It was just one of those days, it was tough and not because it was really tough riding at all. My legs are fatigued, definitely. But today was hot, from the moment I rode out at 7:00am the sun was intense. It was a day the kilometres were longer than other days. I am sure everyone has them. For no apparent reason I just couldn’t get my legs cranking and I wasn’t feeling the love!
So it required a few coconut stops. They are awesome, they taste great, they re-hydrate and they are just plain delicious. The women where I stopped were a little confused that I wanted coconut and coffee. Probably one counteracts the other but whatever, today it was “whatever gets me through” it was a three coconut kinda day. I rolled into Quy Ngon 8 hours later, which was 6 hours of riding.
It’s a happening sort of place Quy Ngon, on the beach with all the big name shops, wide streets and parklands, pretty nice really. I was so over it by the time it came to finding somewhere to stay. My phone had died, I couldn’t research any hotels, so I grabbed out my Lonely Planet guide. It recommended a hotel with ocean views. Sounds grand, I found it and asked how much? It was cheap, I should have asked to look at a room but the thought of traipsing up endless flights of stairs in one of those typical, but ridiculously tall Vietnamese buildings just didn’t appeal. Big error, the room was horrible and what made it worse was the power fluctuations in the ancient building seemed to effect my adaptor to charge my phone. I then had to ride back to the centre of town to the phone shop and get it sorted. Well it wasn’t all bad, I came across the Co-op, which is a pretty decent supermarket. I bought all sorts of stuff, like fresh milk, peanut butter, fresh dates and bread rolls. That lifted my spirits and I am certainly looking forward to stuffing my face.
The entire way from Hanoi to here I have noticed that different villages specialize in different things, you see nothing but a particular thing in a village, it’s only in that area, then you don’t see it in the same volume again. Which makes sense really, it’s what grows best in that area, or it is purely a supply/demand thing. For instance, just prior to Dong Ha there was shop after shop selling large packets of laundry detergent. It was every shop, for kilometres. The only thing I came up with is that it is a main route to Laos and it’s something that is either expensive or poor quality in Laos. Then there were villages with pineapples, thousands and thousands, incense sticks, marble statues and the list goes on. The road today took me through village that bags up chaff. There was chaff all heaped up on the shoulder of the road. It was spread out in order to dry then bagged up. Extremely labour intensive, they sure work hard in this country, who am I to complain about riding my bike! Oh well tomorrow is another day, I will leave earlier and complain less!
Well today was as good as yesterday felt bad. I woke up to the most glorious sunrise, at the crappiest hotel in Quy Nhon, the view was good though!
I had bought peanut butter and a bread rolls, so breakfast was sorted. I was on the road just after 6:00am and it was good to head off in the cool of the morning. The ride between Quy Nhon and Song Cau along AH1 was excellent. Butted up against the mountains to my west and the ocean to the east it was beautiful. There were some climbs, but nothing too dramatic, followed by some brilliant downhills. The wind was a little gusty but generally behind me. There was lots to look at along the way so the kilometres seemed to pass quickly.
At the top of one of the climbs I came across a group of cyclists out on a training run. I am not sure if they are part of the Vietnam cycling team or not, but they were keen for a photo, it’s actually really quite fine to stop in the middle of a major highway at the top of a hill and take selfies I am sure, so thats what we did!
I arrived in Tuy Hoa early afternoon. Kind of an unusual Vietnamese town in that it is very spread out and just doesn’t have the same hustle and bustle of other major towns. Being Sunday a lot is closed too. I decided I had time to find a better place to stay, the first 2 hotels/guesthouses were booked out. I had passed several weddings on the way into town, maybe that was why. The 3rd hotel, the room didn’t have a window so I declined. I ended up going to a slightly upmarket place after last nights hotel, I just wanted something nicer, a fitting end to a good day!