Kathy Dal in Laos – Episode 8

The most challenging part of the Thakhek Loop is the notorious 25km stretch of unsealed dirt road. It winds up through hills and jungle and down again to flat open farm land and small villages. In the dry its a dusty nightmare, the hard crust collapses in random places to form powdery sink holes and long stretches of slippery red bulldust. The dust that billows up behind all vehicles travelling this route covers everything in its wake. The villages along these roads are painted in the red stain and the villagers live everyday breathing in this dust. The only relief is when it rains, which kills the dust but no better improves the conditions of the road, turning it to a muddy pit more suited for girls in bikinis rather then any motorbikes or scooters.

We reached this point on day 2, after spending the night at a small guest house talking to a few other riders who had come from the opposite direction. Wearing a few small battle wounds from their own journeys across the dirt, they felt more then qualified to express their now expert opinions of how to correctly ride a motorbike and approach the challenging stretch. All sharing huge concerns for K Dal’s capabilities, one lady almost had her convinced to follow her back to Thakhek and leave me to finish on my own. Not really the pump up speech and confidence boosting talk she needed to be hearing.

True to the determined Kathy Dal spirit she woke on Day 2 committed not to let the friendly but really unhelpful “experts” opinions falter her self belief entirely. Over breakfast I gave her the necessary gee up she needed to squash any lingering doubt…

…don’t worry bout it K dal, those jokers don’t even know who they are talking to. Your Kathy dal! K Dawg from country Straya. You were riding motorbikes before these 3 day experts were even born!”

Ok. I’m pretty sure I didn’t use the world ‘straya’, I’m no bogan. But I said something along those lines. It’s true K Dal had riden motorbikes before.. many many many years ago. If that wasn’t enough I promised to follow behind her to make sure she was alright and more importantly make sure if she did fall off I at least had it on camera this time…

Episode 8 – Thakhek Loop – Tackling Dirt

Seriously though, I was and still am pretty proud of my mum for not giving in despite all the warnings, concerns and some of the negativity the night before. Although a stack would have made for some possibly hilarious footage I was obviously pretty relieved when it never happened. Great bloody work Kathy Dal!

crossing the dirt thakhek loop laos



It’s true we didn’t really know what we were getting into and it was good to have some advice on what lay ahead but I learnt a long time ago travelling that the best way to find out is to experience it yourself. After all, everyone has different opinions, capabilities, tolerances, levels of courage etc. What one person finds scary and impossible might be nothing to you, or what someone finds boring and uninteresting could be the coolest shit ever. But hey, that’s just my opinion go formulate your own…

Start by formulating your own opinion about the next episode of Kathy Dal in Laos >>> EPISODE 9

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I am travelling the world without flying - "No Air To Everywhere". These stories are my exploits. I am part time writer, part time youtuber but mostly and more importantly full time bum.

mittsy has 37 posts and counting.See all posts by mittsy

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