6th May: Na Hang to Na Hang – 82km (total – 3690km)

The route: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/175212661 (don’t try this at home kids, unless you LIVE in Na Hang and need to be back for dinner)

The photo:

I’m confident Viet Quang is DEFINITELY, maybe, probably not, that way…

The chat:

A few stats – 82km; five and a half hours riding time (eight hours out in the sun); 1200m climbing. ALL FOR NOTHING!!! We’re almost over it, but writing about it now reopens the painful wounds so I’ll keep it brief…

It went something like this:

1) A few km after leaving hotel, GPS bleats ‘off course’ on a road with no turn-offs apparent – no choice but to press on

2) Realise 10km later up a steep hill that we’re WAY off course.

3) Ask lots of passing locals for direction to Viet Quang (our planned destination) – mixed advice, as ever

4) Press on

5) Road deteriorates and hills steepen

6) Press on – after all, there were no other options, right?

7) Ask more advice – blank faces at the mere mention of the nearby administrative town of Viet Quang

8) Press on

9) 40km in, the gravel track steepens to a sickening grade, and we turn around, to retrace our steps

10) We revisit the initial ‘off course’ point – a vague dead end track confirms this would never have flown

11) Pass a well constructed road bridge just 2km from the town – bearing onto this we note the road post markers match those on the paper map – WAY too late to embark on the ride with an hour of daylight remaining, so kicking ourselves, the GPS and Vietnamese road marking (or lack of it), we return, tail ‘twixt legs, to the hotel we’d so confidently rolled out of ight hours before.

12) Review the route with the benefit of Googlemaps – still little help – we deduce a new road must have been built since Googlemaps was last updated

13) Review visa expiry dates, saddle sores and team morale

14) Decide to cheat the next day

15) Cry ourselves to sleep

Before we got lost

It was beautiful – but we were rarely in the right frame of mind to enjoy it

A filling and nutritious lunch

The road that wasn’t (it looks ok-ish here – it turns to a path in 100m)

 

 

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5 Responses to 6th May: Na Hang to Na Hang – 82km (total – 3690km)

  1. The Crew says:

    Move away from the Chinese border ?
    The Crew x

  2. David Liebschutz says:

    Not sure if you know the song about Charlie and the MTA, but it’s worth looking up, as going round and round made me think of you guys! By the way, Jen is enjoying a nice visit to the US with family and friends before returning to BB at the end of May for another stint there. We have loved having her home and will miss her when she goes back….Go luck finding your way out of the loop….DSL

  3. Lucy says:

    Hi guys. Hope you find yourselves and some better lunch tomorrow!

    • tandemasia says:

      Thanks luce, luckily we really like toffee. and coffee. about to leave vietnam and its crazy maps for laid back laos so fingers crossed for less misadventures. xxx

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