Monday, December 19, 2016

Namor to Oudom Xay

Gordon:  Today's ride was a modest 61 kms in length, but it did involve a 500 metre climb to 1120 metres, the highest we have been on this trip.  Conditions were perfect, however, and we had a relaxed and rewarding ride.  Unlike some of our previous climbs, the road was well designed, with grades limited to 7 or 8 percent.  We gently wound our way up the sides of the valleys, with several scenic runs along the tops of ridges.  It was cloudy again today, with temperatures that started at around 15 degrees and never went above 25.  Perfect cycling weather.

A legacy of the French colonial period in Laos is the baguette.  Although not ubiquitous in this region, it is possible to find fresh bread.  We love the Lao food, but it is a treat to have a baguette as a snack during the morning.  But what to put on it?  At the bread kiosk in Namor, the proprietor was pouring sweetened condensed milk on the buns.  This was not quite what we were looking for, and we have been unable to find any jam.  What we do have are some awful chocolate covered wafers with an artificial strawberry centre, the closest thing to food we could find in a shop in one of the small villages. Ruth hit upon the idea of inserting these into the buns.  I don't think it will catch on in Paris, but for hungry cyclists it is a tasty sugar and starch delivery vehicle.