19th April -Tan Ky to Thanh Hoa 139km (total – 2807km)

The route: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/169815399 (a long ride – start early and pace yourself! A lot of rolling hills but no nasty surprises)

The photo:

The majority of rural villagers really do ride bikes and wear conical hats. And we can definitively report 1 in 3 use face masks.

The biggest ride yet! Most of it on the HCM highway, so quiet and great road quality – but 7 hours on the bike is still 7 hours, and our butts and knees certainly knew about it. Great views and more lovely people along the way (notably in the grimy little living room we were ushered into for a very decent lunch, cooked in the near darkness of a charcoal-black cupboard of a kitchen by two old ladies) made the journey very pleasant.

Thanh Hoa was the first Vietnamese city we’d visited, and the weaving motorbikes, honking trucks and bright lights were an assault on our senses. After checking into our high rise hotel we wandered into town to search for something other than pho (noodle soup) or banh me (pate and salad stuffed baguettes). We eventually happened on a posh restaurant where we feasted on spring rolls, deep fried squid and garlicky morning glory. Yum indeed. The service was alarmingly attentive, with two waitresses hovering next to us all night – constantly refilling our glasses with beer and our bowls with rice. We must have looked very hungry and thirsty…

Emma getting some mapping assistance

Not here either

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