Valentine Void

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Flag of Vietnam  , Nghệ An,
Monday, February 14, 2011

We spent ages trying to decide which way to go this morning. Google mapping gone wild, we couldn't commit to either leaving the busy, loud but flat and direct National Highway 1, or head up into the mountains for the quieter Ho Chi Minh Expressway.  The latter would have added quite a few miles on, so we opted for sticking with the road which has driven us mad over the last couple of days.  The driving has been as bad as any we have seen.  The buses and trucks seem to have found horns which outdo any oil tanker or speeding train on the planet.  It is the most heart stopping and aggressive noise you can imagine and putting up with it for five hours a day is not much fun.

I am also yet to feel much love for the people of Vietnam.  If it is not the driving, it is the annoying kids shouting or the young blokes howling around on their motorbikes. The continuous overpricing when we stop for food and drinks is also annoying.  It has been said that the people of Cambodia plant the rice, the people of Laos harvest it and the Vietnamese sell it.  You can see why. 

We completely jinxed the weather back in Hanoi when we splashed out on 4 pairs of sunglasses. 2 sporty numbers that we could wear on the bike and 2 pairs of very flash designer sorts.  The guy assured me they were real Georgio Armani and for 2 a pair I liked his style.  The weather has been pretty uninspiring since.  The sun drenched white sands are yet to materialise and the Highway # 1 is a bore.  Sorry, I am really moaning again.  Shut up Neville.

Breaky was good baguette and coffee the Vietnamese way, very short and strong with condensed milk sitting on the base.  It is not bad if not too sweet for our liking.   We sped along at 15mph.  It is very easy cycling at the moment.  If Vietnam is nothing else so far, it is certainly flat.

There was nothing to report along the way.  A drinks stop after 25 miles (as we sat a guy passed riding a moped which had a 15 foot tree planted on the front – see photo) and a hosing down of the bikes after 40 miles.  The lad did a good job, power hosing and then soaping up the mud caked bikes.  Today is of course Valentine’s Day.  Polly reminded me after 10 miles of cycling this morning and I felt pretty bad that in the first year of marriage I had missed the chance, NIL POINTS.

We arrived in a town after 50 miles of flat and uneventful pedalling.  The first hotel was big and characterless.  That will do nicely!  It was new and clean and we were even able to order some beef fried noodles for supper.  A stroll into town along the perilously dark highway was well worth it.  Not only were we able to talk to Neville parents but we also bought some fresh baguettes for the morning.  Not much to write home about today but I have certainly had worse Mondays.

Miles cycled: 51 still flat miles

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Jojo on

Have got to dash off to work - I've made myself late readingthe bloggs - will catch up later - Loved the last picture!

triciagick on

Well (Lindy please note) Hanoi sounds great - bit of a pity you haven't really liked the locals. Have spotted all the stops on my excellent map and had imagined it was all seaside and sun as my map has little people swimming all along that coast! Dads and I off to check out Newton this weekend - so he'd better be on his best behaviour.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

triciagick on

Oh and guess who else didn't get a Valentine card Pols - thirty years of marriage this year too!!!! No doubt Mikey will not miss your imminent half year wedding anniversary! All love you two and hope you get to use those smooth shades very soon. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Jojo on

I've never had a Valentine card from Chrisopher or anybody else but I'll live. It all looks so facinating - love the rock formations but pity the sun was not shining. The food looks pretty good but I think I would pass up on the coffee. When are you going to hit those beaches? It won't be long now until you are reuited with Dan the Man and Clare - where are you meeting up?

Amanda is now in charge of a class in school and seems to be very happy although she was terribly nervous - Tricia was a real star and gave her loads of stuff - enough, Amanda reckons, to last all her schoold days. She says she was really embaressed that Dom sent her an enormous bouquet of flowers to the school on the 14th - but I think she was ticked pink!

All love Jojo and Christopher

Amanda Mae on

Not in charge of a class - yet!!! First week of second placement is all and it has been really nice and I owe your mummy a bottle of something nice, she really did sort me out with thousands of things to do with a reception class - AMAZING and Mrs Gick really went above and beyond by writing individual notes on how well they worked and recommendations of how I could use them!!! xxxxx

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