– ODO- 17213 – 17281km
– Location- Chilli field past Nam Khene
– Weather- 23-35 cloudy in the morning
Yesterday I pushed myself too far. I wanted to make the most of my first day out if Vientiane, being hot but flat, so I set myself blindly on Van Vieng some 100miles (160km) away. I felt fit and strong after a summer of clocking good distance in my running shoes to keep my fitness up but the distance was just too great. After the flat morning the temperature reached its peak of 35 degrees.
After a short break for some rice I got straight back on the road which began to rise and fall relentlessly as the road wound up and over the foothills on my route to come. The short sharp hills reminded me of the long rolling approach into Istanbul a year ago although thankfully there was no headwind today. I committed to a hotel and settled in to a strategy of minimal breaks, grime on the headphones and getting out of the saddle to summit each crest.
Even after riding over climbs with an average speed of 17 km an hour all day the sun began to set and I still had an hour to ride. I brought my lights out to alert the passing truck drivers and put my head down again. An hour after sunset I rolled into my hotel at Van Vieng. I’d stopped rarely, eaten far too little and pushed too hard. For the first time I felt sick too my core. I stumbled into town to get a pizza and fresh bread for the morning. The food went down slowely. As it did I gradually came back to life. Today I’ll drop the pace so I can make Hanoi alive.