Since my motorbike trip to India was cancelled i thought a streetbike ride through Laos should be a nice wy to spend a few weeks. since i would be going alone this would be mostly pavement so no problem. The night before leaving Luke calls up at 1:30 am to say he has cancelled a trip to England and wanbted to be included in the ride to Laos. We had been doing a lot of dirt biking lately even though it was rainy season we had been having a great time. Since had had two in the party now why not make it a dirt bike trip Luke suggested. I sctached my nubbly chin and said but its rainy season and everyone says to stay away from off road during it(point). he pointed out we had been having a great time in Thailand despite the rainy season (counterpoint) which was true. so depite everyones warnings we mounted up knobbies for a dirt bike ride through Laos during rainy season. We could hear the veterans laughing already. A plod up to Chiang Khong had us cross the border no problem. The only issue was riding the KLX about 20 KM's before Chiang rai Luke and I heard a metallic clanking sound come from the front of the KLX. Everthing seemed fine so we kept riding as i thought I may have run over something. Coming into chiang Rai I braked for the corner to vjoin into highway 1 and had no brakes. Pumping the lever like a first timer to Nana I still could get no brakes. A back brake lock-up ended going into the corner. Pulled over we found the clanking noise was the brake pads being regurgitated by the KLX 20 KM's earlier. 20 KM's into Chiang Rai then a search for brake pads,. At first a set of XR 250 pads were used but they went up in smoke on the test ride. Luckily we yanked a swet off another KLX at a repair shop and we were off and running once again. Hitting Chiang Khong the gals in the customs office provessed everything quickly, the guys at immigration however quaffed around with their thumb in their bums for an eternity. why in Thailand are the gals so much more efficient at things than their male counterparts. By the way David the custms gals say hello. The skinny canoe over the Mekong loaded with two bikes and gear and four people was wobbly and we both feared our trip would end before it even began. A lady yelled from the shore that it was too dangerous to go with one boat loaded that way so sent a second boat out to steady us. Once again the gals saving the day. The night was spent in Huey Xai trying to get up tp no good and vieng View pub. The next morning it was up the road towards Lam nam Tha. 1 1/2 years ago it was a 12 hour tortuous muddy bus ride for Luke. Now it is paved all the way except two spots. At 53 KM and 180 KM there are sections of roadwork still being completed and not paved so conditions are unpredicable at these two points. Each section about 3-5 KM's long. Other than that fresh blacktop all the way. if you don't stop about 3 hours to Lam Nam Tha. The scenery is nice along the road and something very different is all the yopung children running out of the huts to yell, wave and scream as you ride by. Since the tourists all go down the river from to Luang Phabang not many visable tourists go this rooute yet and the population is not tarnished from tourism. A nice contrast to Thailand. This point will be driven home more and more especially once we got onto the dirt trail amongst the hill tribes. We cruised through Lam Nam Tha towards Muey Sing as we had our eyes on some single track trails through the forest towards Vien Phoukha and it would give us a closer start. Things start to go pear shaped for the muppetts at this point. Coming up will be tales of stupidity, laughs, frustration, and trying to extract ourselves from the coppers grasp in Nga for being accused of running ammo for the Hmong resistance. I kid you not. Sadly gotta run now as the bikes, luggage and GPS are giving the Muppets an ulcer and need to be tended to. I am also having difficulty uploading photos from Laos. More to come once caught up on things. We are holed up in Luang Prabhang right now for a night or so before venturing off to explore more dirt.