It's three hundred some odd kilometers back to Vientiane, but it's mostly long straight road so we think it won't be too big a deal. The first stretch of road climbs up through yet more impressive karsts and then it's back to the main highway. We'd already driven this stretch but as usual there's always something new to see. 

The only incident is an errant rock that finds its way to my eye. Thankfully I'm wearing sunglasses which bare most of the brunt of the impact. (Later though, I accidentally stepped on the other lens, and after seeing how it went to shards, I feel lucky that I still have an eye). We quickly find a new pair of cheap sunglasses and are on our way.

With thankful eyes we look at the overcrowded bus and then back to our beautiful bike.

While getting gas the attendant wants to practice his English and then asks if we will take his photo.......

Maybe it's three straight weeks on a motorbike, or maybe we just didn't get enough sleep the night before, but by the time we get back to Vientiane, we're exhausted  We check back into our old hotel room, check our email and it turns out that Tara and Tyler had beat us to Vientiane by a day. 

We spend three restful days here, then we say goodbye to our bike and our beautiful hotel room with its sunlit veranda. We say a final goodbye to Tara and Tyler. We wish them the best of luck because they will now do the same route we did, but go even farther south, and they will be doing it on bicycles. Lastly we say goodbye, to a country that it took us one day to be be infatuated with, and only one month to fall in love with, Laos.

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