Sunday, 24 April 2016

Day 20: Pleiku to Ea Drang

(Pictures to follow!)

Our day started with a cycle out of town to the orphanage, unfortunately we didn't get to see the kids again but we had a great breakfast spread put on by the sisters. We were sent us on our way with half a wheel of cheese, baguettes, fruit and a jar of their home grown coffee. Their generosity was moving and it was humbling to be able to give something back to the centre.

The day went on and kilometre after kilometre of uninspiring highway went by. It was nice to take it easy and enjoy a hammock break every 20 km or so, we chatted with the locals a bit at a coconut stop who said that had never heard of Ea Drang. We weren't in any rush to get there after hearing this! So we took our time, enjoying a nap after some more cheese and bread for lunch.

The road went on, I could have been riding up and down the same stretch over and over again and I probably wouldn't have noticed any difference. The last 15 km were a little more soul destroying, it was only a gradual incline but with no scenery to enjoy apart from looking at the next few kilometres of barren road ahead my mood quickly plummeted. Even the 10 km marker couldn't lift my spirits as by that point I was convinced the markers were lying, how on earth can the road still go on?? 

Usually I enjoy interacting with the kids and locals along the way who shout out "HELLOWHATISYOURNAME"  or cheer us on but when I'm sun burnt, bug bitten, thirsty and bored of the road, swearing under my breath at every passing truck blareing it's horn out in my ear is the only thing that gives me any enjoyment. I find it hard to comprehend how happy they can seem when I am looking forward to the ride ending and being able to lie down in an air conditioned hotel. But all good things and bad things must come to end, and once rested in the hotel the blandness of the ride was almost forgotten. 

Lessons to be learnt: give without expecting to receive, try not to be a miserable bugger when the going gets tough.


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