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.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hoi An-Hue

Total Distance:135.31km
Total Time:8h37m07s
Average Speed:15.7km/h
Maximum Speed:48.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:5519.03km

I'm slowly learning that just because you think something should be, it doesn't always mean it is. For example, you would think that when I left Hoi An this morning and everyone working at the hotel asked me where I was going, after telling them they would have warned me that there are two roads that run between Hoi An and Denang, one of which the wind is only moderate while the other is one long wind tunnel. You would also think they would have told me about the giant mountain that I would have to cross just outside of Denang. You would think they would then tell me that you don't actually have to go over the mountain, as there is an alternate route with a tunnel that passes through the mountain. You might even think they would mention the severe decline in temperature as you draw nearer to the top. You would think that the American guy in his rented pickup truck, who could clearly see me struggling to get up the mountain would, instead of merely stopping to take a photo of me huffing and puffing my way along, offer me a lift. You would think, as it would be completely logical to think, that all these things would be so. In fact they are not and, as a result, my day ended up a hell of a lot more difficult than it had to be.
I did, in fact, unknowingly take the hard way from Hoi An to Denang. After passing through Denang I did encounter an enormous mountain. I did discover, only after arriving in Hue exhausted from the days events, that there is indeed an alternate route which includes a tunnel as a means of bypassing the mountain pass. With second I drew closer to the summit, I did freeze my arse off more and more. I did watch as the ignorant American took a photo of my struggle, commenting to his girlfriend as to how that would be one for the scrapbook. And so, I'm slowly learning that just because you think something should be, it doesn't always mean it is.
There were some up sides to todays events though. As a result I got a pretty nice view of China Beach, which stretches almost all the way from Hoi An to Denang. The mountain pass, difficult though it was, was actually quite breath taking. Once at the top I got a chance to see a bunker left over from the American War, which was pretty cool. Although I wasn't offered a lift up, I did receive a certain sense of accomplishment once I completed climbing the mountain. So, it wasn't all bad.
Hoi An was great. I got a chance to catch up to some friends who I thought I would have long missed. I got some clothes tailored. I would have liked to get more, but it wasn't within the budget of time frame. I have never had clothes tailored before and, I must say, I like it. They fit perfectly. Even though I only had some simple things made, a pair of pants and a couple of shirt, they may just be the best cothes I've ever owned. They fit like a glove, they're exactly the style I wanted, and the colrs suit me perfectly. I was going to spend one more day there, but left in fear that I wouldn't be able to controll my shopping addiction. Hoi An isn't a cheap town by any means, but if you're looking for a place to treat yourself, it's a good one. The food is great, the fashion is abundant, and the town itself has a pretty relaxing vibe.
Although I did extend my visa I'm still under a bit of a time crunch. This means more long, hard cycling days. No more 90km jaunts. I'm in Hue now, having opted to skip a nights stay in Denang. It didn't seem like there was a whole lot to do there anyway, aside from the Museum Of Cham Sculptures. It would have been nice to see, but not worth a day that could be better spent doning something, or various things, more worth the time. After Hue it's off to the North, then Laos. Still no word on a good bike shop to get Fred all fixed up. I seem to have pretty good luck with these sorts of things though, so I'm not too worried about it.

1 comment:

saysomethinginappropriate said...

Dear lady who was riding up that HUUUUGE mountain hill. You're an inspiration to me. I will think of you as I head back to my native country of America where god blesses me everyday with Hamburgers and the Correct way of thinking.

To think in my country I probably would have been forced to hit you with my SUV so I could beat the line at Krispy Kream, or at the very least tear gas you for having different beliefs like riding bikes.

Just wait till my friends see my scrapbook of foreign things. Thank you for inhaling my exhaust, we all must do our part to reduce Co2 emissions.