As usual we started off into a steep climb, rising 500m in about 8km. We are getting used to this now, and our heart rates don't seem to be too bothered. Interestingly, J's heart rate always seems to be about 20bpm higher than mine during normal (110-150bpm) operation. So she must find these hill grinding climbs much tougher than me. Makes me feel lazy! Although, she does have a very low resting heart rate - 37bpm, versus my 44 or 45. That is very low and comparable to some serious cyclists. Lance Armstrong had 32-34 bpm. I think she has achieved athlete status.
It was a day of repetition for us. We passed through the mountains, passed through some small villages, drank some coffee. We ate some of our favourite carb food and didn't stop for lunch. 50km and some more amazing views and local-watching we arrived at our destination.
We holed up for the night in a small town called Tam Son, as it was too far to go all the way to Ha Giang in one day, with all the climbing involved. Nice hotel, in fact the best cheap hotel we have had. £6 (200,000d) and was perfectly clean and spacious, with a nice bathroom and good clean sheets on the bed. We have got used to the beds now, they are all hard as boards. No joke it's like sleeping on scaffolding planks with a memory foam sheet on top. You get used to it though and it's probably quite good for your back! If all the guest houses were as good as this one we would be happy.
We got there quite early so ambled the length of the town and then sat outside at an empty street-side café/bar and watched it all go past. Then we had dinner in an empty restaurant as the one we had spotted earlier and chosen was packed out with locals and no space left, some sort of birthday or something. The food was good in the place we found next-door though, fried semi-cured beef and veg and rice cooked by the owner/resident of the very large but desolate restaurant.
|Greg with Alex and Mii, just before they headed off|
|Climbing out of Yen Minh|
|Saw this weird dragon caterpillar, its about 20mm only|
|There is always one weird tree sticking off the side|
|the bee keepers|
|Fantastic hotel in Tam Son, we are on the 2nd floor|
|Sitting in the cafe opposite the hotel, and...|
|...watching the Vietnamese world go by.|
|Girls playing badminton in the road.|