This post was written on 4/28, but I am trying to keep my post in chronological order even if i'm a few weeks behind.
Yesterday my plan was to go from Vang Vieng to Phonsavanh. I saw that there were two routes a northern and southern and since the northern would be the same route back that I'd be taking to get to Luang Prabang from Phonsavanh, I figured I'd go the southern route. The road was strenuous for sure but I got great pleasure out of knowing that my minsk could handle these harsh terrains. The ride was very beautiful and I passed hill tribe people that don't see many foreigners. At point out of nowhere there beautiful lake or maybe river appeared right in front of me. It was so quiet there and full of natural beauty. Unfortanetly for me this body of water also over ran my road. I'm not sure exactly what happened but my road was completely washed over with water making it impossible to go any further. My plan to save time by going the shorter southern route was now foiled and I would have to go back. Back over these harsh bumpy and sometimes very steep "roads" (more like paths). I was upset as this meant time wasted but also money as I'd driven nearly 50km south of where I originally was and now had to retrace those steps and get more gas. The views on the northern route were also beautiful but I was somewhat too upset from the first half of the day to care too much. I ended up driving till 8ish when I had to stop for some coffee and ended up staying the night as I was tired and the road was pitch black. I met a guy who spoke some english and he bought me dinner and then found me a little room behind a restaurant to sleep in.
The day was long in all senses of the word and extremely tiring however waking up early the next day was great as I was treated to some excellent early morning views.
this road nearly killed me, both going down and then back up later. you can't get the detail or depth here but it was very steep and no real path here so I was sliding around a lot. of course, i survived.