We begin our decent ever so slowly down.. slightest move and you went sliding sideways..
We made it with out dropping it down the first green slippery part.
Hmmm. If it is like this all the way. It is going to take us a month to get to Attapue. Now around 2 + PM
Me: Shall we turn back? James: Lets go 30 minutes.. OK..
The trail has turned in to a creek from the mountain run off..
Ok going for a while.. Then steep and slippery again.
The next 5 KM took us 2.5 hrs! We knew we couldn't ride back up.. It was difficult enough getting down.
We lost count and stopped taking photo's of the GT Sliders shortly after.. Just pick up the bikes and carry on.
Steering your bike around an obstacle and not dropping it was a herculean task.
This is an easy bit where you could get a bit of speed.. Not a full monty GT Slider, but you get the idea.
Coming down the mountain.. I am leading.. Left or right.. They both join up..
I take the left.. Turns to mud and open the throttle to get through and come around the bend to a tree across the trail.
Rather than drag and turn the bikes around and get out the mud.. James brings out a trick "chain saw". Great knife and cuts the tree branches off and we could pass.
The Honda Wave boys have mastered these trails.. Riding down like some kind of Snow Ski.. Flip flops as the stabilisers and it works..
James had a GT Slider moment.. Me walking back down the trail, Honda Wave boys passing.
The Honda Wave boys offered to lead us out.. But we didn't want to slow them down.. LOL
We never saw them again..
While I didn't have a GT Slider moment " Technically " I did seem to get sucked in to bloody great big holes.
Like some kind of black hole that I couldn't escape.. Once in, dismount and pull the bike out....
I am not crying... after dismounting the bike and standing on the clay I started to slide off down the mountain.
Jumped in to the hole and grabbed on to the earth wall to gain my balance.. Then managed to rub mud in to my eyes..
Dragged out of one hole and slide in to another...
At least once on the way down we started talking about camping along the trail and what food etc we had
We could have no worries.. I had some beef jerky and the life straw and James has some bits and bobs too.
After getting out of the Black holes, we rehydrate and continue..
Finally, not as steep but still slippery.. Now we can do at least 20 kph if not more some times..
A small creek crossing.. Probably impassable if there had been more rain.
Walk the next crossing to see how deep it is
We spot a small bridge further upstream.. Luckily as this was too deep, rocky and fast flowing.
Another small creek crossing along the way to route 18
Now we finally reach flat graded roads.. One last big river to cross..
The last big river crossing and dusk is not far away and we still have some KM's to cover to get to Route 18 river crossing..
We pull up at the river.. There is no way we are riding this..
As we pulled up two locals came along and I asked which way..
They looked at the bike and us then point to the bridge.
A closer look
Time to ride over the bridge
Next the Ubon Shogun
Next we are able to open it up on the graded trails.. 70 / 80 even 90 kph.
Felt like freedom after the crawl down the plateau.
We stop at a village to refuel.. They tell us the rest of the way to Attapue is Sabai Sabai.. and laugh when we tell them about our journey.
Only 1 hour away.. Now the funny things is.. except for the very start at the road works.. Where we were told 2 hrs to Attapue.
Everyone we met along the way said.. Attapue, 1 hr away.. By this stage we have been hearing 1 hr for the last 5 hrs..
We arrive at the last river crossing on route 18 right on dusk.
Pull down to the river looking for a raft to get over.. The river is too high to ride.
No rafts.. Go back up to the village and they direct us further down..
There is now a bridge over the last river crossing.. Also looks like road works going further in to route 18.
After a couple of KM it is pitch dark.
We are able to make good time.. Road works and bridge works and cows laying on the road to dodge..
The last part of the road just before Attapue was hard.. Really rutted and really rough and not much fun in the dark.
Shattered and had enough.. Suggest to James we head for the biggest and best hotel.. James agrees.
Time to check in
Bike friendly hotel.. Bikes sleep in the lobby
We arrived at 8pm. 7 hrs ride..
Accommodation report here:-
Shattered we head for food and beers.
More to come.