My afternoon and morning was spent relaxing, doing laundry and listening to the music from the school field day next door playing such hits as "Gangnam Style". Apparently there's no getting away from it.

My route today was to take the long way to Nan which was directly south by maybe 2 hours. I headed north toward the Laos border in the company of a lot of slow moving trucks that headed the "I'm bigger so I can take up the whole road if I want to" method of driving.
The whole time from Chiang Khong I saw so much corn that I felt like I was in Wisconsin. Talking to Marco, apparently it's a bit of a problem. Once the government cracked down on growing poppies and marijuana, corn was the fall back. However the yield for the work involved is very low and they end up using pesticides that resulted in Marco breaking out in terrible sores. Also the farmers are often just rotating between corn and rice which isn't helping the soil out. The King has started some projects to bring in different crops like coffee but in general there's just not enough knowledge about what to grow and how to grow it.

But back to the ride, once I passed the boarder crossing for Laos it turned into empty mountain roads. Some rough, some smooth, all curvy with people working the corn and rice fields.
As was going to become a pattern, I didn't dawdle much because of looming tooth pain. I made it to the Nan Guesthouse in the afternoon and got in with the resident motorcycle riders, Jacques and Per. They took me around looking for a dentist and then a pharmacist that could help me out with my tooth pain. From France and Sweden respectively they both have come to Thailand for several months for the last 15+ years. They're both full of riding knowledge of the Nan area.
If there is any doubt, I can be sure that it is indeed a small world. While I was headed toward the Laos border this morning I saw a family of bicyclists taking a break on the side of the road but heading south. I waved and later kicked myself for not stopping and chatting with them to hear their story. There were four in total, parents and two boys. The youngest boy was on a bicycle that was trailing behind his father. However, while hanging around outside the Nan guesthouse, who should roll up but the family of bicyclists! They were riding through Laos and were headed to Bangkok in several days to fly back to Canada. A very dynamic and inspiring family. Along this trip, I've found some many people that I'd like to grow up to be. However I think this family is currently in the lead.
Proving that it only takes a moment for children to make friends, the Canadian boys and Per's son were almost instantly inseparable.


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