We are just days away from home and I am still several ride days overdue from updates. Let's begin:
Ride Day 5
We set off from beach town (Tinh Gia) to Đô Lương. This was a 90+ km ride day and I managed to do a significant portion of it, about 60km. As soon as we stopped for lunch, my knees seized up and I just couldn't do any more. I hopped into the van and we set off, following the the other riders as they entered town. 2km from our hotel, I noticed several bicycles propped up outside of a makeshift tent that is usually placed for wedding receptions. Well, our driver, Mr. Cuong, stopped and I hopped on one leg to check it out. Sure enough, about 7 of our riders were seated around the only table outside being fed curry, sticky rice, chicken, and buttloads of rice wine. What else do I do but join in? :)
|doing the dancing|
|the groom and his nephew|
|phong offering our gift to the happy couple|
(everyone pitched in about 100k each)
Once we were nearing overstaying our welcome (grandma started to grab the bottles of wine and dump them out), the best man invited us back to his pad down the block and continue partying!
|his baby boy!|
|quinn's giant ass on some random neighbor's bicycle|
|waving us off|
|everyone had their bicycles to ride to the hotel,|
so he offered me a ride back on his motorbike
Ride Day 6 - Phố Châu
This would be my final day riding in the van. 2.5 days total because of some bum knees.
|what happens when you ride behind Sandra|
|Sandra and her hair diarrhea|
|Our rear support driver Mr. Cuong having his day made by Hanneke|
|Vietnamese "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"|
Ride Day 7 - Hoang Khe
Not much to say about this day. More rain and cold, dreary weather. Lots of bikes on the road. As we we entered the town, we looked for the hotel the riders from the previous year stayed. It turned out that it was under maintenance, so we had to look for a new place. We found the "poshest" hotel, Duc Tai, in town and stayed there.
|Looking for suitors, fellas|
Ride Day 8 - Đô Lương
A very beautiful ride today. Even with the ugly weather, the scenery was wonderful. Not much traffic and we got to ride through a bunch of small villages. There were a few boys standing with sticks that were pretty threatening. Luckily, they didn't take a swing. But, later, rider Hanneke informed us that there was an incident where some boys with sticks/pipes hit her as she rode by. :X
Ride Day 9 - Đồng Hới
Our second beach day. Another fun day of riding. We were mostly just excited to get to another beach, even though the weather was shite.
|Kept my camera in my jersey pocket on my back with the lens facing my body.|
Bad idea. Yup, that's sweat fogged up.
|Arrival to our hotel and once again, human chain to unload the van.|
|3 happy campers on our way to a hotel that serves Western food.|
Our first taste since leaving Hanoi.
Ride Day 10 - Cam Lộ
Leaving the beach town, Phong brings it up to the group that we'd be riding by Hamburger Hill that day. He mentions that there is a huge cemetery for soldiers from the war. We decide to stop by on our way to the next town.
|Lunch stop - beautiful resort town!|
|Bunch of people there to honor the fallen with their offerings.|
|We made it to town and Zara immediately made a new friend.|
Also, note for next year's riders - Blue Hotel is where we stayed. Some people found blood stains in their rooms. Some found dead hooker skeletons. Just a word of warning.
Okay. That's certainly enough for now. I'm not even halfway done with updating about the ride, yet we are 2 days away from home. Let's see if I can bang out another one tomorrow!
'til next time!