Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Day 2 - Ridin' and Socializin'

Bike repairs, Katy and Locals, Vu Ban

Wow, this trip has been even better than I could have expected! And no, this is not only because I've been able to experience a hot shower and electricity at some point every day...

Yesterday, after a morning of James-style warm-ups (basically consisting of a series of leaps, bounds, flails, and kicks, no doubt to the amusement of all watching), we headed off to what we had been told would be an "easy, downhill" 50km day. was not.

After about 5km or so, we headed up into the mountains..and the road just seemed to keep getting steeper...and steeper...and - wait for it - steeper. I used my thunder thighs to the best of my ability, but I was still huffing and puffing by the time we got to a semi-flat bit where we could rest. After that, tho, it was only a little higher until some seriously fantastic downhill coasts which took us through villages towards a mountain-side hotel. Alas, a few of us took a wrong turn at this point and decided to tackle part if not all of ANOTHER mountain before realizing our mistake and heading back down. Ah well - a road full of water buffalo and a child waiting by the roadside, arm extended, for a 10-second anticipated high-five made it well worth it..for me, anyway!

Once arriving in Vu Ban, we relaxed for a bit and then I went for a wander....during which I bumped into a group of children who asked me the usual "Where you from?" question...but which didn't result in the usual "America" answer/end of conversation. Nope. These kids wanted to CHAT, and Hilary wished her Vietnamese were just a bit better. But after facing the Vietnamese inquisition of 16 kids and adults (they actually pulled out a little stool and I perched there as they surrounded me), the evening turned into a combo of songs ("The Hokey Pokey" seemed to be an instant classic), dinner (one of the kids invited me to her house to eat), and a lot of gesturing, giggling, and utilizing of the Vietnamese "I dunno" arm shake! All in all, not an evening I anticipated..and I can only hope there will be more like it in the future!

Ok, I was going to write about today as well, but this is already longer than I meant it to that's it for now!

- Hilary

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