What a day!
Woke up to a beautiful sunny day, about 25 degrees and clear blue skies. Great weather for us to be cycling in but also great weather for kids to play in as well. We saw lots of kids out waving, playing on their way too and from school. Every village we rode through would greet us with smiles and "hello!" Or "sabaidee!". We had a lot of positive energy being thrown our way so more than happy give some back.
The kids we are meeting are incredible. They greet us with
huge smiles and will communicate as much in English as they
can. They love repeating things in unicine such as "hello!
Thank you! Good bye! Or whooooooooooooooooooo! They are
eager to show off their athletic skills as well and take it to us
in volleyball, soccer or my new favourite sport Takraw.
We had a solid ride today. We covered about about 80 kilometres and it turns out Laos has some hills out here. We had some steep climbs over long stretches. And there were times when I would think that I could go for some flat riding right about now.. And then I here Paul talking about how much he loves the hills and wants more. He is relentless in how he attacks those climbs, it is quite impressive. However I am disappointed to report that Hayes took the yellow jersey at Van Vieng. I like to think of myself as being the domestique of our cycling team. The domestique is the cyclist who is in front for the majority of the time battling against the resistance of the wind which allows the cyclists behind to preserve energy before setting him up for the sprint near the finish. Except for the minor detail where he was in front the whole time...
I want to say a huge thank you to all those that have supported our initiative. In 2 days we have handed out over 4 trailers worth of equipment to schools, families, children and communities on our ride. We were handing out equipment at such a rapid rate that what we had left with was not going to last us till Luang Prabang which we had previously planned. So Paul made a heads up move and called Kydeux at Stadium Sports in Vientiane and asked her to send 2 more trailer loads of equipment to Van Vieng. Thankfully she was on board and sent it. Unfortunately we arrived to Vang Vieng after the bus station had closed. And this of course had to be after we were tired and hungry from our journey from the day. So it is pitch dark outside and we are riding through the Van Vieng, hoping to find a post office or maybe another bus depot or just our equipment on the side of some road and then all of a sudden someone on a motor cycle yells "hello!" Well no big deal, people have been waving and saying hello to us all day. But on second glance we see a bright shining light shine on top of him from the sky. Third glance we see he has a large white bag with a sign saying "sporting equipment for Paul." We were jacked! Hi 5s, hugs all around, we found our equipment. Great way to end a great day.