On November 4th Fred the bike is embarking on a six month journey across Southeast Asia. Starting in Singapore, Fred plans to make his way up the west coast of Malaysia, across Thailand, Cambodia, up through Vietnam and into Laos. After that... who knows? Fred invites you to follow him through his adventure. Any advice from fellow travelers is always welcome.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Phan Rang-Dalat

Total Distance:111.27
Total Time:8h55m33s
Average Speed:12.4km/h(this is not a joke 12.4km/h)
Maximum Speed:37.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:4714.89km

OH-MY-GOD!!! This was, bar none, the hardest day of my life. Forget anything I've ever told you about difficulties I may have encountered along my journey. This was so hard. The worst part is, it's only going to get harder. The first little bit of the day was great. I had no problems navigating my way out of Phan Rang. Initially, the hills weren't too bad. I was making great time. Things were certainly going my way. Then... OH-MY-GOD!!! Climbing up that mountain, that wretched aweful mountain, which sits just under 1500m above sea level... OH-MY-GOD!!! It was the hill that never ended. There was absolutely no relief. The entire thing was up hill. You would think at some point it would at least plateau for a little bit, but no. It just kept going up, and up. It wasn't that steep. At no point did I have to get off and walk it, but it was so long. So very, very long.
Mountain bikes come equiped with three gears on the front. The lowest one for climbing hills. Fred, however, only has two. Making a lot more difficult than it had to be. It took me so long to get to Dalat. I really didn't think it would be that bad. I also thought there would be more places to stop. After about two hours, I ran out of water and didn't find any until about two hours later. Luckily, I packed some fruit I had bought at the market in Phan Rang the night before. It was a hard day. The only saving grace was the thought of going back down on my way to Nha Trang. There I will attempt to have a third gear put on the front of Fred. If it's a no go, we might end up bussing it. We'll see.
Dalat is amazing. Without a doubt, my favorite place in Vietnam so far. There's so much to see and do here. Biking, hiking, mountains, waterfalls. Everywhere you turn is nature and beauty. The days are hot, but the nights are a little cool. It's a nice change from the coast. The city itself is pretty laid back. It's the first time I haven't felt ripped off in a touristy destination in Vietnam. Prices, while a little high, are more fair, accomodations are affordable, and food is cheap. I really like it here.
Next I head to Nha Trang. Being that it's the tourist hot spot of Vietnam, I suppose I should go. This means, though, that I will have to reclimb those terrible mountains in order to get back into the highlands. I guess what diesn't kill me only makes me stronger.

1 comment:

saysomethinginappropriate said...

Put "The final countdown" on loop and you'll make it! I love the blog, keep writing!