Day 77: Đồng Hới

Distance: 67,00 km Time: 3:43 Total distance: 3930 km

As yesterday morning, I was not motivated to get up, so I got up again late. Outside it was still raining. Not much but still enough to have to wear a rain coat. After all,  my cloth don’t dry during the night as it is not that warm anymore,  so I just wear not completely dry cloth. The temperatures are still okay to do it and as soon as I start moving,  it gets warmer inside the raincoat.

I was out of energy. I did an early break and drank a coffee. 

Sadly after the break I was still without energy. So I had an early lunch at 11. After that one it was a little bit better. Also the rain had stopped and I could take of the raincoat. But the wind stayed. I even took out my camera to take some pictures😀 (the picture at the break was taken with my smart phone)

Because I was cycling so slow I arrived not that early in Đồng Hới at around 14 o’clock. After some searching I found a hotel to stay in and I put out all my wet stuff to dry.

As I want to visit Phong Nha and Paradise cave tomorrow, I tried to join a guided tour for that. I walked through Đồng Hới  to find some agencies offering that. I just found one place on the internet,  so I just went there. Now I have a tour which visits the two caves and picks me up in the morning 😊

On the road now appear always the signs with Hà Nội written on it and the distance. I find it nice because it is like a countdown to my final destination 😀

Day 76: On an unmapped road

Distance: 104,26 km Time: 5:25 Total distance: 3863 km

I didn’t want to get out of my bed this morning as I knew it would rain. Actually it wasn’t raining. It was just drizzle. So I was able to ride without a jacket and just my long shirt. But the closer I got to lunch the more it started to rain.

At lunch I met a British guy travelling with a motorbike. We had lunch together. The picture of him is actually the only picture I took today…

After lunch,  the rain was joined by wind and I got cold so that I put on my rain jacket. The wind slowed me then down. I just followed main road until I checked my GPS, I was in the middle of nowhere… I checked Open Street Maps and Google Maps, on both providers there was no road but it was the main road and all the traffic went over it. After 15 km it joined again the main road marked on my GPS. These 15 km were long as I didn’t knew if it would go into the right direction,  windy,  rainy,  lots of traffic on a small road and nothing but rice fields as far as I could see. The view wasn’t really clear because of the weather.

I arrived in a hotel and had a long half-warm shower. The heater didn’t gave out more hot water…

Tomorrow I will continue to Đồng Hới. There I will decide. Either continue and skip the national park or stay and visit the national park the day after tomorrow. It depends on the weather. Currently the weather seems to be fine on the forecast,  but I have to check that tomorrow☺️

Day 75: The city of slippy pavement

no cycling

So a day at Hue. In the morning it wasn’t raining. I walked around and went to a place where locals ate breakfast. I pointed at some food of people at another table, something with meat and these french baguette they have here. The guy went away,  a second guy came and asked “omelet or scrambled eggs”  and I said omelet. I thought it would be combined with the meat. No I just got a baguette with omelet.

I continued walking through the city and got a second baguette at a street vendor. This time there was omelet,  meat,  vegetables,  some more unidentified stuff and sauces. Really great. Continue walking around to get some coffee.

All the time people say “hi”  to me to either offer me a motorbike ride or to get me to eat at their restaurant…

Around 10 o’clock I decided to visit the old citadel of the last dynasty of Vietnam (beginning from something with 18xx till 1945). It is a nice place,  sadly a lot is destroyed due to two wars (I think it were two wars). A nice cheap animation movie explained me a little bit about it,  so I didn’t need a guide to get at least some information.

At 1 o’clock in the afternoon it then started to rain. As I left my raincoat at the hotel,  I had to get back there.

Arrived there it started to heavily rain and I didn’t want to go outside anymore, because my further plan was to rent a motorbike and visit some places 10 km away from the city center and I didn’t want to drive in the rain. So I spend the afternoon in my bed  sleeping,  reading stuff on the Internet and watching stuff on YouTube😂

In the evening (yes,  it was and is still raining) I went out  for some dinner and to walk a little bit more through the city through a rainy night.

Tomorrow I will continue cycling in the rain (as war as the weather forecast is correct). I intended to do an extraordinary distance of 164 km in one day as it is flat and I would reach another city where I would take another day of to visit a national park, but because of the weather, I split it up into two days of unknown distance😂

I saw this toilet today and I thought they had misplaced the sign…  I don’t know

ohh about the title,  I really had problems with the pavement here because it was wet. I nearly fell 3 times and started then to walk more carefully. It is possible that just I have these problems because of my medal plates underneath my shoes to fix my shoes to my pedals while cycling.

With this I also want to present my shoes:

1. My cycling shoes are the best. They have SPD, which is a system fix the shoes with the pedals. Great grip for hiking. I used them to hike up to Annapurna Base Camp,  therefore I took of the metal plates of the SPD system. And now finally the last feature cam in handy too. They are GoreTex,  so waterproof. Until now I never had cold or wet feed in these😀 The only thing I hate about them is getting them on and off.  As they have normal shoelaces to close it but also some velcro fastener,  so that the Loops of the node do not get into the chain or somewhere else. It’s a perfect solution for the problem but annoying when putting them on or taking them off.

2. My flip-flops,  what is there big to say, when the weather is okay (not like today) I wear them,  so that my feet can breath, but because I always wear my shoes with socks while cycling,  my feet are white and my legs are brown,  it looks a little bit funny. But I can’t walk for a whole day in flip-flops as my feet hurt then so much…

Day 74: R.I.P. Ipod

Distance: 108,58 km Time: 5:32 Total distance: 3759 km

The last few cycling days I had some problems with my music. I thought that my headphones were broken because the music was not working all the time, so I changed the headphones (yes I brought 2 pairs,  in case one breaks). I thought it solved the problem, as it was better but then it happened with these too,  so I checked both headphones with my phone and they were alright. So my Ipod has problems with the jack-connector. For those who don’t know my relation to my music: it’s really bad when I don’t have my music. I always take my headphones everywhere and listen everywhere,  even when it is just a one minute walk, I take my music with me,  I even listen to music while I shower (I have a speaker with me). My love to music is also the reason why I brought two headphones. This morning then I was unable to ride some meters without the music going out… So I was without music. But I still have my smart phone. I downloaded the Google Music App, they offered me two month of free music. So I try it out and am downloading lots of music to have it offline while riding. Hopefully my battery will survive with my power bank.

So that happened all before I even git to breakfast. At breakfast I switched then my music to Google Music.

As I wrote some days ago that the climb back then would have been my last climb PROBABLY,  it is proven to be wrong. Right after Đà Nẵng is a 7 km tunnel,  which one I didn’t want to pass with the bicycle. The alternative was a pass which is at over 400 meters of altitude (Đà Nẵng is at sea level). So I had again a nice climb and afterwards a nice descent. On top there was even a UNESCO world heritage site,  where all the tourist buses stopped. As it was the top,  I stopped there too and had a coffee😀

Somewhere there in the mountains there is the pass

view down on Đà Nẵng

my coffee

Because the wind was blowing strong on the other side and I was wet from the climbing,  I decided to pack myself good in

The view on the other side

And then there was mainly just straight road till Hue mixed with some Drizzle.

The Ipod was not the only thing which nad problems today. My rear gear shifter was making problems. My gears were jumping around sometimes,  which makes it really hard to ride… After multiple adjustments it went better again. In Hue then I fixed it adjusted it correctly (hopefully).

I found a cyclist hotel. The owners are cyclists themself and the name of the hotel is “Hotel Cyclist” 😂

Tomorrow I will spend one day to visit some of the stuff here at Hue

Some more equipment of mine: My notebook. It was a gift from SAP XM where I wrote my bachelor thesis. I mostly just write down as log: my distance,  time,  total distance and total time of my road computer. Also some phone numbers of people are written down here who I met on the road and they wanted to write down their number. Or I use it to compare prices of hostels/hotels or flight tickets. Something I did in the beginning was writing down some kind of “golden rules” for my travel, but i don’t add any more after rule 6. Some of them I ignore completely now some I respect,  but I never think of them.

A page out of my logs. Sadly some water git into it today so on top there is a little place where water is…

Day 73: Đà Nẵng

no cycling

After (for me) double portion breakfast, we decided to visit the mountain resort called “Bah Nah Hill”. It is close to Đà Nẵng. Arrived at the bottom we got some tickets for the cable car. Everything is built for long queues,  but there are no people to queue 😂

We had to take two cable cars to get to the top. There they tried to rebuild some castles and build up a little resort there in french style. Behind that one there was a little temple. When some clouds placed everything in fog,  we decided to go down again.

The good eye can see: I have two cameras,  one belongs to Banh and she took this picture with her phone 😂

Banh had a selfi stick with her,  from that moment on, she took a million selfies😂

We decided to visit a pagoda at a half island of Đà Nẵng. Before we arrived there,  we visited a colorful Buddhist temple we saw on the road. It started to blow heavily and I sometimes had to slow down because of tge wind 🍃.

Because of the wind,  somebody got a little bit cold and I gave her my buff and my orange long shirt,  which I had packed for the day trip.

After the  temple we then went to the Pagida,  where we also saw the sunset behind Đà Nẵng.

At 8:30 in the evening Banh had to take the bus back to Kon Tum. I returned the motorbike, got a bed in the hostel I stayed in one day ago. I git into the same room but the lower bed😀

The rest of the evening I spend with repacking my stuff and writing the two blog posts (as I didn’t write one yesterday).

So who is Banh? She is a tourist guide from Kon Tum,  who decided to join me in visiting Hoi An. How do I know her? She is a friend of a girl I met in Kon Tum and we were all spending a nice evening together with some more French people (read it here). If you want to travel to Kon Tum,  I can give you her contact☺️

Tomorrow I will cycle to Hue,  where I again will stay one day.

Day 72: Hoi An

no cycling

The day started early at 5 o’clock. Banh arrived with the night bus and I took the motorbike to pick her up. We decided to get immediately on the road to Đà Nẵng. It is just a one hour ride with the car. As I am not that quick on the motorbike it took us a little bit longer. We also stopped at some rocks, called “Ngu Hanh Son”, on the way,  where there is a temple inside. It was nice,  as nobody was there.

A picture of Banh,  me and a Buddha

Arriving in Hoi An we got breakfast at a place of a friend of Banh. He then showed us a nice guesthouse. We left our stuff there,  Banh took a little nap of half an hour. Then we took of to get to “My So”  some more ancient temples.

After the temples we drove back to Hoi An. As we had to pay for the ancient town, we decided not to go there. We went to chill at the beach,  where we stayed till the evening. We also had dinner at the beach. I didn’t took any pictures… Just a picture from Banh’s phone.

It was so nice to have a person with me who speaks Vietnamese,  so I just always send her and she then did everything😀

Day 71: To the coast

Distance: 106,50 km Time: 5:05 Total distance: 3651 km

Got on the road early and got a really nice landscape because of some clouds,  less traffic because it was not the main road and too small for lots if big trucks😀

Eventually the clouds got more and it started to rain again, but it was still warm,  so I just continued without a raincoat😀 it stopped quickly after 10 minutes,  so it was alright.

After 60 km I reached the end of that road,  and I got back on the main road which follows the cost line. Only 40 km left. From there on it got boring. Just straight roads with traffic,  no hills. I wouldn’t have thought that getting back to such a road would put my mood that much down… But I arrived as I was able to cycle quicker than in the hilly areas.

Now I am in Đà Nẵng and passed Hoi An because I will visit it from here with a motorbike,  which leads to one more day without bicycle 😊 not that I don’t like my bicycle,  but I currently use it a little bit to often😂 But I am visiting Hoi An not alone. Banh (the girl from Kon Tum) joins me tomorrow morning and shows me around Hoi An 😀

In the evening I was just walking around the city center. Got some food at a Vietnamese fast food restaurant. While walking next to the river I realised: they know how to put lights on their bridges around here. I just forgot to take a video, I will try to do it in two days when I am back here.

Because we stay over there for one night,  I don’t know if I will write a post tomorrow as I leave the stuff to get the pictures from my camera to my phone in Đà Nẵng with most of my luggage.

Day 70: I ♥ climbing

Distance: 86,58 km Time: 5:35 Total distance: 3544 km

This morning I felt really great,  sun was out and I knew that I had a beautiful climb ahead of me😀 The climbing part was just the first 20 km but on that part there were constantly signs with a steepness of 10% 😀 Which meant that I was just riding with 5 to 9 km/h,  but the views: amazing, less traffic. This picture is ment to align with the sign

The clouds in the other valley

Arrived at 1100 meters of altitude,  I also reached the clouds at that moment. On the other side of the hill it was cloudy and rained a little bit from time to time… but never enough to get me wet 😀 On my way down from the mountain I met a group of 6 german touring cyclists going up the mountain. Sadly I forgot to take a picture with them.

I arrived in Kham Duc,  but it was too early to get a hotel,  so I continued on the road. Ban, the local girl from Kon Tum told me which road to take,  as it is a shortcut and a quiet road,  so I took that one. It’s really a quite road☺️

In the town I expected a hotel,  there was no hotel… So again I had to continue. Again in a village which is not marked on the map,  there is a really tiny hotel😀 It is somewhere on highway 14E.

Just after I arrived in the hotel,  it was still early it started to rain heavily. So good decision to go to a hotel☺️ This village is really little. That little that there is no place to get some dinner. the woman from the hotel gave me a ride to the next village (only 5 minutes walking) where there was one place where I got some noodles 🍜 To get back to the hotel I had to walk, but it wasn’t raining☺️

Tomorrow I will cycle to Đà Nẵng, where I will stay for 2 days. One day to visit Đà Nẵng and the second day I will rent a motorbike and pass by Hoi An☺️

Day 69: flat, flat, hilly

Distance: 115,11 km Time: 6:34 Total distance: 3457 km

First of all: DON’T PANIC with flat I just mean flat roads,  NOT a flat tire😀

Secondly: Yesterday evening. Of course it didn’t went as I thought,  it got even better😀 Ban,  the girl who picked me up for dinner had to meet some people who wanted to do a trek today. They turned out to be from France and liked playing music. Because we promised to visit the cafe where on of the other two girls were working, we quickly said goodbye to the french people and went to the cafe. After that one closed,  we all went to a guitar bar where we met the french people again. The Vietnamese girls and the french people are really great at playing music and it was a really fun evening.

The evening was also long so getting up in the morning was a little bit hard. At 8 o’clock I then finally left the room and went on search for breakfast. I am really sad that suddenly all the rice places don’t serve rice in the morning… So I got phố again. Some noodles in soup.

So now to the title: in the beginning it the roads were inside a really big valley,  so it was flat nearly always. Eventually it got hilly again😀 As the Ho Chi Minh highway turned twice off main road (main road git to a different road and the Ho Chi Minh highway was a smaller side road), which resulted in less traffic for me😀

On the road then I realised two miscalculations of me:

  1. I was running out of cash,  I thought I would have had one more 500.000 Dong bill,  but there wasn’t. I realised it only the afternoon were I already passed the last town with an ATM. I checked the map: No ATMs until tomorrow at the destination…  I checked my wallet: enough money for a hotel,  dinner,  breakfast but no lunch for tomorrow…  I came up with some solutions. Either go as far as possible get food and the next morning try to get to the ATM as quickly as possible. Another method would have been exchanging or buying stuff with my remaining US Dollar from Cambodia.
  2. The villages I choose to stay in all had no hotels.

And now the solution to both of the problems: In the last village I marked on the map for today I saw a kilometer stone with another city marked in 25 km. I checked my maps,  no city,  no village not even side roads…  I thought the worst that can happen is me cycling the whole night 😂 Or somebody would just host me but I went to that village called Dak Lak. It’s actually a nice little town with everything a guest house and an ATM 😍. The only thing,  I had to cycle so much,  the last 15 km were just me dying up and down the hill,  rolling with 10 to 15 km/h on flat parts… But worth it in the end. Also the landscape was really beautiful,  as there are many hills and when the sun went down,  some were in the shadow and some were still in the sun,  sadly I didn’t took any pictures, I was too exhausted.

Tomorrow I will climb probably my last big climb. Because after celebrating luna new year in Hanoi with my brother and his girlfriend I will return back home. I will leave Thailand, Laos and the rest of Vietnam for another trip or multiple trips. Why probably? Well I never know what will happen on my way to Hanoi😂

Day 68: not having a plan

no cycling

Since I left the beach in Cambodia I was cycling every day. Eventually I got a bad mood while cycling, as Kon Tum seems to be a nice town where I could visit some stuff,  I decided to stop here for a day of not cycling. I checked: there was a museum and a wooden church and probably some more stuff to see.

But first: sleep long.At least that was the plan,  I already woke up at 5, at 6, at 7,  at 8 to get up at 9… But okay more sleep.

I went out found some breakfast and went on the search for the museum. The first place kind of didn’t seems to be museum. The second place: no museum. I gave up,  I wasn’t even in the mood to go into a museum. I visited the wooden church and walked around a little bit.

I had lunch and meet up with a local girl. She then showed me where she lives. There we met a friend of her and went to a beautiful bridge. I got to drive the motorbike and they shared the other one😀

For the rest of the day we were sitting at a cafe drinking some juice and talking and  taking pictures with the baby. Even more people joined us😀

Tonight I will meet up again with them,  we will have dinner and relax more😀

Tomorrow I will continue cycling 🚲