May 26, 2006 - Friday
Around Nong Khai, TH

A day to kick about the area. I'll see about heading southwest for the other rocket festival.

There were a couple routes and I ended up taking a highway directly south to the town of Udon Thani. It is more south than I needed to travel but the whole distance was only about 50 kilometers south so I figured I'd visit the town. There was a nice roundabout but other than that - it was a busy town - nothing too interesting. I went looking for a way out. I wanted to head northwest so instead of heading back on the highway I came in on - and taking the marked road to my destination, Ban Phu, I just started weaving northwest. I ended up on some small roads. At one point I ended up in a small town - a name I do not know what.

Working my way northwest in this town I came across a dead end road. Turning around I started to hear some dogs barking - and the barking was getting louder. Mostly turned around and clicking into first gear one of the dogs ran up on my left and took a lung at my leg. I lifted my leg as I let the clutch out but he still made contact. Darn dog. A hasty retreat I turned the corner and made sure they weren't following. I pulled up my pant leg to see if the bite had broken the skin. It didn't look like it - but a top, thin layer of skin was pulled off. I reached into my pocket for the bottle of alcohol sanitizing hand cleaner and washed where it got me. No idea if I needed to - just figured it would be good. That done I also figured mark where this dog is. Another waypoint for the GPS. Getting out of that little town I didn't find the highway and just kept wiggling northwest until I did.

Some of the roadway was nice smooth asphalt while there were sections with bad potholes. Finally hitting the highway to Ban Phu I found the town and started to look for smoke trails in the sky. None found I did find a convenience store where I sat inside with the A/C and had a snack - green tea, water, peanuts.

The trek out of town and back to Nong Khai would be interesting. I first stopped at a Honda dealer that had some new "three wheeled motorcycle like taxi's". After that I ended up on the road with the topiary creations - all different creations - you'll see....

Here's a tidbit that the CDC.GOV website had on rabies:

3. Q: What happens if a neighborhood dog or cat bites me?

A: You should seek medical evaluation for any animal bite. However, rabies is uncommon in dogs, cats, and ferrets in the United States. Very few bites by these animals carry a risk of rabies. If the cat (or dog or ferret) appeared healthy at the time you were bitten, it can be confined by its owner for 10 days and observed. No anti-rabies prophylaxis is needed. No person in the United States has ever contracted rabies from a dog, cat or ferret held in quarantine for 10 days.

If a dog, cat, or ferret appeared ill at the time it bit you or becomes ill during the 10 day quarantine, it should be evaluated by a veterinarian for signs of rabies and you should seek medical advice about the need for anti-rabies prophylaxis.

The quarantine period is a precaution against the remote possibility that an animal may appear healthy, but actually be sick with rabies. To understand this statement, you have to understand a few things about the pathogenesis of rabies (the way the rabies virus affects the animal it infects). From numerous studies conducted on rabid dogs, cats, and ferrets, we know that rabies virus inoculated into a muscle travels from the site of the inoculation to the brain by moving within nerves. The animal does not appear ill during this time, which is called the incubation period and which may last for weeks to months. A bite by the animal during the incubation period does not carry a risk of rabies because the virus is not in saliva. Only late in the disease, after the virus has reached the brain and multiplied there to cause an encephalitis (or inflammation of the brain), does the virus move from the brain to the salivary glands and saliva. Also at this time, after the virus has multiplied in the brain, almost all animals begin to show the first signs of rabies. Most of these signs are obvious to even an untrained observer, but within a short period of time, usually within 3 to 5 days, the virus has caused enough damage to the brain that the animal begins to show unmistakable signs of rabies. As an added precaution, the quarantine period is lengthened to 10 days.

Weather outlook for the area. With the forecast you'd think I was riding about drenched in rain - fortunately there has been little rain.
Click for a larger size

Gas stop kids.
Fuel runs between 27 and 31 cents per liter. Converting that to US Gallons and Dollars that's right about $2.72 to $3.13 per gallon.

Ornate roundabout in Udon Thani

Many villages have these gates and gate houses. All are "up" and un-manned.

A poor section of roadway - weave about for a smooth line.

Catholic church under construction?

I went back for this sign - must be in the translation from Thai. Yes, the crossroad was somewhat busy.

Not new - but still sparkling clean. It's been spiffied up a bit with some custom paint.

An older unit - not quite as much chrome but still painted up.

Don't have a vehicle to carry the speaker - get a buddy to drive the scooter while you carry it.

A school. Fence out front, school name on the sign, building behind a playground. The kid just to the right of the power pole called out to a set of kids to the right of the sign....

They were all smiles.

Brand new and waiting to cruise the roads.

And then we have these. Every so many kilometers there'd be another bunch.

I think this qualifies as one for Jennifer (

Another school complex - older kids.

The front legs are NOT propped up.

More 'net!

I passed by these three plowed fields - and the one guy out doing some work. Can you see him at work???

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