Friday, January 6, 2017

Getting Ready To Move On In Laos

Today was just another day devoted to wound care and gear repair. I think that I have repaired the last of my gear, or at least gotten as far as I'm going to get with that. My windbreaker/rain jacket had some tears in in from the wreck, and the clear tape that I have stuck to it pretty well to cover the holes. I'll get rid of it, though, as soon as I find an adequate replacement. The clear tape also stuck well to my small rain cover, which was fairly tattered, but now all the holes are covered. It'll probably be a while before I can replace that, but if I go back to Hanoi at some point, I can get one there because that is where I got it. My other rain cover for my big backpack was relatively unscathed, surprisingly.

The hotel does people's laundry...they did mine for free since I stayed a whole week here. Normally they charge 20,000 kip, which is about $2.50, a kilo. I got my clothes back today and, miraculously, they got all the blood out of my pants. I don't know what they did, but there is a slight faded spot where the blood was. But that's fine with me. There are some tears around the knee, but they are still wearable without looking gruesome. My great L. L. Bean shirt jacket that I was wearing when I wrecked had no outward signs at all of the bloody elbow underneath, but there was some blood on the inside. I haven't looked inside to see if it is still there, and I don't much care. My fanny pack had a few tears in it; it was definitely on its last legs anyway, but I'm still using it since I haven't found a decent alternative. It is an Everest extra large, and I haven't found anything near the size of it anywhere I've been in the last few months, so I'm hoping I can keep it limping along until I get to a place where Amazon or Ebay or some mail order place will mail to. It will probably be several months. The clear tape doesn't stick well to it, but I covered the holes anyway. When the clear tape fails (probably within days), I'll try first aid tape and see if that sticks better. If only there was duct tape here...

I bought a huge bag to put under my backpack when it is on the rack of my bike, because mud splashes up from below. I was hoping to get one big enough to put the bag in, but I don't think this one is quite big enough. Lots of Laotians pack tons of stuff into these bags and carry them on the back of their motorbikes. This one was about twelve cents at a store down the street from my hotel.

So I'll spend one more day after tonight at this hotel just healing up, then one more night, then I will take off in the morning. I have kept my wounds open for a couple of days so they will scab up, but I'll probably cover them with gauze again when I take off on my bike...I'm hoping that they will be hard enough so I don't have to peel gauze off again, but probably no such luck; they will probably liquefy a little under the bandages. Better that they stick to the bandages, though, than to my clothing. The bike is doing OK, I think, but one of the footpegs is still a little bent. Maybe I'll try to get that fixed in one of the next towns, but it is rideable.

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