Elevation gain: Minimal, some downhill
Headwind: None! TAILWIND!
Weather: mid 70s, humid, overcast
We started off around 7:30 am down Highway 1. Google Weather told us it would rain all day, so when we woke up and it was dry, we scrambled to get on the road and get as many miles in before the rain came.
The rain never came. Thank goodness!
Highway 1 is a busy road, with a wide shoulder. Different people told us myriad different things about cycling on this highway, and it is not as dangerous, scary, crowded, dirty, etc. etc. as some made it out to be. It is busy, that is for sure, but drivers of vehicles of all sizes are liberally press on their horns to notify you of their presence so you always have some idea who or what is around you. Vietnam's roads are also abuzz with two-wheeled vehicles and we have seen many locals riding bikes on this road, and all of the roads to be exact.
Our ride was mostly uneventful. We stopped in a tiny town for a delicious Bahn Mi (Vietnamese sandwich) and the very kind shop owners shared some liquid Tiger Balm with us, insisting that we lather our knees up before pedaling off. This was helpful as Ryan's right knee started acting up a few miles before our pit stop.
We rolled into Quand Ngai in the early afternoon and parked in a cafe where we nursed cold beers and creamy, molten Vietnamese coffee while waiting for our Couchsurfing host to get off work. As day became night, we met up with fun and friendly Duyet, who took us out for delicious local food, and around his city. We were so grateful for his hospitality!
Lessons learned from day 2:
1. If your vehicle has two wheels, driving on the right is merely a suggestion
2. Stop regularly to stretch
3. Do not drink espresso after 2pm
Day 3: Quand Ngai to Sa Huynh
Elevation gain: Minimal, but all the hills waited until the very end
Headwind: Minimal, mostly tailwind or welcomed cross-breeze
Weather: Mostly overcast with patches of hot, hot sun
We woke up quite early this morning and headed straight to the market, which was around the corner from Duyet's house. There we tried a few new foods - I have no idea what they were, just that they were sweet, gelatinous and wrapped in banana leaves, oh and very tasty! He left for work just before 7am, and we were off on day three! Hooray, except that Ryan's right knee is being a bother.
We knew that we could do another 38.5 miles, and with time on our side, we took it easy. We stopped every 10 miles or so to rest, stretch and hydrate - and treat ourselves to one of the best meals we've had in Asia! With two piping hot bowls of Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) before us, with two poached eggs each, we knew that we could finish the day with flying colors! That is, until ALL of the hills were within the last ten miles of our ride, just around the time we were getting hungry and Ryan's right knee was calling it quits.
Nevertheless we made it to Sa Huynh, a tiny town along the coast. We have a lovely hotel room with a sweeping view of palm trees and the South China Sea and all afternoon to rest, wash off layer upon layer of dust, grit and sunscreen, and enjoy life.
Lessons learned from day 3:
1. Knees are finicky
2. Vu Sua (star apple) is a well-kept secret!
3. Vietnam is gorgeous