After our first, and only night by the sea (for those of us like Hoa who went for a dip at the beach), it was time to head off. H2H 2016 made a few innovations this year, staying at the Son Song Hotel, right in the heart of downtown Dong Hoi, meant that we could start our warm up outside the city's old gate, backlit by a beautiful sunrise.
We all headed out of Dong Hoi crocodile fashion, and quickly crossed Highway 1 and soon made our way back to the HCM Highway. We all agreed that today’s ride, with its undulating terrain, excellent road conditions and fewer scenic distractions than previous days, meant for a fantastic ‘cyclist’s’ ride. We made excellent time and our first rest stop (at 30km) was just an hour into the day. At this rate we would be in Dong Ha by lunch, or so we thought.
At the 57km mark we made a short detour to the Truong Son War Cemetery, which was a very tranquil spot for reflection and to contemplate the human cost of war with the hundreds of graves, many to unknown soldiers, and to some poignant sculptures.
Across from the Cemetery was our lunch spot, with a balcony and views over the countryside and fellow diners from across the country, who’d travelled far and wide to visit the Cemetery.
After lunch, it was time for some long uphills, and even longer downhills, into Cam Lo, last year’s overnight stop. But this year, team 2016, thought we would ‘discover’ what Quang Tri’s provincial capital had to offer, now that Damo had secured us a very swanky hotel (Team 2017 – check out the Golden Hotel).
After a brief search, we eventually found a German Beer House which served up a wide array of foods for all, including pasta, pizza, chips, even salad, as well as, of course, a pretty wide array of German beers. Hell, we even had ice cream to finish. The perfect way to end a relatively easy day.