Day 261. 87km. Savannakhet – Pakxong

Posted: November 18, 2015 in Cycling, Laos
Tags: , , ,

My energy level collapsed as I cycled into the heat. The small road along the Mekong became dirt, and I crawled along it. Lying down on a bench under a little shop verandah, I wondered if I had dengue fever, and closed my eyes.

Lying down in the heat

Lying down in the heat

Mark had lost his energy as the first sign of dengue fever. I had no energy, and no appetite. Even sugary drinks were not appealing. Just water.
No. I didn’t have a temperature. I checked. It was just hot, and unlike my Uzbekistan heat experience, it was humid.

The dusty road

The dusty road

Listening to a new book while inching forward – a book on climate change, how society got to this point, and what needs to be done now – I thought about how unseasonably hot it is here now. The locals all mention it. In some of the more dire scenarios by 2100 this part of the world could have lethal heat waves. Heat waves that not everyone can escape from using energy consuming air conditioning. The people here have no escape and will feel the full brunt of the warming and climate change our use of fossil fuels has created.

After returning from the dirt to the main road – Highway 13, I passed the village that I had my eyes on for the evening. No aircon in the guesthouses. Only in a karaoke place 2km out of town nowhere near food. An aircon trumped lack of food. I felt the energy returning, lying naked under the fan and aircon combo. No, I don’t have dengue fever.

  1. Len DeMoss says:

    I’ve ridden that dirt road many times through Laos and it is a killer, because you’re just so exposed to the sun. You have to make sure you’re staying hydrated and taking in electrolytes. For years, I’ve taken Succeed eletrolyte caps which I started taking back in 1995 during my ultrarunning days. They keep your electrolytes in balance and have a buffering agent for your stomach because once you get really dehydrated, your stomach starts feeling nauseous. I highly recommend these electrolyte caps… is the website:

    • Maybe the hydration was the problem. Not sure. Just before leaving I binged on milk – almost the first milk I had found since the Chinese milk desert. Not sure how the electrolyte balance of milk is. 🙂

      • Milk won’t do anything for you for hydration or for electorlytes. What it will do, is cause a build up of lactic acid in your muscles making the ride much more tiring than what you would have if you hadn’t drank milk. If you’re going to drink milk, you should drink chocolate milk but only AFTER the ride. Actually, chocolate milk is a great recovery drink because it provides almost the exact required nutrients you need for post ride and all in the necessary percentages to maximize recover, fats, carbs and protein and it tastes great! But the milk will cause your legs to be more sore than they normally would. If you do not have any electrolyte capsules, then I’d suggest finding salt pills, that at least would provide you with sodium cloride but you also need potassium (bananas are good for this) as well. And when your’e riding in that kind of heat/humidity, you should be consuming nothing less than at least a liter an hour.

      • Yes. I drank the milk more because I had just found it for the first time. 🙂
        I did drink a lot of water but indeed not much salt. Eating some salty pho now. 🙂

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    Glad to hear that. The heat can really take it out of you. Please take care of yourself!

  3. valerievolk says:

    Glad you’re feeling OK again. All the best!

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