Cycling Day 63 – Thanh Hoa to Cau Giat
Today almost started with disaster as we rocked up to breakfast at 9 to be told it had just finished. Luckily they took pity on us and we were able to fuel up for today’s ride to Cau Giat. After we had safely secured food and got over the shock of the 9am cut-off we concluded the hotels policy was probably fair enough as most Vietnamese are probably up at 6am. Their work ethic is incredible – no wonder companies like North Face outsource manufacturing here.
Although we ended up at Cau Giat, we were pretty undecided on where to aim for today. We decided on a plan of cycling at least 70k and then looking for a decent hotel. There wasn’t a huge amount of options other than highway 1 so we got our heads down and headed out into the mayhem. We were both a little uneasy about riding down highway 1 before the trip but it continues to be not too bad. That’s assuming you don’t mind lorries, potholes, dust and a varying shoulder width. To be honest the randomness kind of adds to the charm.
School kids in their blue and white jackets were a frequent sight again throughout the ride. They often ride in massive groups and 2 or 3 a breast which is a bit surprising – I cant imagine parents in the UK being so relaxed with their kids riding next to cement trucks etc. Though saying that, It feels as if drivers are so used to bikes that in general they are pretty considerate, particularly given the road conditions. Lorries and buses generally honk repeatedly as they approach and also as they go past.
We’ve begun to pick up bread based snacks from roadside vendors where possible. Whilst places to eat are extremely regular as are places to get water, its nice to have something on hand to help with the inevitable hunger. This is especially the case if we only have a pho for lunch. Though tasty and light, I’ve found myself pretty peckish soon after. Today we picked up a kind of sweet bun filled with dried pork and some dried onion on the top – it was a bit odd but tasted ok.
If you fancy seeing the ride unfold, here it is in just 9 mins 🙂