Sadly, it didn't start off quite too well... I slept on a queen sized double deck top bunk in a big room with a barely working air-con. It was fine when the fan was on, but the fan stopped working after 12mn... More people checked in after that (I recall 10 other people in the same room), I tried hard to sleep but eventually woke up at 5+ and decidedly to get moving.. After gathering my stuff, i opened the door to see two ladies sleeping outside on beach chairs (definitely too hot inside). I forgot to take something and leave the door of the room ajar (to let some light in) to see the first guy sleeping ass naked.
|Many rice fields but little hills on the way to HV pass.|
Anyway, today was to be a day to climb the Hai Van pass. But before that, there were actually 2 more smaller 1km passes, so what are passes? Highway 1A is mostly flat since it follows the coast line (sea level) but inevitably there are some hills/mountains that stand in the way... And so you have to go over them. I don't know if Singapore has a 1km climb but the first one I hit was already rather demoralizing.
|One of the passes I passed, some sort of viewing point where some ang mohs (to the right off picture, stopped to take pictures), pretty good view!|
|The incoming mountains threaten to swallow me whole..|
So two passes later, I get to the beginning of Hai Van pass, almost immediately it was a 8-10% gradient (there were road signs there that said so) and I drop to granny and take it slow. I was pretty psyched, to see just how epic the climb was and was not disappointed..
|I look back from where I came, where I had my lunch and to my right the open sea. Just 15mins of climbing and the view!|
|Roughly an 45mins of climbing and the top no where in sight... I'm running out of water and starting to take more breaks (I stop here admiring the long road I have climbed thus far.)|
The going gets tough after an hour, the road itself was perfectly fine, mostly motorcycles and the occasional truck that carries oil. There is actually a tunnel that bypasses this pass but only vehicles with four wheels or greater can use it, and I guess for safety reasons, no oil! The agony seems prolonged due to riding at single digit speed, lack of water, the sun bearing down on me, no road side stalls, and just your mind wondering when it's going to end...
And it couldn't come sooner! After the final bend you could see stalls and vehicles parked, spurring me to push on!
|Some ruins of a fort at the top, there were bullets holes in them!|
|Stalls!!! My salvation!! DRINKS!|
|Wah, the other side of the HV pass... Looks great! Danang here I come!|
|The panoramic view was so good, looks like some sort of bay.. Good stuff.|
As I got closer to Danang, traffic was higher (probably why I don't like the cities), but luckily the road got wider. It got extremely dusty and felt polluted... I cycled on and on and was looking for some food... The problem was that on my right were railway tracks, which meant no stalls could operate! The stalls were all on the other side! And a huge divider was in the way... And going over would mean time lost! So I went on and on and on...
I felt like it was 2 hours before I finally saw an opening in the tracks and a food stall right in front of it! I pointed to whatever the others were having and sat down, my ass was hurting.
|Turned out to be duck porridge! Nice and peppery too!|
They had free Vietnam tea which I happily drank, it was so refreshing.... The meal was good! Some curious stares at myself and the bike.. And after applying sunblock, I was off again.
|Curious, when the transported becomes part of the transport! Intriguing.|
|A very large boat, in a very small river which is apparently a newly opened restaurant!|
|Cao lau noodles, overwhelming good sauce!|
|Fresh beer at 15cents! (2k)|
|Mouth watering spring rolls with crazy good sauce (good sauce seems abundant huh)|
|Some tea so ease the heavy sauces|
Truly! Everything was delicious, and the cheaper accommodation was all here! Damn!
I leave you with some sights of Hoi An!
|Old town, seems like life here slows down a bit...|
|Colourful lights adorn the banks of the river.|
|The famous floating lanterns of Hoi An. It was a pretty sight!|
For the google map out, click here.
Distance today: 132km
Distance to date: 158km