Saturday, 29 April 2017

Day 25: Flight of the Wet, Frozen Birds

Today we set off for Lam Ha – the bravest of the group started at 6 o’clock ready to attack the 115 kilometers and five graded climbs that were waiting for them. The rest of the team managed to drag themselves out of bed for a 7 o’clock start, bleary eyed, but happy to get back to the mountains which they’d left behind a few days ago. The journey started gently with a scale three climb and two scale five climbs – broken up by hammock / revive drink breaks and with views still as impressive as previously. Finally we arrived at the foot of the first scale two climb – it was long and hot; in short: business as usual for the mountain days. This time however the condition of the roads made the journey more dangerous and tiring than usual.

It’s worth mentioning that on the first climb we came across an elderly lady generously offering her ‘support’ to men who stopped to catch their breath (Editor's note: previous years' blogs warned us about her!). For those who missed out on this offer, it was time to attack the second scale two climb. Yet again the road was in a terrible state with lots of trucks which made progress quite slow. Then the rain arrived. It was refreshing at first until it became one of those storms that you can only experience in Vietnam. While initially fun it quickly became difficult to keep moving with our eyes closed whilst frozen to the bone. Much of the team found shelter where they could. Some however decided to brave the deluge which made the last 20 kilometers of descent to the town quite dangerous. Despite Amy taking a slight tumble, everyone arrived safe and sound in the middle of the afternoon. They were happy to have conquered one of the hardest days but slightly bitter to see the first road signs for Saigon (which is approaching too fast for everyone’s liking). The day ended on a high note with refreshments at the lakeside in Lam Ha. It was Keith’s turn for culture night and he introduced us to a kiwi comic-relief video by musicians: Flight of the Conchords.

--Mai-Loan Tu


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