Today was the perfect combination of running, delicious coffee, speed and adrenaline, exploration, and time in the sunshine. I am so happy!
We arrived in Luang Prabang yesterday, a touristy but nice little city between the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. It was an 8-hour dirt biking experience to get here from Phonsavanh, but unlike other 8-hour transportation ventures, this was actually really fun!
There were so many curves and hills and beautiful views! By the end, our butts were sore and our joints were stiff and we were ready for hot showers and dinner and to be sitting on something non-moving and non-vibrating of course, but overall the 250k (155 miles) was a great ride! (Be afraid Mom and Dad -- I might get into this motorcycling thing...)
I woke up early this morning for a nice little run around town (my fourth run since leaving DC a month and a half ago -- let me tell you, I am so out of running shape!).
The architecture here in the Old City is very French and very pretty. Riverside cafes line the road and sometimes it feels like I'm in Europe instead of Asia, which is strange, but nice.
After breakfast on the river (Laotian coffee = swoon!), we got on our bikes for Day 6, our final day of this dirt biking excursion. The 30k ride out to Kuang Si Falls was great! Curves in mountains are exciting, but scary because you constantly have to check your speed. Curves on flats (i.e. today's ride) are just fun because you get to go fast.
And the waterfalls, of course, were beautiful and refreshing. I don't think I'll ever get tired of exploring waterfalls, which is convenient considering they're all over Southeast Asia.
The limestone rocks make for super-turquoise water, and the multiple levels of falls are fun to climb up and jump off of (carefully!).
We returned our dirt bikes at 5pm, sad to see our freedom of transportation go. So to those of you who doubted (you know who you are), I'm pleased to report that, though it could easily have gone the other way, a week of dirt biking was a major success! Look forward to the soon-to-be-public movie of our experience...