Challenge 2009‎ > ‎

Wheeling to the Waterfalls

posted Jan 14, 2012, 10:19 PM by Bruce Knox

On the last day of January, Team Dai ventured forth from Patuxai in the half light of the breaking dawn in search of the mysterious waterfalls of KhoneKeiw. Not actually knowing if the direction in which they were heading would take them anywhere near the famed falls, a stop was called, and team navigator 'Snakes' Kaminski was asked to provide bearings for the Team. The certainty of his response was juxtaposed by his furrowed brow. "We are heading in the right direction!" had never sounded less certain than the moment it escaped the lips of the 'Snake'.

Thommo, who up until now had remained silent throughout the 125km of bone-jarring dirt and rock, could not help but comment. "Snakes doesn't know squat!" Emily was also rather nonplussed at the situation. So after some serious discussions and the eventual decision to remove Kaminski from the role of Navigator, the Team continued on in search of the falling water. Ginny and Phil, who had ridden on oblivious to the organisational upheaval in the pelaton behind them, were all smiles as they had found the right road. The water was beckoning.  so the pelaton followed. and followed and followed and followed and followed until at last they stumbled into the fabled waterfalls of Phoukaching. Tumbling from the lofty heights of the Nam Ngum Alps, the Sompavanh River had relentlessly torn its way through the stubborn red earth of the Mekong plains to create a formiddable waterway and subsequent set of falls known as Namdtok Khiimu. Not to be confused with the nearby falls known as Khiimaa, it was not uncommon for visitors to become confused and not know their Khiimu from their Khiimaa.

In the end, the Team were satisfied. They had discovered their fabled falls, distinguished their Mukhii from their Makhii and had braved the turbulent waters to pose for a final photograph to brand the moment into Team Dai history and folklore.

 . With a morning of just over 50km on the clock, the training was well underway for the ride to Luang Prabang.