This is going to be another photodump. I'll elaborate briefly about each day thus far, but it's quite late and we've got a grueling ride ahead of us, so don't expect much. I'll try to make the next few posts soon and clumped together so I can finally catch up.
Ride Day 2
Probably the most hated ride day so far. It was a short ride, but with a 6km uphill battle to begin, things started off a bit ugly. Flat ride turned into a 6% grade which then increased to 8% and that's where I had to walk my bike for a bit. Fortunately, once atop the hill, the rest of the ride was wonderful. A few of us stopped near the top and chatted up some friendly, old women. They even invited us all in for tea. As we descended, we stopped by a road-side "shop" and bought some sugarcane to chew on.
|Sugarcane shop proprietor|
They had a little bird hanging around and I asked what it was for. Apparently, people buy them (100,000vnd) to make wine with it. They throw in a bunch of stuff into a giant bottle and leave the bird in it to ferment. Yum.
Onwards we went!
We reached a halfway point and some of the group decided to stop for snacks and lunch. While waiting for others to finish coffee, a few of us got to talking with some precocious little sisters while perusing their shop. I spent most of the conversation teasing them and trying to get them to give me some food. I asked for some candy and got shot down. Then I asked for some rice with fish and got turned down again. Then I asked for just a bowl of rice and soy sauce. Nope. I noticed they had some bananas on the counter and asked for just 1. They weren't having none of my ish.
|#1 with her sister|
|7 year old rocking Chanel!|
I told her that her shoes were very pretty. Then, I asked if she would like to trade for my muddy, to' up Asics. That is how she responded.
My stomach soon began to growl for me to put food in it, so we bid adieu to our new friends. We had fun, so much fun in fact that Rhona PROMISED to return to hang out with them 1 year in the future. Same time, same place. Guess that means we're signed up for a 2013 ride, yeah?
|rice fish eggs tofu beef veggies and hot tea. yum|
After that, we headed off to our next destination - Vụ Bản. This place was totally not the business. It was a tiny village with really just one road in and the same road leading out. It was rocky, muddy, and just a pain. It also didn't help that the hotel owner was pretty mean.
|poop running down my legs|
|bar owner wiping down a bottle of beer|
|hotel lobby decoration|
Every night, we hold a team meeting to discuss the day's ride, any issues, and what to expect for the next day. We were also introduced to SEXY TIME! Every day, 1 rider receives the Sexy Time award for just being an all around swell person. I had received it the prior night for being such a sexy rider and helping changing a flat. In turn, I awarded Sexy Time to Miss Sarah Heavie for indirectly helping me fix my front brake issue.
After the meeting concludes, we also hold a Culture Night! Everyone is expected to host the night at least once and the first volunteers were DaneDane and RhoRho. Game 1: Huckle Buckle. You pair up, mingle around, and when you hear "Huckle Buckle!" being shouted, you find your partner and proceed to match your body parts to what was shouted.
|Tongue to elbow.|
Anna and I made it to the finals but lost out to Joe and Sarah behind us.
Game #2 - Oreo Face Race! Split an Oreo in half and stick the half with the cream on your forehead. Using your face muscles, move it down into your mouth and enjoy your victory. We did a waterfall race and it was intense. Some people were trying to hard, their faces started to heat up and melt the cream, making the cookie just stick and not be able to slide down. After an intense battle of probably almost 15 minutes, we emerged victorious.
And, no surprise here, you look absolutely ridiculous playing. But, it's so fun you don't care! Definitely bringing this back to the States.
Another 72km tomorrow with a 1000m overall climb. Not looking forward to that at all. Huế has been so good to us. Western food, french food, pizza, massages, mani/pedis, and SNICKERS bars, oh boy. Another 2 weeks before we get back to that on the daily (HA!).
'Til next time, folks.