Sunday, 7 April 2013

Day 4: Quan Lao - Tinh Gia

Following a couple of days of spectacular scenery, day 4 introduced us to the monotony of Highway 1.

From the off the weather was much cooler, with ominous looking clouds looming over our hotel in Quan Lao. This made riding conditions much easier and we were able to reach our lunch spot at 9.30 am, rather ahead of schedule.

Having feasted on our improvised beef burgers (grilled 'bun cha' beef with french baguettes) we set off on what is now our least favourite road in South-East Asia. While the terrain is smooth and the roads well paved, the constant honking of trucks makes the whole experience rather intense and there is little scenery to take the mind off the noise.

Despite the intensity, the ride was easier than most, a lack of steep climbs definitely contributed to this. There were often more pleasant experiences too. On the other side of the bike lane, small crowds of schoolchildren shout 'hello' at you, eagerly awaiting acknowledgement with their beaming smiles. The occasional high-five was also achieved, some more forceful than others...

With conditions in our favour, we arrived at our hotel at 1ish, with each rider more determined to reach the destination knowing that this one was on the seafront.

And so beach games and paddling ensued and undoubtedly the highlight from Tinh Gia will be that of Jonathan's 'Baywatch' style dash from the hotel straight into the sea. An image that'll certainly be occupying my mind when we rejoin Highway 1 in the morning.

Words: Adam

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