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Old 07-07-2013, 06:29 PM   #2
Brian_BKK OP
Joined: Jan 2012
Oddometer: 28
Rainy season continued

G'day All,

Another ripper ride with the Ubon Shogun (James) recently.. End June - Early July 2013

We have done a few rides recently out and around the Thai - Lao border in the Chong Mek / Srindahorn area.

Together decided it was a good opportunity to get over to Laos (weather permitting) for a final romp around prior to the rainy season proper setting in..

Extremely lucky with the weather.. You could not have asked for better for this time of year.
Last day was overcast but no rain at all..

The PLAN:-

Get to Ubon, cross the border and spend one night at Tad Fane resort leaving our gear and ride around the Plateau for the first day.
After that.. No Plan... take it as it comes..

In part as we were not sure how the trails and weather will be as previous two weeks there had been a bit / lot of rain..
As we were riding these 6 days.. It was very evident that it could have been a lot more muddy only a week or so earlier.
We still have some very slippery clay and some good mud to ride through.. but on the whole.. It was as good as could be expected for end June early July.

James meets me at the airport with bikes and gear in the pickup and off we go to the hotel in Chong Mek.
Diet Pizza in the pick-up to sustain us until the morning.

While on the way we discussed the possiblility of trying to get down the Plateau from Paksong to the last big river crossing on Route 18.
James had traced as best he could from Google Earth the trail that goes down and where he couldn't make it out.. Guessed the in between bits..
We were both hesitant as rainy season, clay and the unknown.. Can we get through, how high are the rivers and hope we don't get most of the way to turn around..

Day 1.
Up bright and early to the border.. first ones there for the opening.
All very efficient and fast as usual. The officials as usual very friendly at this crossing

Arrive on the Lao side.. Big upgrades going on..

Report on the border upgrade below

Arrive at Tad Fane to be greeted by Dirk (Koffie) Well known character for his love of all things coffee....

The accommodation

Breakfast with the best view you could ask for.

Short clip of the waterfall in all its glory.

After a great couple of hours chatting with Dirk and drinking copious amounts of his lovely coffee..
We decide we had better do some riding or we head for the hammocks for the rest of the afternoon.

We decided on the riding.. Taking a few trails here and there that always ended up back on the big and rutted main tracks.
After the riding we had been doing in Chong Mek it was a little boring to be honest..

So we decide to do a recky on the track down from Paksong to Route 18 - last river crossing...

Ride out of Paksong for around 15km and turn off.. All good so far even if a bit of a boring main track..
You can see where it had rained and been a mess.. but had mostly dried up...

Still at an elevation of over 1,200 metres above sea level and flat.

Some nice riding and creek crossings

Making new friends along the trails

It begins to get a bit slippery but nothing too bad.. the sun is out and helping.

The the trail has a bit of cover from the sun.. more and more slippery. No offs so far.. All good.

Riding along thinking this is looking good and we may be able to ride this tomorrow with an early start..

Next thing arrive upon major road construction... Thinking there goes our adventure, the track must be road all the way from the other side..

I venture a little closer than the pic above but don't go too far as waiting for James.. .
No sign of James and I turn back around and head back to make sure all is OK...


It was bloody slippery as you can see below.. Green moss all over the trail..

This was the beginning of our GT Slider ride back..

Now the elevation is up and going down is easier.. a bit of throttle at the wrong time or anything really and you get the following

We attracted a lot of attention and had some good laughs with the locals.. One of the locals told us he came off his Honda Wave 5 times..

My turn.. The Ubon Shogun can't have all the fun...

What is the first thing you do when you crash? Get up and take a photo...

Bike facing in the opposite directions we were heading.. Good long slide as you can see in the picture by the scrape in the clay.

We head back to Tad Fane to lick our wounds.

We decide that night to head back the next day and check out the road works and how far we can get....

To be continued...
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