Today ends stage 3 of our ride. Next week marks the beginning of the end for us H2H'er's: some of us will be flying home to start something new; some of us will return to hometowns to re-discover their past with new (hopefully opened) eyes; and some of us will return to Ho Chi Minh to continue their living and working lives - again, hopefully with a new found appreciation for this country.
I am of the tertiary group.
Through this coming week I'll think about the changing scenery of Vietnam. And not just the landscape of this country, but each cities unique character and culture.
Leaving Hanoi and it's surrounding towns with their hold on perserving the traditional culture, yet mixing it with western comforts. It's infrastructure and commitment to a progressive Vietnam.
Making our way through the Highlands, where Hanoi's mondern influence gives to road stop towns and small shack villages. Towns designed to assist commuters going to work or construction crews traveling to work on developing a town closer to a bigger city.
Continuing through the mountain regions where people seem untouched from the outside world. I'm not saying that they are the lesser for it, or that they are uninterested in news from around the world, but their concerns lie with land and weather. I've never met friendlier people then there.
And now, working our way South, we're beginning to see the crest of Ho Chi Minh's impact. There are still small towns, but less and less as the cities we stop in to rest are much more commercial and are less influenced by our presence - 'hello, hello' is morphing into the more informal 'hi';or we get a nod of the head. We simply mix into the backdrop of these wealthier cities.
We've covered a lot of ground, road-wise and culture-wise, in three weeks and I think each of us has taken something from our achievements and our tribulations. And as i said before I will be returning to my job and life; however, after all that we've seen and done in these cities; after all the people we've talked to and met on our journey; and after all the time I've had to put into perspective where I am now and the things that are important to me, I feel more confident to say that I will be returning 'home' as well.