It's been rough cycling in Laos so far. I was fine the first two days but then I was really lacking in energy the next five and had all kinds of digestion problems and trouble staying warm, I just chalked it up to rough terrain and tough conditions. Turns out I had the flu! I wouldn't recommend riding five days with the flu! If you are going to cycle with the flu then don't do it in Laos where the toilets are of the squatting variety, not exactly easy when you are sick. So I was starting to feel better and have more energy when I started having trouble with the local food, travelers diarrhea . More digestion problems, different reason, same result – racing from toilet to toilet. Anyway, there was a large number of days when I seemed to be racing from toilet to toilet. Hence the tour name – Tour de Toilet.
I am happy to report that today, for the first time on this bike trip, I feel perfectly normal. If I have normal, gurgle free digestion back for the short remainder of the trip I would be most grateful. I was able to do my first hotel workout in ages which felt SO good. Because of my problems with tge local food, tge last week I've been existing on boiled rice and protein bars, today I will get a bit more adventurous.
I have three full cycling days and about 400km left before I arrive in Vientiane and I'm hoping they will make up for all my sick-cycling but I'm not going to hold my breath. In the scheme of things I'm extremely lucky, I could have come to Laos "Free" as a teen had I been born a few years earlier and got drafted into the Vietnam war.
For those of you who have never seen a squat toilet, here is a photo. The pan floating in the bucket of water is used for flushing.