HCMC Dining Guide

Saturday, April 20, 2013

H2H 2013 Day 15: A stunner

Last year's ride from Thanh My to Kham Duc (57km) was miserable - soaking wet, cold, and utterly hateful. This time the weather couldn't have been more different - hot, sunny, and mostly clear. As we rode out of town a few of us invented a new Vietnamese dish - the grilled pork sandwich. There was a shop selling just bread a few feet down from a shop selling just grilled pork, so we combined the two and...boom! culinary magic. The first half of the ride would be generally flat, while the second half would be generally uphill - though nothing too strenuous.

The scenery was beautiful. I had set off after most of the team, but I settled into a solid rhythm and caught up with most people. About an hour in I remembered that there was a waterfall along the day's route, though we hadn't stopped there last year because of the weather.

A while later I came across it and saw a few riders stopped. We stripped down to our cycling shorts and waded in - the cold, fresh water felt amazing in the late morning heat. We got a great group shot as well (though our two Irishmen had already cycled on).

The most difficult climb of the day wasn't far from the waterfall. The view at the top made the effort worth it.

After one last 10% uphill gradient we hit Kham Duc. Jonathan and Rory had arrived first and found a wooden cafe that just happened to have a lake out back. We cracked open a few beers and began ordering food as more people arrived, and ended up having probably the best afternoon of the ride thus far. We lazed about on the grass, had good food, and downed beers while the intense sunlight filtered through the trees. Sophie R. and Andrea even commandeered a little canoe and went for a paddle (which they got shouted at for eventually).
After killing a few hours we headed to our hotel and had an indulgent dinner of bo ne, beefsteak served on a hotplate with fried eggs. It had been a great day. It was then early to bed, for we had a monster of a day coming up: 114km, with the longest climb of the entire ride thrown in for good measure.

Two notes to add - make sure you check out the team H2H blog, which has some great posts from different viewpoints: http://www.h2hrfvc.blogspot.com/.

Secondly, remember that we're not doing this for ourselves. H2H is raising money for charities that work with disadvantaged children here in Vietnam. If you'd like to donate please visit: https://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/michaeltatarski/h2h-charity-bike-ride-2013. 100% of all donations goes directly to charity.

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