HCMC Dining Guide

Sunday, April 14, 2013

H2H 2013 Day 10: The super soaker

The 100km cycle from Dong Hoi to Cam Lo was easily the most miserable yet. After three days of sun at the start of H2H we've been riding under nothing but overcast and occasional light rain for over a week. I don't understand how an entire half of a country can be cloudy for so long.

When we gathered for stretching in Dong Hoi it was already starting to drizzle, and by the time we set off it was properly raining. My rain jacket was buried in one of the support vans, so I was going in nothing but my cycling shirt. We made our way back to the Ho Chi Minh Highway, and after I made sure everyone turned in the right direction I took off. A few minutes later I suddenly noticed a motorbike with two complete dickweeds on it blasting towards me from the opposite direction. They swerved at the last second while shouting and laughing, and I was furious. I usually have no desire to hurt people, but when people pull moronic shit like that I want nothing more than to have a blunt object I can whip out and crack across the driver's face. I don't understand why some people think it's funny to nearly run over cyclists. I learned later on that they had done the same thing to several other riders.

Once I calmed down I settled into a rhythm and the kilometers fell away, though I was soaking wet and very cold. We were in the middle of nowhere, and there wasn't a restaurant in sight until we were nearly 70km in. We had a great lunch while everyone recounted the strange sights they had seen that day: the previously mentioned motorbike cowboys, someone firing a shotgun, a man masturbating on the side of the ride, an old woman in a car repeatedly sticking her tongue out at someone, a man with a disfigured face, and some sort of forest troll. I guess when you're in Quang Tri province, one of the most bombed areas on the planet, weird shit happens.
We were all absolutely freezing, and knew the final 30kms to Cam Lo would be awful. For the first few minutes after setting off I was shivering uncontrollably, but once I got the blood flowing things settled down. Amazingly the rain even slacked off towards the end, and I rolled up to the Blue Hotel (famous among H2Hers for its strange bedsheet stains and presumed link to prostitution) happy to have this one over with. Cam Lo is basically just an intersection, so with nothing to do we played a few silly games and finished off the beer we had bought in Dong Hoi. The following day we would be heading to Hue, where we would have our first rest day. Woo!

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