Now they are tan marks !
Started climb and headed away from coast. Got hot. Stopped early and after about 25 miles due to possible lack of hotels on the 75 mile stretch to Da Lat. Ordered seafood Hot pot for 1. A serious gut bash which I struggled to finish but did. ????????
Chipped my tooth. I say chipped. More of a broken tooth. I filed the sharp bit down with my Swiss knife. So all good now ????.
April 2nd. 75 miles. 6200 feet of climbing.
The temperature drops by almost 10 degrees and the lakes in the area are big and supply the water that is constantly sprinkled over the greenery. The map was right and a great call to stop early yesterday. There is not much in the way of lodging until Da Lat.
It was hot to start. A tail wind didn’t help with this. It climbed steadily to a reservoir. After that it got steep. I climbed for about 2:30-3hrs very steep and very hot. Hit 42 degrees up that bloody climb with the bike fully loaded. Climbed 6200 feet total. You can see how steep it was by the speed. I was trying hard there! 43.4 degrees!
The plateau and breeze through the village towards the top was a Welcome respite. Half way!Met some guys at lunch who didn’t understand why I was doing it on a bike. They had hired Motorcycles and were struggling with the heat and having to drink lots as it was. They got stopped by police at the bottom and fined 1 million VND (about £35) due to no licence. Once paid they cracked on. I reached La Dat around 5 just before dark. It gets dark by 6pm here. Went to check in to hotel to discover I had left my passport 75 miles down the hill at the last hotel ????????.
Vietnamese law says the hotel can’t take you if no passport!little bit of panic set in. I was tired. Soaked through with sweat which had also left salt marks on all my clothes and covered in the road dust that sticks to you whilst you’re sweating. I really didn’t feel like camping.
Coffee shop! Coffee shops have been a bit of a saviour on this trip. Ice coffee and Internet. You can chill out book the hotel dry out cool down etc. Also I found that almost every one I have been into someone speaks English. Sure enough the girl behind the bar spoke great English. She sorted me a hotel (well pointed me in the right direction) and called the last hotel to get them to post my passport to NHA Trang my next destination after Da Lat. sorted. I hope ????
April 3rd. 10 miles ridden.
Did the tourist thing. Had a hair cut for a pound! Rode round lake. Looked at flowers ????. (the bonsai trees were good). Got the Cable car to one of the biggest lakes in the area.
Da Lat is super chilled. Cooler. Greener. A great place and I’m pleased I took the detour from the coast. A must do in my book! The mountain road up and down is some of the best riding I have done and easily as tough as any alpine climb. Easily!
There were a few climbs to start. A little lumpy.
Met an Australian guy who used to farm in Oz. He supplied the lettuce to Mc Donald’s. Said it wasn’t that easy and moved to the mountains near Da Lat. He does the same now here and supplies the Asian Mc D’s market. Said he had made a shit load of money here where in Oz it was much tougher. He also runs a small hotel where you can also camp. That’s how we got chatting he spotted me checking out the site. Interesting guy. As well as that he supplies most of the irrigation systems here. (The sprinklers).
After about 25k I hit the decent. 40k downhill. Amazing views and great roads to motor down. I hit 40 plus with the pannier loaded monster. Whipping past the mopeds and the odd truck. Easy to get carried away ????????????☀️
I met a couple taking pictures towards the top. They had started on bikes from Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) and planned to do their trip by bike. The heat and general effort killed them off a bit so they dumped them for mopeds. I was laughing at them both. I could see when they were explaining by their expressions how hard they had found it and they seemed surprised which made me laugh more. They set of a few seconds before me I chased them and I flew past them not seeing them again for about 30k.
Followed the river into NHA Trang off the main road. Arrived a beach about 6pm after 88 miles. NHA Trang is back to full resort mode. A far cry from the mountains I’ll miss them but I am sure I’ll be back in city mayhem mode before lunch tomorrow ????????????
P.S. Can’t find passport! Can’t leave here until I do. Could be a few days by the beach again. Tough life.
So far from 4th March to 4 th April. Ridden 1000 miles. (Feels like more). Burnt 58,550 calories and been in saddle for 74 hours.
Found passport. Took some doing but that’s a story for another time.
By the way. If you’re reading this blog bloody like it. It takes time and can be a bind. Right now it seems I’m writing it for my Mum n Dad!! Just like this one. Just so I know. Thank you.
Be safe but not too safe. That’s boring ????