Ho Chi Minh City to Dong Xoai 110km
Dong Xoai to Phouc Long 55km
I convinced Ju that it would be more hassle getting to a train station,on to a train and out of a city, than cycling through the traffic, especially as it was a public holiday, so there wouldn't be nearly as much traffic.....
Ju: Um, well, there still was. But it was great fun. had a blast.
She did really well, as there was still quite a bit if traffic, and big intersections and round abouts. I reckon it was really fun, especially having my trailer back. Wow the front end of Fiona was feeling really light. We saw heaps of the usual stuff...wrong way scooters, pedestrians in the middle of the road, reversing trucks, locals with chinese hats, on old dunga cycles.....
Ju. It seemed like mass confusion, but just hold your line. I felt very brave, tucking in behind Grum.
We even got to go on a ferry across another branch of the Mekong. Then we had to make a choice. East for 60km, to an area that didn't seem to have many towns, or hotels, or North for 90km to a town that might have a hotel..... The road wasn't too busy, but pretty industrial. Lots of big trucks hauling sand and gravel, and the road was pretty rough. So not much to take photos of, except the "hot" lady cycling with me.
Ju: No comment.
Somehow I managed to strain my right thigh. I was in a bit of pain for most the afternoon, but Ju was doing so well, so I struggled along silently. We found a pretty good hotel, and a tasty fried rice and vegetables. The locals are a bit shy about speaking English, but like to stare.... We were taken out for coffee by Tho, daughter An, and nephew Luong, all keen to practice their English. Lovely meeting them and chatting.
The second day started with bread and bananas for breakfast, and a ride through the market back to the main road. Pretty challenging, but lots of fun. Ju managed to get some of it on GoPro.
Today's cycling was a lot more pleasant. The first hills for many weeks. We were stopped a couple of times for photos and chats, and were shown through a cashew nut processing plant. Fascinating. Once again lovely people. At one stop, for sugarcane juice, I had a baby thrust into my arms, and we were offered a three year old girl, to take away. Ju politely turned them down.
Arriving at Phouc Long, and my thigh is pretty sore, so we start to look for a motel. We are helped by Phuonz, who also took us out for coffee, and eventually find a cozy motel. Dinner is not so easy. One guy refused to serve us....just too hard for him. I know I'm a fussy eater, but I'm sorry, I couldn't stomach some of the stuff we see being prepared, so I try to ask nicely and point at what I want. This guy just told us to go somewhere else. Oh well. Baggettes and salad.