At a modest 72km from Hue to A'Luoi, today's ride appeared fairly straight forward on paper. Though we knew a couple of climbs lay ahead, we hadn't anticipated the searing heat, which reached an unbearable 40 degrees at it's zenith.
After a solid start, we could feel the temperature rising by the first drinks break after 30km. It was barely 9am. With very few drink stops - very few anything in fact, the day's ride became more and more challenging. As it reached midday, out of desperation, we sought refuge in a park warden's hut. The whole team gathered in the shade while patiently waiting for the 'heat of the day' to subside. The somewhat bamboozeld warden and his pals let us rest and take shade for a while. With little sign of the heat abating, and less so of the last few riders moving, we were rather unceremoniously, booted out.
I don't know what today's torture techniques are like at Guantanamo, but I reckon getting prisoners to cycle up hills in 40 degree heat all day without any shade or food and only hot water to drink would bring most people to breaking point. Understandably, we were all somewhat fried by the time we got to the hotel in A'Luoi. As if the day hadn't thrown enough at us, the hotel ripped us off on our evening meal which would could only be described as 'dreadful' at best. A hotel that should be avoided in future.
As for A'Luoi itself, there is not much to say. We saw a market, a school, an ATM and some signs for Karaoke. My dad and I went on a quick scour for some bananas, a Wetherspoon's, Greggs and a William Hill's but sadly, none were found.