Friday, 13 November 2009

And on the twelfth day we rested

We’re now in Hue, almost exactly halfway through the country, and enjoying our first day off. The last three days were particularly strenuous thanks to both the scorching heat and long distance we covered: almost 300 kilometers in three days. Besides resting our aching legs, we’ve filled up on Western food (I just put down lasagna, a cheese pizza and cheeseburger and fries) and done some real laundry. We were stinky. And we all have some seriously sexy tan lines.
After we left Dong Le on Tuesday (which we were all pretty happy about given the particularly nosy people and the manager of the hotel trying to steal our Mr. Sexy Time trophy), we experienced the best scenery yet. Morning fog caked the mountains as we rolled up hills and coasted down. Colorful cemeteries dotted the hills and we crossed river after turqouise river. Things were going really well…until Ruth and James had an accident. A group of schoolchildren on bikes swerved out in front of them sending both Ruth and James crashing to the ground. James landed directly on his shoulder and Ruth on her back. From Tina’s account a woman instantly tried to drag Ruth out of the street as she lay on her back. Swear words may have been uttered. Tina frantically shooed away gawkers and other Vietnamese exacerbating the situation as she stopped semis. Some icy hot, painkillers and a sling for James and they hopped in the van, stopping at the hospital in the next town. Nothing broken, but lots of pain. The whole ordeal shook everyone up pretty good and was a blow to our morale, as well as a reminder of how quickly — and easily — accidents can take place. I held an extra grudge against the Vietnamese for the remainder of the ride. We settled in a hotel near the beach after ending the day with 40 kilometers or so on Highway One. Sprits climbed again and both James and Ruth were able to get back on their bikes the following day.
Wednesday night we spent in Cam Lo, perhaps the smallest town we’ve stayed in yet. It didn’t have much to offer besides Messy (cough-syrup soda in a bottle), power blackouts and hairy meat soup.

We’re back on the road tomorrow after a breakfast buffet at our hotel for the first of one of our three consecutive, and most difficult days. That means mountains and 100 kilometer days as towns are scarce. Hue has been a necessary rest, but a tease of the civilized, luxurious and easy life. It’s back to sweating, pho and rice tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment