeze as you go downhill about 10km out of the town till you hit about 700m. Then there is a 4km climb which is not too bad as it is quite gradual. We stopped and had really good Pho at Phu An.

We then decided to stop off at Pongour Waterfalls, the turn off is about 1km outside of Phu An. From the turnoff it’s a magnificent 6km ride on the best road we have been on so far in Vietnam. It was newly paved and the only bumps were the cow poo on the road. We hardly saw any other traffic all along the way. The Pongour Waterfalls are quite spectacular, it being the dry season, we could actually walk out onto the rockface of the waterfall and the riverbed. It must be an amazing site in the wet season, but you will have to be content to just look at it from the lookout points.

Then we headed back to Highway 20 and since it was getting a bit cloudy we decided to spend the night in Lien Nghia leaving us a 26km ride up to Dalat in the morning. We covered lots of ground today, but following Bert’s advice we took it easy and did it at a leisurely pace. We stopped more often to take in the views and sites and to take pictures and amazingly we enjoyed the day so much more.

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Bao Loc – Di Linh
Date: 19.02.2008
Trip Distance: 36.71 kms
Start-Finish: 0930-1330
Ride Time: 2:46:48
Avg Speed: 13.20 km/h
End Altitude: 897m

We set off a little late after saying our goodbyes to Justice. We did not want a long day as we were still recovering from a flu bug, so we set off to just enjoy the ride and the scenery. Following Highway 20, this is probably one of the most scenic stretches. Traffic was moderate to light. We shifted through our gears quite a bit as like yesterday the roads here are very undulating. About 7kms from Di Linh we stopped at the Bobla Waterfalls. You will see a big sign for it 300m before and it will be on your right. It cost 6000 dong to get in plus another 5000 to park you bikes. Its about a 10 minute walk down to the falls. There were only 2 other people at the base. Not as commercialized as the Dambri Falls it still has the standard Vietnamese additions of 2 stoned looking elephants and a Nean Der Thal perched on the side of a hill

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Bao Loc – Dambri Waterfalls – Bao Loc
Date: 18.02.2008
Trip Distance: 36.76kms
Start-Finish: 1000-1530
Ride Time: 2:28:13
Avg Speed: 14.80km/hr

We decide to spend the day in Bao Loc to visit the Dambri Waterfalls. We meet an American who is living in the town while we are gearing up to leave. He says he will join us for the ride. He leads us north on through coffee and tea plantations. This is a really enjoyable ride as there is hardly any traffic on the road and the scenery is amazing. The ride is undulating but not too taxing as you go between 750 and 850m. The Waterfalls are quite impressive. It costs 20,000 dong to get into the park and it’s a 10 minute walk down to the base. We meet an elderly Dutch couple on a tandem bike here and stop to exchange stories.

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Tan Phu - Bao Loc
Date: 17.02.2008
Trip Distance: 64.63kms
Start-Finish: 0720-1730
Ride Time: 5:23:23
Avg Speed: 11.90km/hr
Altitude: 750m

We followed Highway 20. You have to climb 2 passes on this ride. The first one is about 10kms out of Tan Phu and is relatively easy. The second one comes up around the 35km mark. The next 15kms is a steep climb from 100m up to 800m. Make sure you have lots of water before you attempt this climb as there is only 2 stops. They are both about halfway up the hill. Once you reach the top you are on the Bao Loc plateau and its another 12kms to the centre of town.

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Saigon - La Nga – Tan Phu
Date: 16.02.2008
Trip Distance: 26.37kms
Start-Finish: 1145-1515
Ride Time: 1:39:11
Avg Speed: 15.90km/hr

We decided to head to Dalat. Jim, a 55 year old American from Alaska joined us on this route. After our experience coming into Saigon, we decided we had enough of motorbikes zipping all around us. We got on a tour bus that agreed to take our bikes. The bus was headed to Dalat so we arranged for them to drop us off where when we decided it was good riding conditions. If you do decide to ride you will have to head northeast to Bien Hoa then east on Highway 1. At Dau Giay take a left on Highway 20. The bus dropped us off at La Nga exactly 100kms from Saigon, leaving us another 200kms of riding. From La Nga we headed to Dinh Quan and then on to Tan Phu thru some nice scenic roads. We went thru some substantial hills for the first time some with gradients of 7%. This is going to be an interesting few days

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Go Cong – Saigon
Date: 04.02.2008
Trip Distance: 61.46kms
Start-Finish: 0600-1130
Ride Time: 3:45:58
Avg Speed: 16.30km/hr

From Go Cong we traveled north to Saigon. Sticking to Highway 50 you will reach My Loi after 13kms. For a thousand dong each including bikes you cross the Vam Co river on a huge barge. Once off you stick on highway 50 passing thru Can Duoc and Can Giuoc. Traffic built up steadily here, it being a few days before the Tet celebrations. We headed for the Pham Ngu Lao area of Saigon. It’s a big mess getting into the city, and you will probably have to stop and ask directions many times. As a guide you will have to head north east to District 1. It took us 2 hours to navigate the last 15kms through the city. Don’t try doing this at night, if you are going to ride into Saigon do it in the day. It’s a shock to the system!

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My Tho – Go Cong
Trip Distance: 36.40 kms
Start-Finish: 1000 - 1300
Ride Time: 2 : 18 : 52
Avg Speed: 15.70 km/hr

This was a short ride on Highway 50 east of My Tho. From My Tho town head east and you will hit Highway 50, from here it's a good paved road all the way to Go Cong, you will start seeing signs that give you the distance to Saigon as this road heads that way as well going north from Go Cong. Go Cong town is off the tourist trail and we only saw 1 other foreigner late in the evening.

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Câi Bé - My Tho
53.08kms
Start-Finish: 0630-1300
Ride Time: 4:01:15
Avg Speed: 13.20km/hr

From Cai Be we decided to avoid taking the 1A highway. From Cai Be town head north, before the main turning towards Saigon, there is a smaller road that heads east. Follow this for about 5kms until you come to a bridge, he you will see a crossroad. Go straight like we did and you end up in a narrow trail. We followed this for about 3kms in but it got smaller and smaller so we turned back to the crossroad. This time we headed back south, we followed this road for about 8kms and got directions to turn left. It is a straight road that heads east generally. Most of it good dirt track and you have to cross two canals by a barge. You pay about 1500 dong per person including bike. The last 25kms are mostly good paved road all the way into My Tho town.

 
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Siem reap - Trach(Chau Srei Vibol) - Kantreang - Dam Daek
56km s
Start-Finish: 06 3 5-1600
Ride Time: 5:20:14
Avg Speed: 10.5km/hr

Set off early thinking route 66 through the Eastern Baray will get us to Beng Mealea. We went through the main entrance of Angkor . At the Angkor Wat moat where the road forks take a right. We made a short stop over at Prasat Kravan. After 800m take a right, before you see a big body of water on your right (Sras Srang). We missed the turn and had to turn back. From here onwards you are first on a laterite road for 3.5km. After this you are basically on a treacherous sand pit for the next 7.5km to Trach. We did more pushing than cycling here and spent 4 hours on this stretch. At the end of this road we turned right. This road will take you all the way to National Highway 6 after about 12km. We stopped off at Chau Srei Vibol along this stretch. It is about 1km after the turn at Trach. Take a left at the gate and its a 2km dirt road to the temple. After making the detour we got back onto the road to the NH6, this road was bad but we could at least ride most of the way. By now we had given up on route 66 to Beng Mealea. At the intersection with NH6 we turned left and headed to Dam Daek 16km away.

 
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Dam Daek - Beng Mealea - Dam Daek
64kms
Start-Finish: 0630-1500
Ride Time: 4 : 04 : 12
Avg Speed: 15.7 km/hr

From Dam Daek take a left after the market if coming from direction of Siem Reap. From here it is a nice ride through the countryside on a paved road. After about 31km you will see the entrance of Beng Mealea. From here it is another kilometer to the actual ruins. We made our way back to Dam Daek the same way.

Note: If coming directly from Siem Reap, this trip can be done in a day if you set off early around 6am. Take the NH6 and and the left at the market. There is also a toll road that forks off to Koh Ker after the entrance to Beng Mealea.

 
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Dam Daek - Kompong Kdai - Stoung
65kms
Start-Finish: 0710-1330
Ride Time: 4 : 24 : 53
Avg Speed: 14.7 km/hr

This is a pretty straight forward ride on the NH6 all the way through Kompong Kdai. Good paved roads all the way with intermittent traffic. We saw 5 other fully loaded cyclist today. We were so excited so I started ringing my bell and waving. Before we knew it we had passed each other. In hindsight we should have stopped and had a chat. We will be better prepared next time. It is possible to reach Kompong Thom in 1 day but we had weary legs and BSA after 3 straight days riding.

* BSA = Bloody Sore Arse

 
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Stoung - Kampong Thom
52kms
Start-Finish: 0810-1330
Ride Time: 3:34:00
Avg Speed: 14.5km/hr

Once again a straightforward ride heading south-east on the NH6. There was hardly any traffic probably because it was a Sunday. Its a point to note that on either side of the 'highway' which is a more like a one way trunk road..... You get 2 sections of really smooth sections as you can see in the picture. We were wondering why and the only conclusion we can come up with so far is that when the bullock carts use the edge of the road, the cows as they do take a crap as they trod along. Vehicles then go over the poo and kind of smoothen it out! We try to stick to these sections as much as possible.... Yep stay on the poo line ;-)

 
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Kampong Thom - Kampong Thnor
38.04kms
Start-Finish: 0850-1245
Ride Time: 2:45:46
Avg Speed: 13.7km/hr

This section of the NH6 is not as well paved as the route from Siem Reap to Kampong Thom. There is absolutely no 'emergency lane' on this stretch and we got quite close to a few speeding buses. For about half the journey we also experienced strong headwinds. Temperature went up to 38 degrees around noon. At Kampong Thnor the NH6 forks, left takes you to Kampong Cham on Route 71 while right keeps you on the NH6 to Skun.

 
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Kampong Thnor - Baray - Skun
54.7kms
Start-Finish: 0725-1115
Ride Time: 2:54:17
Avg Speed: 18.9km/hr

We followed the NH6 through Baray towards Skun. The roads here were more evenly paved excepts for the last 5kms into Skun when the road deteriorated into massive pot holes with gravel stone fillings. Met 2 french cyclists today, Florine and Alex who are doing a world tour over 14 months. We stopped and had a chatted for a while and exchanged some tips. Temperature went up to 39 degrees as we approached Skun!

 
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Skun – Phnom Penh
79.55kms
Start-Finish: 0655-1200
Ride Time: 4:19:22
Avg Speed: 18.4km/hr

From Skun the NH6 turns into the NH6A towards the capital. Again the roads here aren`t as good as the earlier sections of the highway closer to Siem Reap. You soon come to realize that these parts of Cambodia are absolutely flat… the only ascent you get are when you approach bridges which are a real pain in the backside due to the huge cracks in them! Traffic gradually get heavier 10kms into the city before the final bridge over the Tonle Sap river into the city. Now that is one bridge worth climbing, two wheel traffic actually flows on what is supposed to be the pedestrian walkway!

 
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Chao Doc – Ha Tien
114.8kms
Start-Finish: 0630-1815
Ride Time: 7:56:06
Avg Speed: 14.40km/hr

Our first proper ride in Vietnam and what a ride it turned out to be. The actual distance is 95kms between the two, but we did get lost a couple of times and nearly ended up going back into Cambodia at one stage hence the extra 20kms. This beautiful ride takes you through the Mekong Delta along the canals of the frontier between Vietnam and Cambodia. It is easy to get lost along this road as it is not signposted well…. From our experience so far none of Vietnam is. So stop and ask frequently. From Chao Doc head towards Sam Mountain and take a right when you reach Tay An Pagoda. This will take you towards the Tinh Bien border crossing back into Cambodia after 22kms or so. You will have to take a left before the major canal though this is still a dirt road. From here you will follow the canal for about 65kms. The road is being upgraded but many sections are a mess of dirt tracks and stone. It’s a rough ride and we should have broken the trip up into 2 days as we were grinding our way past the last 30kms. Nevertheless it is a beautiful ride through the delta and the rice bowl of Vietnam. You see miles and miles of rice fields on both sides of the canal. Just before Ha Tien you reach a T-junction where you turn right and its another 4kms to the town.

 
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Chao Doc – Sam Mountain – Chao Doc
18.22kms
Start-Finish: 1145-1530
Ride Time: 1:34:10
Avg Speed: 11.6km/hr

This was our first tackle at a mountain. Sam Mountain is just outside Chao Doc. Coming from the riverside you will need to get yourself onto Van Thoai Street which will take you out of the town center. From the town it’s a 5km ride to the base of the mountain. When you reach Tay An Pagoda you have three options, leave the bike there and hike up a trail once you go through the temple. Or you hop on one of the many motorcycles for hire. The guys keep pestering you even halfway up the mountain. Well we took the third option since I wanted to prove to one of these motorcycle touts that I could actually ride up the mountain. From the pagoda we took the left route and its another 2kms around the base until you turn right. It’s a steep climb, 16% inclination at some points, so we really worked those low gears. After 2.5kms of this you reach the summit at about 260meters. You get amazing views of the Cambodian – Vietnam Mekong Delta on one side and a view of Chao Doc on the other. The ride back was easier but you do burn those break pads coming down!

 
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Da Chong – Duong Dong
114.8kms
Start-Finish: 1230-1535
Ride Time: 2:20:06
Avg Speed: 13.20km/hr

From Ha Tien we caught a cargo ferry to the port of Da Chong on Phu Quoc Island. The ferry ride is about 3 hours and you ride with boxes and boxes of fruit, noodles, chickens and all kinds of other produce on board. At Da Chong there was a van waiting to pick up the other passengers so we left our panniers with some friends to who took them to the guesthouse for us. We rode to Bai Thom from here on very dusty and bumpy roads. At Bai Thom while taking a break, we came across a trucker who gave us a lift up till Ong Lang, so we saved about 18kms. From Ong Lang its another 10kms to the centre of Duong Dong town. From here ask for directions as its not that simple to get to Long Beach if you are staying there.Its another 3-7 km ride depending on where you stay on Long Beach.

 
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Rach Gia – Long Xuyen
68.13kms
Start-Finish: 0630-1150
Ride Time: 4:03:32
Avg Speed: 16.7km/hr

From Rach Gia there are two routes to get to Can Tho. We wanted to get onto Highway 61 but ended up being led to Highway 80 after we stopped and asked for directions to take us the other way!! Well anyway from the town centre head south and after 4-5kms you will come to a roundabout of sorts. If you head straight you will be on 61, we took a left and ended up on 80. Its basically a 60 stretch by the Cai San Canal until you reach a fork. Turn right and its another 50kms to Can Tho. We veered left as our legs were tired and decided to head to Long Quyen. We ended up staying in a guesthouse about 2km down the road from the turnoff, probably on the outskirts of Long Xuyen.

 
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Long Xuyen – Can Tho
58.38kms
Start-Finish: 0630-1235
Ride Time: 4:02:16
Avg Speed: 14.40km/hr

From Long Xuyen it’s a straight ride on Highway 91 to Can Tho. About 13kms from Long Xuyen we made a short detour to a Stork sanctuary.... though one of the guys there did give us an indication that they were also eaten…. Yumm. The turn off if coming from Long Xuyen is on your right just before a small bridge. You will see a sign Thoi An Ap Van Hoa which is probably the name of the village. Another 2 km ride through some villages and you will have to veer left to the sanctuary. After viewing the few thousand storks we headed back and there was a bad accident at that bridge I just mentioned. Unfortunately a little girl died….. It’s a pretty hard ride after seeing something like that!

 
     
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21 Comments
MANICKAM VADIVELOO
READ YOUR EXPRIENCES AT BHUTAN AMAZING FEELINGS AND EXPERIENCES
TO HAVE YOU BACK TO MALAYSIA WELCOME HOME AND HAPPY NEW YEAR
vmedici@provincia.sp.it
Hello, you wonder where I can find detailed maps, road maps for cycling tracks, indications path to be done independently by bike or by chiang mai chiang rai in bangkok
manickam vadiveloo
nepal how is pokra and did you try the goats milk take care
MANICKAM VADIVELOO
HI AHILESH MUST BE IN SRI LANKA TAKE GOOD CARE OF THE SECURITY AND SAFETY BEST WISHES
MANICKAM VADIVELOO
HI AHILESH AND KAT SAW YOUR SRILANKAN PHOTOS SOME PLACES ARE THOSE I HAVE VISITED TWO YRS AGO ALL FOOD WITH COCONUT MILK HAVE A GOOD TIME AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR SECURITY AS DURING MY VISIT STRICK CHECK BY ARMY/POLICE AND INCIDENCE OF BOMBING
manickam vadiveloo
hi ahilesh and both of you the place you have visited i have been with my wife two yrs ago carefull of your safety/security take care by
pokemon
Nice site. Thanks webmaster.
John Williams
Pretty nice site, wants to see much more on it! :)
MANICKAM VADIVELO
HI GUYS NO NEW UPDATES ON YOUR TRAVELS KEEP HAPPY CYCLING
TomasKell
Hello webmaster, very nice site here, great work!
MANICKAM VADIVELO
your trip geting more exciting as goes and how is your health and notice your having tooth problem is it ok now best luck take care
MANICKAM VADIVELO
hi guys how are you all getting on nice to see your photos keep up
MANICKAM VADIVELO
HI GUYS HOW ARE YOU ALL KEEPING ON- NO UPDATE ON YOUR MOVEMENTS
Aunty Satha
Wish you both well and a belated Tamil New Year which was on the 13th of april being a leapyear; otherwise itusually falls on 14th April.
John
Great site and useful content! Could you leave some opinion about my sites? My pages [url=http://ownsite.com/b/]My pages[/url] http://ownsite.com/p/ My pages
MANICKAM VADIVELOO
hi how is your health and keep going
MANICKAM VADIVELO
HI GUYS HOW IS GOING AND THE WEATHER AND YOPUR GEARS AND ARE YOU KEEPING UP WITH YOUR SCHEDULE
yap hock hing pkf pg
enjoy your trip the world in yours...
Lesh
Hi Uncle Manickam & Aunty Thevi..... thanks for your messages. We will keep the websiote updated as quick as we can.... Its hard with all the remoteness....
MANICKAM VADIVELOO
VERY GLAD TO YOU BOTH ON THIS PILGRIMAGE CYCLING TRIP
KEEP US AND WISH YOU BOTH GOOD HEALTH
msdevi
Very interesting.Keep sending more.A good read in the morning.All the best.
Aunty.
 
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