Yesterday was rough. Driving all day in freezing cold, with freezing rain, and wiping out on ice may have been my worst travel experience.
I was always planning to spend a day in Muang Hiam, which turns out to be a rather grim place. Maybe it’s nicer in the summer. It’s a town with restaurants and guesthouses, but it’s very small, consisting of only one muddy street. Buildings are wooden and rustic. It has a gritty frontier feel to it.
The town itself is not interesting. But there are some roads that would be fun to explore. One goes to Vietnam, 100 km away. I figured I would walk around in the morning, and ride around in the afternoon.
But my plans were immediately scuttled. It was freezing cold again. I figured I could still walk around a little in the cold. But when I went outside I saw it was raining. I sure wasn’t going to walk around in cold rain.
So I went to the weird restaurant that has an English menu and glass doors. Everything else is open to the freezing air. Despite being enclosed, it was still freezing inside. I had an omelette and a terrible coffee, and sat there reading the news for an hour. A truck with a red cross logo delivered emergency fire wood.
It was still raining when I finished the news. There was nowhere else to go. So I went back to my freezing room and got under the covers. I read for little. I napped. It was boring.
For lunch I went out in the rain to the noodle shop next door. The lady didn’t have a menu or speak English. I only know a couple dishes. She didn’t have khao pat. She did have pho.
After pho I warmed myself at her fire for a little. Everybody seems grumpy and is just huddled around fires outside. I can’t say I blame them.
I went back to my room and got under the blankets again. More reading and napping. The power was out. It was still out at 4. I went downstairs and the guesthouse lady gave me a candle. Power is out everywhere.
I went back to the weird glass restaurant for dinner, but they were having a dance party, so they didn’t have food. I had more pho instead at a Vietnamese restaurant. I warmed myself at her fire. I bought some snacks, then warmed myself at their fire. Then back to my dark, freezing room.
It was a really cold, uncomfortable, boring day. It is supposed to get warmer tomorrow, so I will hit the road.