HCMC Dining Guide

Sunday, April 14, 2013

H2H 2013 Day 9: Killing it

This day was a long one distance-wise, 92km (57 miles), but everyone ended up shredding it, with the consensus upon arrival in Dong Hoi that it had not felt that long. The first half of the ride out of Dong Le consisted of some of the best scenery yet - incredibly green paddies, jagged karsts draped in low clouds. Luckily it was mostly dry, though the weather changed on a dime several times - you would go around a curve in the road and hit light rain, only to go around the next bend and have things completely dry out. It seems that the mountains in this area (Quang Binh province) wreak havoc on the weather patterns.

Unfortunately the beauty was marred in a few areas by resource extraction. The entire faces of karsts were being strip mined for use in a factory across the road.

I also spotted a reminder that this was one of the most heavily-bombed parts of the country during the Vietnam War: two SUVs from the Mine Action Group, an NGO that works to clear landmines and unexploded ordinance (UXO). Huge sections of Vietnam still contain countless munitions dropped by the French and American air forces during their respective wars here, and they pose a deadly risk to locals.

The second half of the ride took us back to Highway 1, which meant smooth sailing but lots of close encounters with large vehicles. With a bit of a tailwind I was able to crank out the last 40km or so in about 90 minutes, and stopped outside of a supermarket to wait for the rest of the team to arrive.
the 'roller coaster' at our lunch stop
After stocking up on booze and food we made our way to our hotel. Another day in the bag. That night we even had some Western food at the swanky Saigon Hotel. All in all not a bad day.

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