Leg 2, Phalan, Laos: Marcel, Ida and Petter, the only cyclists I met in Laos. They were cycling on low-tech Chinese bikes they'd bought in China, and had made there way down through Hanoi and KheSan. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw them coming towards me. You get used to Asian faces beaming inquisitively at you, and to see three white faces on bikes was a bit of a shock. Out here, on bikes, it's instant friendship. As you can see, the road here is sealed and in good condition. It gets worse as you head further east (see Leg 2).