Riding into the Night
Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
360Trip End Aug 21, 2011
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Where I stayed
Above a Mattress Shop
We felt the need to make the most of the bakeries before leaving town so stocked up on pain au chocolates and other breads for the journey ahead. Part of our relaxed approach to the day was that we knew that the first 20 miles back to Lao Cai were downhill. We enjoyed the descent, very little pedalling for almost 2 hours. Unfortunately we descended into the fog that is so common to this area but the views from the winding road gave plenty to marvel at.
Back in Lao Cai we didn't hang around, largely due to some ridiculously loud street music
On we went, weighing up the new country. Although we had been in Vietnam for two days, this was really the first taste of the true Vietnam (Sapa was set up for tourists and very nice it was too). The early signs were positive. The thousands of motorbikes flooded past. The people were warm and friendly (a few were idiots but they were drunk young blokes who certainly should not have been driving a bike). The road was smooth and there was lots to look at (I particularly enjoyed the moped that went past with a coffin strapped to the back! Polly said "Was that a coffin on the back of that bike?" I said “Yes Polly, it was”).
We had our first taste of local food and enjoyed the pork and rice dish, even if it took about an hour to arrive
A few annoying hills on we saw the lights to a town. We asked at a café and the girl jumped on her moped and beckoned for us to follow. She took us to a mattress shop which turned out to be a front for a guesthouse. The pink frilly room was a delight (!?). Across the street we enjoyed some egg noodles and dodgy dried meat (thought it was pork, now think it was chicken, either way it was rubbish).
A good day back on the bike even if it did drag on too long. Must buy some Aviators, looks like it is going to be sunny. (Also - note to self, never believe peple who saw the road is flat unless they have actually cycled it. The tourist office guy was LYING!!!)
68 long miles, 50 before it got dark!