HCMC Dining Guide

Friday, April 5, 2013

H2H 2013 Day 3: Rising Heat

No one got a good night of sleep on Vu Ban thanks to steaming hot rooms and rock-hard beds. We ate breakfast at a fork in the road and stretched at another football field.

 We had about 11km to cycle before hitting the Ho Chi Minh Highway, and this took a while thanks to the horrid road conditions. There were a few random paved stretches thrown in, but for the most part it was more bumping along stones and potholes.

 Eventually we reached the highway, which is a beautifully paved newer road that cuts through much of Vietnam's interior. This particular stretch skirts Cuc Phuong national park and is lined with limestone karsts draped in verdant forests. The riding was great, with some lengthy downhills and a couple of rewarding climbs.

 We stopped for lunch at Cam Thuy, about 40km (halfway) into the ride. The town sits at an intersection between two highways, and there were lots of trucks and buses passing through. For some reason every single driver found it necessary to blast their painfully loud horns every time they neared the crossroads. If someone could explain the reasoning behind the obnoxious amount of honking here I would really appreciate it. It's infuriating.
 It was really hot by the time we set off after lunch, but the rest of the day's ride would at least be mostly flat.
 We stopped to hydrate about 15km from Quan Lao, our stop for the night, and had a pool game behind the shop.
The heat was draining, and I simply couldn't quench my thirst. I had probably ingested a couple of liters of liquid by that point, and I wasn't urinating much of it out. I got back on the bike and powered through the last stretch to town, found the hotel we stayed in last year, and began to relax. Hoards of students were cycling home from school, creating a raucous scene as they shouted 'hello!' and went for high-fives.

Most of the riders seemed to think that this day was more difficult than day two with its hill, simply due to the heat. I put more blame on the lack of decent sleep we had gotten the night before. Either way, we knocked out another 85km and are on our way to the coast today.

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