It has rained a lot, I can’t determine if this is normally an everyday occurrence for torrential down pours to occur most of the day only to be broken up by drizzle, I have been riding around in a sea of cycling poncho’s.
From what I can make out, this is normal for this area. Apparently once I pass over the Hai Van Pass the weather will change. Well it can’t possibly rain more heavily than it has been, so it must be less. So bring on 10km of serious uphill, I am sick of being drenched! Even telling myself “at least it’s not hot” is wearing a bit thin.
So I spent the night in Hue, I bought an umbrella and walked to the Citadel. It was built in the early 1800’s by the Emperor, at that time Hue was the ruling capital of Vietnam, the dynasty ruled Vietnam until the late 1800’s when a young Emperor was convinced to sign documents ultimately handing the country over to the French for 60 years. Then there was a war and yes it was bombed. In 1993 it was World Heritage listed and what is left of it is being restored.
I can imagine in the day, it was absolutely stunning, the dynasty’s love of ceremony and colour, the history was equally colourful, eunuchs acting as confidants to the Emperor and often manipulating situations to better there position. The Emperors would have dozens of wives, and concubines, the first wife holding enormous power and the mother of the Emperor having the most power. The eunuchs would decide during the day which women would share the Emperor’s bed. I think of the movie The King and I and imagine it would be a lot like that in its opulence, and the politics more like a soap opera.
I headed out of Hue this morning after staying at the Jade Hotel, which by any standards would win the “Best customer service” award. As they sent me out the door with supplies for the day, fruit and bread. I didn’t see them doing the same for the other guests, I think they were worried about how far I had to go!
I arrived in Lang Co, a beach side town on the northern side of the Hai Van Pass, it is definitely not beach weather. I had a couple of practice passes today, which were really not too bad at all, with some stunning views. I was surprised how well I managed to push up them since my legs feel a bit tired and looking forward to a couple of rest days in Hoi An.
As I came into Lang Co, Google Maps said I still had about 5km to go, when I saw the Lang Co Beach Resort. I stopped in such a hurry, realising that I was at my destination, I forgot I had my feet clipped in. I very un-ceremoniously fell over. Landing on my knee, which was now bleeding. A young man came out to help me and of course he has a guest house across the road! Well, it’s basic, very cheap and dry! And the young man was really nice, so I took up his offer of a room. I am sure the Lang Co Beach Resort across the road is way more upmarket, but dripping wet, covered in dirt from the road and a bleeding knee, I feel like I fit in much better on this side of the road.
Time to rest, eat and get ready for the morning hill climb!