“Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised."
Such an appropriate thought for the last few days of riding. All we can do at this point is prepare to be surprised because nothing is going exactly as we've planned.
Two days ago we expected 100K of long rolling hills, difficult yes, but nothing we hadn't been doing already. What we got was the longest, most challenging day of the ride. Two major stretches of incline and some of the most crap-tastic roads I've ever seen. The word "road" is seriously generous. "Path of pain" is far more appropriate. A less than pleasant surprise.
Today we were expecting a slightly shorter but hot 90K and hoping for some nice downhillls to balance out all of these inclines. What we got was the most refreshing, exhilarating and loooong descent of the ride early in the morning and only 70K total for the day. We could pick up some nice speed on the flats which I have definitely been missing with all of these slow mountainous roads. The weather was perfect, cool for most of the day and we made it to Dinh Quan just as the rain rolled in. An amazing surprise of a day.
Everyday we think we know what we're getting into but Vietnam usually has other ideas. Some days the surprises were tough and threw us for a loop, and some days we embraced the surprises and laughed at our morning moaning about what we thought would come. This trip has definitely reminded me that expectations are not always reality and that you should never forget to factor surprise into your plans. I'm so impressed with everyone's ability to take each day as it comes and celebrate our success in the good and in the bad.
Here's to a job well (almost) done and the joy of rolling with the punches (or in our case giant mountains)!