Cycling Day 78 – Kon Tum to Pleiku
Today was a relatively short ride into Pleiku which wasn’t the greatest day from my perspective. We started off from the Konklor hotel which was a newly established hotel on the outskirts of Kon Tum with a focus on bringing the benefits of tourism to the minority people of Kon K’lor. We took a short walk around the village last night and met a few locals. We were surprised to see how many people had karaoke systems in their own homes – it is incredibly popular in Vietnam!
Setting off about 8, we stopped for breakfast at a Banh Mi stall where we got the chance to chat to a few kids who were amazed by our presence. They insisted on posing for the camera a few times while our Banh Mis were made. Unfortunately the sandwiches weren’t very good so we stopped off again for some noodle soup (pho bo and bun cha ca) before leaving Kon Tum to the south. It felt really hot today, with 30+ degrees and reasonably high humidity making for an uncomfortable mix of sweat and sunscreen in our eyes. Although Andy likes hot weather when we’re cycling, I far prefer cooler temperatures where you can at least use a jacket to stay comfortable rather than just sweating all day.
The road from Kon Tum to Pleiku was almost entirely under construction and was subject to heavy traffic, meaning we had a poor road surface slowing us down and big trucks putting lots of dust in the air for us to breathe. There were quite a few tractors which seemed intent on racing us up the hills. Although today was relatively short in terms of distance and elevation, the bumpy gravel roads, heat and traffic made it fairly uncomfortable and a day that I won’t remember too fondly.
We’ve now arrived in Pleiku where we have a rest day after nearly a week of cycling through the mountains. From here we leave again on Christmas Day to head south towards Buon Ma Thuot, with the aim of climbing up to Dalat for New Year’s Eve.