Back to Business as Usual

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

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Where I stayed
Dong Kharh Hotel

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hoi An was one of those places which was really hard to leave. It was one of the most beautiful places we have been to and with the stunning beach nearby and numerous wonderful restaurants we could have settled here for a week.  I think we would have left with a new wardrobe also, the tailors and shoemakers were making anything you wanted at rock bottom prices.  Carrying a big pair of new shoes around for a while is stupid enough, at least I didn't order a few suits or even the Duffle coat which caught my eye.

Steve met us at the hotel and rented a very stylish shopping bike complete with basket, to join us on our ride out of town.  It was very strange heading out for the day with company.  A few wrong turns amongst the paddie fields gave Steve a taste of what it is like each day.  We then found ourselves back on Highway 1 at which point Steve, very sensibly, decided to leave us and head back to the tranquillity of Hoi An ("I can ride my bike up and down the A27 back home thank you very much!" were his exact words). We’ll will meet up with him at Gatwick for his third leg of our trip in August.

Back on the Highway it was business as usual.  The buses were at full honking level and it wasn’t long before we were shouting and swearing at these idiots once more.  There were a couple of major differences since our last riding two days ago.  The first being the ridiculous congestion on the hard shoulder.  Our saviour on this road has been a smooth and pretty wide hard shoulder which gives us some safety zone from the traffic.  However, today it was so full up with school kids and other cyclists that we had to keep veering out to get any speed up.  The second difference was the head wind.  It really slowed us down and made the 75 miles feel more like 100.  Instead of our 15mph without effort which we have become used to on the flat roads of Vietnam, we were back down to a struggling 10mph making it a very long day in the saddle.  The final difference is one I am happy to report on, it was really hot and sunny.  I’m sure in a couple of days we will be complaining about how hot it is but for today we enjoyed the much improved weather.

The 75 miles finally came to a close at 6pm.  Having left Hoi An at 10am we’d had enough.  Along the way we had enjoyed a couple of nice stops, one with a lovely family who were very proud to show off their baby daughter and another stop where a very old lady with quite a disfigured face went out of her way to give us a nice icy cold drink.  It was dark after we’d checked out a couple of hotels and we settled for one which was not trying to rip us off by charging dollars instead of the local rates.  A quick bite to eat along the road where the chef invited us to pick out our ingredients (we went for fish and courgette stems) finished a long day off nicely.

We have been trying to calculate distances today to our next stop in Mui Ne where we meet Dan and Claire.  8 or 9 days cycling so we should be there to meet them.  Already looking forward to kicking back on a beach again.

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