Sooo we have an interesting array of days behind us. More mountains (we never really got rid of them...) with a particularly good spot two days ago of 10k uphill of pure gravel. Actually, it was worse than gravel. It was bumps, unevenness, potholes, and rocks galore. And it was humid. However, it did bring us closer to the third mountain of that particular day, which means closer to the exhilarating descent from the clouds (quite literally) that the final 20k brought with it.
We got through that and through yesterday also, which brought hills but nothing threatening (bar MORE bumpiness). The countryside is also becoming a bit more varied than it has been (oooh another mountain edge, positively enthralling), with lots of cute little roadside villages, a few rice paddies, some woodland and a lot of green. We rode into Bao Loc yesterday to a sign indicating "TP Ho Chi Minh- 188km" (I couldn't quite believe it) and another bearing the promise of pizza (much to the excitement of many an H2H-er).
Pizza cravings fulfilled, thought today would be an easy ride, of sorts. And it was, once we got through another bout of our favourite terrain- about 15k downhill of road littered with rocks the size of fists and a whole lot of trucks to share with. This sounds easy, but we had to go very slowly and ours hands died a little with every squeeze of the brakes (the only way to avoid hurtling off our now-worn-out bikes). Unfortunately we didn't escape unscathed as Jacinta acquired a flat so big that it caused Bac the driver/genius-bicycle-repairer to utter his infamous "Waaaaaa!!" at the sight of it. He worked his magic though and soon enough she was whizzing onwards onto the relatively flatter terrain.
The expected 90k of today was cut short to about 70 after we arrived into Dinh Quan, our destination for the day, with more time with which to aniticipate tomorrow's arrival into Ho Chi Minh City. A combination of feelings from everyone- sadness from not wanting it to end, mixed with excitement at seeing everyone in Saigon and desire for personal comforts ( sleeping in til at least 1pm on any given day comes top of my list). At times you feel the frustration of less challenging flat roads and just want to get to the end, and at others you want to cherish every moment.
Array of feelings aside though, and that fact is that our ride ends TOMORROW. We've gone through at lot and experienced highs and lows (altitude-wise of course), freezing feet and sweaty backs, and the largest combined muscular pain known to man (with the Tour de France a close second :P). Can't believe how quickly it's gone by and simply the fact that we've cycled 2000km, with only the 110 of tomorrow to go. On that note...
See you in Saigon!