Sunday, 23 April 2017

Day 22: Day of the Living Butterflies

Our route today was from Ea Drang to our next rest stop at Buon Me Thuot. It was a mere 76km which seemed like nothing compared to our previous rides.

As tradition for the upcoming rest day, some of us sported our Hawaiian shirts and Zak, his sexy time medallion.

The first few kilometres took us downhill through a lovely pine tree lined road, reminiscent for me of Sandringham woods back home in the UK. We zoomed downhill for a while, but of course zooming downhill often has the downside of having to drag yourself up again. I met Zak after about 20 k who casually said ´I think this is the last of the hills´. I should have learned my lesson. When someone says there are fewer hill climbs coming up, NEVER BELIEVE THEM! I think if I could choose a bike for the h2h again, I would buy one that drags me up the hill, not one that I have to drag up!

The scenery was becoming less spectacular, but a haze of yellow butterflies decorating our path made it more exciting. They seemed intent on getting killed, darting into the road and at our faces as we cycled past.

It was an ecstatic moment when I reached the top of one hill and found everyone at a coconut hammock stop. Thankfully Hoa (our mechanic) and Mr Cuong (our driver) had decided it was necessary too, as Hoa had had his work cut out fixing three flat tyres. There´s nothing more heavenly than a cool jug of coconut juice, complete with the flesh, lying in a hammock watching butterflies.

The smell of pine trees changed to peppercorns being dried out by the side of the road. The butterflies led me and Storm to a temple with a beautiful garden, which we would have spent more time in had we not been dressed in lycra, (plus I looked like a twit in my Hawaiian shirt.)

The best part of the day for everyone was when we made a stop at KFC for lunch. You´d think a bunch of savages had been there from the mess that was left. Our hotel was cute but confusing. It was built on a hill so that the reception was on the top floor and the rooms were below…yet we still had a great view of the forest surrounding it. And if the KFC wasn´t good enough, we were treated to our first thunderstorm in three weeks. Most refreshing.

Grace and Storm bravely hosted a party in their room. A flashing bike light was doubled up as a disco light, pizzas ordered, karaoke booked for 9pm and we were set. Harriet, Loan and Grace did their own dance routine to the Jackson 5´s ABC which I have on record.

We stumbled to ´Friends karaoke´ and needless to say some of our team sang their hearts out until the daylight hours, with renditions of hits such as ´Hit me baby one more time´, ´Imagine´ and ´Nothing Compares to you´(by Amy and her backing singers).

--Rebecca 'Becs' Richardson


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