WHEW. What a day! Finally made it to Lam Ha. Can't believe I chose to write a blog post on this day of all days because.. well.. it was the longest and hardest day for me BY FAR. Yesterday we stayed at the lovely Lak Resort by the lake where we celebrated Thanksgiving with fun by the pool and lots of food at the restaurant on the lake. The evening ended with a group sleepover in a longhouse, adorable. Then the journey began this morning. We knew it was a long day- however we predicted a 102km ride when it was in fact 116km. And we knew it would be "hilly".. we did not know there would be 3 GIANT HILLS (aka mountains) that would kick our butt. I must say I was impressed with the groups toughness- highway 27 was our route the whole time and for certain 5km stretches at a time I don't think the road had been paved for years and years so you were basically shaking up and down as you tried to either pedal up a hill or slow your bike going down. Miracously the group I was with (Jeff, Pierre, Adam, Chris, Dave, Ross and Jess L) didn't have a single puncture today. And thank god for that because it would have made a long day even longer. There was one unbelievably joyous moment as we had been ascending up a 7km mountain for about an hour when we finally turned the corner and for ONCE it wasn't more uphill, but in fact flat.. and in the distance a mirage of a little hut with hammocks and drinks appeared. We collapsed and ran at this poor woman begging for coke and glasses of ice. I proceeded to make the mistake of getting on the hammock because Jeffrey pretty much had to threaten pushing me off for me to move.
This trip is made by the people who you ride with and in honor of thanksgiving that is what I am most thankful for. It felt amazing to have a big group of us all catching each other every kilometer or so because they allowed me to enjoy it more. They'd stop for pictures and it would force to remember that I want to capture these amazing mountain views of the jungle or lakes. Or they'd stop halfway up a hill JUST when I thought I was going to die and hearing their venting made me feel better because I didn't feel alone or discouraged, I felt better knowing we're all in the same boat- completely exhausted but so happy to be doing this crazy journey.
That's all my hands can type for now.. there was an amazing 10km of downhill after the last mountain right before the town however the road conditions and the steepness meant 10km of squeezing my breaks. I have what we affectionately refer to on this trip as "the claw". It's not easy to move my fingers right now...
Home in 3 days :)