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Old 07-20-2013, 02:38 AM   #11
Brian_BKK OP
Joined: Jan 2012
Oddometer: 28
The final days ride.....

To be honest.. I tend to take a less challenging and more well known path on the last day of a ride.
Just don't want to screw up on the last day if possible.. But the Ubon Shogun had other ideas.

The night before James had suggested we take this track through the rice paddies on the other side of the river to Vang Tao.
BUT.. What would it be like over that side.. it is flat and rice paddies.. We had one very muddy experience in similar terrain already.

We decide to try it.. Rather than taking the paved way.. Look and plot a direct path down the plateau to route 13.
This track was nothing too exciting.. Neither of us had done it before..

The best part was the last big river crossing.. What a ripper..

Overview with car ferry.

Collecting the toll on the raft..

How and where did that bridge come from

Then you go along a bit more dirt before you pop out on tarmac. The 13 is not far away.

Blast down the 13 for a good 20 or 30 km...

Find the turn off and head to the Mekong and the ferry.

We had to get the bikes part way down, then turn them around and back them on to the raft..

Glad some locals were there to help back the bikes down..
I was already looking under my armpit to make sure I didn't mis step and end up in the Khong.

Don't have a very good picture.. But when you are on this little 'boat' the Mekong felt like the pacific ocean...

The next two pics.. Neither of us have a happy face.
1. The struggle down the Khong and crossing the Khong.. You will note we are sitting low so we don't 'rock the boat'..
2. The unknown possible 26 km mud fest to the Vang Tao / Chong Mek border.

Chris (AKA - Steve Canyon) said it looks like we are special forces coming back from Ops LOL..

All I know is.. When I saw this pic and how dirty we are.. I knew why we had stares and gasps at the duty free shop.

No pics on the other side.. Flat and rice fields, not too wet..
Nice to go this way than the usual route to Pakse on the tarmac..
This route was around 26 km.. If we had gone all the way to Pakse and back out it would have been over 70km.

Back to Chong Mek and while we rented the rooms for 100 baht each.. Changed and cleaned up.
The bikes had a soapy..

What a setup.. Accomodation, food and soapy all owned by the same person.

Plus they were happy to see us..

For those that were wondering if this trip report would ever bloody end...

Fabulous 6 day ride. When we started this trip.. We had no idea how the weather would be or where we would end up.
Planned for the first day and night only and play it by ear..

Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would end up in Attapue and do that great trail down the plateau followed by Sekong and Saravan.

Pictures in the report taken by both of us. Good Job James with the video.. Had no idea you were videoing most of the time.

Big thanks to James.. Pleasure riding with you mate.. Looking forward already to the next ride along the border at Chong Mek.

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