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    Archive for February, 2007

    Day 325 – A Day to Remember…

    Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

    Phonsavanh -> Ban Hinlak (family)
    Distance (km) : 88
    Time on bike : 5h 50m
    Brutto time: 10.45 – 18.00
    Avg : 15.03 km/h
    Total (km) : 14333

    Phonsavanh...The Wild West of Laos...

    Rural activities...

    Village between Phonsavanh and Phu Khun.

    Man with a gun...

    Looks everywhere!

    A stranger in town!!!

    My instant noodles are being prepared...

    Rustic dinner in the bamboo village...

    Hanging out around the petroleum light in the hut...

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    Day 324 – Amazing Plain of Jars…

    Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

    On the way to the Plain of Jars. Phonsavanh. February 2007.

    Plain of Jars. Phonsavanh. February 2007.

    Plain of Jars. Phonsavanh. February 2007.

    Plain of Jars. Phonsavanh. February 2007.

    Plain of Jars. Phonsavanh. February 2007.

    Plain of Jars. Phonsavanh. February 2007.

    Plain of Jars. Phonsavanh. February 2007.

    Plain of Jars. Phonsavanh. February 2007.

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    Alive & kickin’ in Laos!

    Monday, February 26th, 2007

    No one’s ever heard about the concept of horizontal roads here in Laos. It’s either up or down and often times very steep.

    I’ve now arrived in Phonsavanh, a rather dusty, non-descript little town in Northern Laos. Mountains are everywhere and thus cycling is with my tongue hanging out of the mouth – because it’s almost rediculously hard to fight all those roller coaster roads, or because the tiny settlements along the way are very rustic, fascinating and taken straight out of some NGO “Help the Poor” campaign from TV. I love it!

    It’s beautiful, tough, hot, ultra poor and the challenge has had another dimension for the last few days: a mad wizard has unfortunately found it’s way deep down my belly and destroys any kind of normal peristaltic movements… He’s just not being fair to me, that little fella’ :-)

    It’s nice to be wired again. I got an amazing 1008 spam messages on the site. It’s nice to know that someone cares about you…

    I’m tired & content, need a rest day – and to hear from YOU!

    So come on, cats and kittens, tell me about your whereabouts, what inspires you, drives you, makes you mad and stuff…

    Lots of thoughts as always

    Nicolai

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    Good news from the cycling world…

    Monday, February 26th, 2007

    Ullrich’s goodbye to cycling…

    Why didn’t anyone tell me about this? While I was fighting my way through the Lao mountains, this huge news appeared the other day. A potential door opener that I’ve been waiting for for years…

    Please keep me informed out there, guys!

    Alex Zülle ;-)

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    Day 323 – Arrival Phonsavanh

    Monday, February 26th, 2007

    Muang Kham -> Phonsavanh (guest house)
    Distance (km) : 52
    Time on bike : 3h 51m
    Brutto time: 10.35 – 16.00
    Avg : 13.43 km/h
    Total (km) : 14246

    Phonsavanh city centre...

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    Day 322 – Zülle in the mountains…

    Sunday, February 25th, 2007

    Nam Noen -> Muang Kham (guest house)
    Distance (km) : 86
    Time on bike : 6h 21m
    Brutto time: 10.35 – 18.00
    Avg : 13.59 km/h
    Total (km) : 14194

    Weaving girl from my guesthouse

    Pig & puppy

    Crushing machine

    Village scene...

    Village boy with his primitive wagon...

    Carrying the burden of life...

    Or maybe it was a RIGHT bend in the road ahead?

    Near Muang Kham. Setting sun...

    A very tired Zülle after a rough day in the mountains...

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    Day 321 – The unknown concept of “level roads”…

    Saturday, February 24th, 2007

    Xam Neau -> Nam Noen (guest house)
    Distance (km) : 100
    Time on bike : 7h 10m
    Brutto time: 8.15 – 18.00
    Avg : 13.95 km/h
    Total (km) : 14107

    Rustic village on the way to Nam Noen...

    Village kids...

    Village kids...

    Yves et Olivia who've travelled RTW on their tandem

    Rural village

    Lao mountains...

    Setting sun near Nam Noen...

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    Day 320 – 14.000 kms behind me…

    Friday, February 23rd, 2007

    Vieng Xay -> Xam Neau (guest house)
    Distance (km) : 31
    Time on bike : 1h 59m
    Brutto time: 10.00 – 13.00
    Avg : 15.65 km/h
    Total (km) : 14007

    Xam Neua Waterfall...

    Xam Neua Waterfall...

    At the Xam Neua Waterfall...

    Boys playing naked in the river. Xam Neau. 2007.

    Boys playing naked in the river. Xam Neau. 2007.

    Order in Chaos?

    Xam Neua...

    Xam Neau Market...

    Xam Neau Market...

    Xam Neau Market...

    Xam Neau Market...

    Xam Neau Market...

    Xam Neau Market...

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    Day 319 – Cool caves in Vieng Xai

    Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

    0 km etc.

    Water and cooling down break on my way to Vieng Xai...

    My guesthouse in Vieng Xai.

    Vieng Xai girl...

    Vieng Xai Caves

    Vieng Xai Caves

    Vieng Xai Caves

    School kids. Vieng Xai.

    Vieng Xai wild life...

    Bananas in Vieng Xai.

    Sunset from my guest house in Vieng Xai

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    Day 318 – Drinking whiskey with the border officers

    Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

    Na Meo (VN) -> Vieng Xay (Laos) (guest house)
    Distance (km) : 58
    Time on bike : 3h 47m
    Brutto time: 10.00 – 14.30
    Avg : 15.44 km/h
    Total (km) : 13976

    At the Lao border post...

    Lao kids along the road side...

    This Mad Max vehicle is popular in both Laos and Vietnam...

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    Day 317 – Noodles, noodles, noodles…

    Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

    Dong Tam -> Na Meo (family room)
    Distance (km) : 92
    Time on bike : 6h 0m
    Brutto time: 8.45 – 16.30
    Avg : 15.24 km/h
    Total (km) : 13918

    Tune of the day: Float On – Modest Mouse

    Close to Na Meo on the Vietnam/Laos border...

    Close to Na Meo on the Vietnam/Laos border...

    Hothothot...Sweaty climb after Dong Tam...

    Small settlement near Na Meo

    Beautiful cycling!

    Wonder how long that climb'll go on...

    Paddies...

    Everything MUST go!!!

    IMG_8033

    Noodles yet again!

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    Day 316 – It was a fine, fine day…

    Monday, February 19th, 2007

    Nho Quan -> Dong Tam (guest house)
    Distance (km) : 101
    Time on bike : 5h 05m
    Brutto time: 9.15 – 15.20
    Avg : 19.77 km/h
    Total (km) : 13826

    Rice fields and karst formations. Vietnam in a nut shell...

    Water buffalos

    Celebrating the Tet New Year with the locals in Dong Tam, a tiny village close to the Lao border...

    Celebrating the Tet New Year with the locals in Dong Tam, a tiny village close to the Lao border...

    Celebrating the Tet New Year with the locals in Dong Tam, a tiny village close to the Lao border...

    Celebrating the Tet New Year with the locals in Dong Tam, a tiny village close to the Lao border...

    All men wanted to say cheers with me!

    All men wanted to say cheers with me!

    Hoang's family in Dong Tam.

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    Day 315 – A night at the brothel…

    Sunday, February 18th, 2007

    Day 315 – 18FEB07: Hanoi -> Nho Quan (brothel)
    Distance (km) : 114
    Time on bike : 5h 47m
    Brutto time: 9.00 – 16.00
    Avg : 19.77 km/h
    Total (km) : 13726

    IMG_7941

    Nice karst formations near Nho Quan on my way to Laos.

    Funeral ceremony.

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    Day 314 – Socialité

    Saturday, February 17th, 2007

    The first day of the Vietnamese Year is a quiet, happy family day

    The first day of the Vietnamese Year is a quiet, happy family day

    The first day of the Vietnamese Year is a quiet, happy family day

    Empty streets in Hanoi only occur once a year - during the Tet New Year

    Hanging out with the Danish maidens...

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    Day 313 – Tet New Year in Hanoi

    Friday, February 16th, 2007

    Tet in Hanoi. February 2007.

    Tet in Hanoi. February 2007.

    Tet in Hanoi. February 2007.

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    Day 312 – Back in Hanoi…

    Thursday, February 15th, 2007

    Just after the minor crash of German Thomas' Minsk...It was very slippery on those rail tracks!

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    Day 311 – The dependence of independence

    Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

    Day walk from Sapa to Cat Cat Village, just 3 km due south.

    The first steps...

    From the colourful market in Sapa, northern Vietnam.

    From the colourful market in Sapa, northern Vietnam.

    From the colourful market in Sapa, northern Vietnam.

    Sapa Hill Tribe Woman...

    Sapa Hill Tribe Woman...

    From the colourful market in Sapa, northern Vietnam.

    Sapa taylor

    Sapa taylor

    Carrying life...

    Hey punk!

    Young beauty. Sapa Land. February 2007.

    Young beauty. Sapa Land. February 2007.

    On my way to Cat Cat Village...Sapa Land.

    The Classic View: rice fields near Sapa.

    Sapa hill tribe woman...

    Diapers don't really exist around here!

    Rice fields. Cat Cat Village...

    Cat Cat kid.

    Cat Cat Waterfall. Near Sapa. NW Vietnam.

    Cat Cat Village.

    On a bridge in Cat Cat Village...

    Pig transport...

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    Day 310 – C’est tres magnifique!

    Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

    Scooter Journey Day 5: Phong Thu -> Sapa, 110 km

    Leaving Phong Thu, NW Vietnam.

    Behind the Scene: Capturing the locals

    Local beauties near Tam Doung, Vietnam.

    Entering the Tram Ton Pass near Sapa.

    Entering the Tram Ton Pass near Sapa.

    Locals

    Boys near Tam Doung. NW Vietnam.

    Children near Tam Doung. NW Vietnam.

    Generations work hand in hand here...

    Fantastique!

    Fantastique!

    Climbing up the Tram Ton Pass was like entering The Gate of Heaven...

    From the amazing Tram Ton Pass

    Rice fields near Sapa

    Boys and a Minsk MC...

    Hotel Lotus in Sapa. Super-value and great views!

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    Day 309 – Vietnamese delikatessen

    Monday, February 12th, 2007

    Scooter Journey Day 4: Dien Bien Phu -> Phong Thu, 175 km

    Dien Bien Phu Cemetary where approx. 3000 Vietnamese are buried after the fightings with the French in 1954...

    Dien Bien Phu Cemetery where approx. 3000 Vietnamese are buried after the fightings with the French in 1954...

    War relics from the 1954 Vietnam-France fightings in Dien Bien Phu...

    Muong Thanh Bridge in its original state...

    Dien Bien Phu Market. February 2007.

    Dien Bien Phu Market. February 2007.

    Dien Bien Phu Market. February 2007.

    Dien Bien Phu Market. February 2007.

    Woman in rice field

    Dien Bien Phu Market. February 2007.

    Hängebauchschwein...

    Suspension bridge near the Lao border

    Today's menu: Grilled stray dog... How bizarre!

    Today's menu: Grilled stray dog... How bizarre!

    Today's menu: Grilled stray dog... How bizarre!

    Chan Nua Village

    A scooter and a day pack's enough to make me happy!

    Lan Anh II Hotel built in a wooden thai-style house...Phong Thu, NW Vietnam.

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    Day 308 – The dog with the “fish hook wiener”

    Sunday, February 11th, 2007

    Scooter Journey Day 3: Son La -> Dien Bien Phu, 190 km

    Nuoc Nong, Son La Province.

    Woman in Nuoc Nong, Son La Province.

    Women in Nuoc Nong, Son La Province.

    Mountain scenery near Dien Bien Phu in the western most corner of Vietnam

    Vietnamese tribal woman...

    Colourful garbs

    Stray dogs after sexual intercourse...They call him The Fish hook!

    Untitled

    Elderly near Dien Bien Phu.

    Women. Son La Province. Vietnam. 2007.

    Water buffalo in its right element...

    My Honda Wave on the way up the Pha Din Pass

    On the way from Son La to Dien Bien Phu...

    On the way from Son La to Dien Bien Phu...

    My outfit after along and dusty day on the scooter...

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    Day 307 – The energy of enthusiasm…

    Saturday, February 10th, 2007

    Scooter Journey Day 2: Hoa Binh -> Son La, 240 km.

    “We always know we are close to our true mission on earth when what we are doing is touched with the energy of enthusiasm…” Paulo Coelho – The Zahir

    Market near Hoa Binh

    Market near Hoa Binh

    The scooter did a brave job going up this foggy mountain pass between Mai Chau and Moc Chau.

    Rural wooden house near Moc Chau

    Boy in traditional clothes. Near Moc Chau. Vietnam, February 2007.

    Weaving in Bac Lac village

    Bac Lac village

    Bac Lac village

    Water buffalos. Northwestern Vietnam.

    Women on their way home from another day in the rice fields...

    Life's not too bad around here...

    Car crash in a remote mountain village...

    Typical rural scene in Northwestern Vietnam...

    Beautiful evening drive close to Son La, NW Vietnam

    Encounters along the road...

    Night stall in Son La - delicious meat skewers at just 0.30 USD a piece!

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    Day 306 – The MC trip is in the air!

    Friday, February 9th, 2007

    Scooter Journey Day 1: Hanoi -> Hoa Binh, 75 km.

    Die 3 Jungs aus Berlin - with their Minks motorbikes. Proud they are!

    Leaving the trafic chaos in Hanoi...

    A foggy view from the hotel in Hoa Binh.

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    Day 305 – MC hunting in Hanoi…

    Thursday, February 8th, 2007

    Checking ears in down town Hanoi is not a private affair!

    Checking out the old Russian made Minsk motorcycles...

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    Day 304 – Among pirates and junks…

    Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

    Dreamt I was back with the pirates and cats of my sommerville
    The girl in the alphabet shirt covered in dirt lives on the hill

    Tune of the Day: Josephine – Teitur

    Junk in Halong Bay

    Halong Bay rocky islands...

    Junk in Halong Bay

    Those happy days in the streets are over, doggies!

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    Day 303 – Magic in Halong Bay…

    Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

    The junk that showed me incredible Halong Bay...

    The Junk and me...

    Enjoying a private hour on the junk in Halong Bay

    Cat Ba Island

    Monkey Island (with no visible monkeys on that particular day!)

    Halong Bay in the afternoon light...

    Søren and I in the little ramshackle boat that took us to the Monkey Island...

    On a small rocky lookout on Monkey Island. Halong Bay, Vietnam.

    Setting sun in Halong Bay

    Memories in the sand...

    Admittedly, I'm a sucker for those sunsets...

    Socializing in the *** Hotel Princes on Cat Ba Island.

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    Day 302 – Amazing Halong Bay

    Monday, February 5th, 2007

    Halong Bay, Northeastern Vietnam.

    On the junk. Halong Bay, Northeastern Vietnam.

    Halong Bay.

    Hang Sung Sot Cave in Halong Bay. Truly amazing!

    Hang Sung Sot Cave in Halong Bay. Truly amazing!

    Hang Sung Sot Cave in Halong Bay. Truly amazing!

    Hang Sung Sot Cave in Halong Bay. Truly amazing!

    Hang Sung Sot Cave in Halong Bay. Truly amazing!

    Night swimming in Halong Bay...

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    Day 301 – Mr. Practical

    Sunday, February 4th, 2007

    Bia Hoi Corner, Hanoi

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    Day 300 – Bia hoi!

    Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

    Bon appetite!

    Hoan Kiem Lake in central Hanoi, Vietnam

    Hanoi Old Quarter...

    Hanoi Old Quarter...

    Hanoi youngster...

    Hanoi Old Quarter...

    Market. Hanoi.

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    Day 299 – Arrival Hanoi!

    Friday, February 2nd, 2007

    Ninh Binh -> Hanoi! (guest house)
    Distance (km) : 98
    Time on bike : 4h 44m
    Brutto time: 8.35 – 14.00
    Avg : 21.07 km/h
    Total (km) : 13592

    Tune of the Day: Babylon – David Gray

    And if you want it just come and get it, crying out loud
    The love that i was giving you was never in doubt
    Let go of your heart let go of your head and feel it now
    Let go of your heart let go of your head and feel it now babylon

    Finally! Hanoi, Hanoi, Hanoi...

    Prof. Danish...

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    Day 298 – Tam Coc and Hoa Lu

    Thursday, February 1st, 2007

    Tam Coc rowing boats...

    One of the caves in Tam Coc...Watch your head, mister!

    Rice paddies, Tam Coc, Ninh Binh Province.

    Lady rowing with her feet...

    Rice field worker...

    Tam Coc - February 2007.

    Little bat. Daylight in Tam Coc.

    I was welcome that very day!

    Bich Dong Pagoda, Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam.

    "Mod con" anno 2007 in Vietnam...

    Tam Coc rice fields...

    Portraits from Hoa Lu Village...

    Portrait from Hoa Lu Village...

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