Paul and Ray arriving at Black Sea in 2012

Paul and Ray arriving at Black Sea in 2012
Paul and Ray at end of 1,600km ride from Budapest to Black Sea in 2012

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Muong Khen, Vietnam - mile 995

This post is from March 9, 2017.

We are done for the day. We did about 57 miles and we are now 65 or 70 miles from the bike shop in Hanoi.  We expect to be able to make that tomorrow unless there are problems. The weather is supposed to be much nicer tomorrow and I think the terrain will be flatter. Today was mountainous the whole way and the worst problem was the wet clouds that we were in and the near-zero visibility due to the dense  clouds up in the mountains. We were cold almost the whole day although it did not exactly rain on us it was like rain because the clouds were so dense that when we moved through them we accumulated water on our bodies much like rain. Also it was very dangerous descending. Sometimes the visibility was no more than 30 or 40 feet in front of the bike and with the crazy drivers passing in an uphill lane that I was coming down it was very dicey to say the least. One time both lanes up and down were occupied by two trucks both coming up hill around the corner and I had to brake sharply and my rear tire went into a skid and the bike fishtailed but I was able to get control of the bike and bike off the road onto the dirt to allow the passing truck to occupy my lane. This only worked because I was already descending very cautiously due to the wet roads and the near total lack of visibility. I had my windbreaker on the whole day. Ray has no windbreaker and was suffering from the cold and also the comparative lack of exertion from climbing at my slow speed.

We did keep it safe by keeping the speeds down on the descents  but it was quite miserable with the cold and wet. We expect to reach our destination tomorrow. We are in another crappy hotel but at least I am warm under the blanket and dry and I had a semi hot shower.

These are shots of the town where we decided to stop for the night. As of this writing I am still trying to figure out the name of this town:

This is our location as of tonight:

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