Cycling in Vietnam

Cycling in Vietnam

After the night which I stayed in a house in my tent, I had to cycle for more 5 days without any rest because already I had lost one day rest which was in my plan due to and now I have to cycle on sickness. Fortunately in the morning I felt better and my body knew that there is no way to get rid from pressure, so it began to work well. In that day I had a nice weather. I started cycling about 6 in the morning and with sunrise, everywhere was so beautiful under sun light in the morning and I had wind behind..Perfect. so I cycled till 3 in the afternoon and from that time weather changed and rain started, I stayed somewhere for a short while but I had to cycle 30km more to follow my schedule.

Rain and wind had been made cycling difficult and in the other hand there was no place to stay and just I had to continue to find a place. In Vietnam there is rice fields all along the road and villages are just next to each other and it is very difficult to find a place to put tent, in the other hand everyday rain at night, so I had to find a shelter and put my tent under that to be safe from rain, thats why some day I cycled till night to find a place.

However in that night it was rainy and I couldnt find any place till 7:30. it was completely dark and rainy, and dangerous due to there was no light and just suddenly I saw that one motor bike is in front of me driving just ahead to me, I had 20km to a city and at first I decided to get the town, but just after few km I gave up and preferred to stay on the first place that I can find. There was a construction building, it was fine. It didnt have any door or window, but it had a roof the only thing which I needed. So I went there and asked the family to sleep there and they accepted. Then they told me you can sleep inside the room and they put a mattress on the room and a mosquito net for me. Then they asked me to come outside and stay with them. We had no word no share and just sign language was working, they asked me for food, I had something to eat, but also they brought me some rice with shrimp and after that just I went to sleep some mosquitoes were inside the net and they just bit me all the night. Early morning of the following day I woke up about 5:30 and just I intended to cycle and saying goodbye to the family, that the lady came and showed me a 100,000 VD bill and asked me to pay the same for room"what? 100,000 vd ?" it was more than the money which I had paid in hotel in Saigon. I paid them 2.5 $ and I left there laughing.

It is so common in Vietnam, if some body hand you a glass of water, before drinking you should ask them how much I have to pay for the water, due to after drinking they ask you as they can. It is the problem which I have in Vietnam, almost everyone ask me several times more and always I have to barge and even sometime they dont like to give you back the change and you have to ask for the change. One day one small girl stopped me and there was some ladies there and one of them handed me a cup of caffee and when I was drinking she showed me the money to pay and it was much more expensive than the real price of caffee however her friends didnt let me to pay but just it made a bad sense.

Ok let back to the road. in that day weather was very cool and no sun and no hot, I really enjoyed of cycling, but it was the last day of ridding in nice weather and just from the next day everyday rain and rain and wind. In that day after 120km cycling I went to village and I was looking for a place to stay that one family told me I can stay in their house, it was wonderful and one more night living with local people. I slept very early due to in this part of trip I have no time and just I have to work like a machine, just cycling, eating and sleeping. So in the morning I woke up like everyday very early about 6am and it was rain. It is too bad start the cycling under rain, if during the cycling you face with rain it is a little bit ok, but starting with rain is not so fun.

I waited to rain stop till 8, but it didnt like to stop and finally I found there is no way except going and I started cycling just by rain. Almost all the day I cycled under rain and in the evening the rain stopped, I found a petrol station to stay but no shelter, just I can be hopeful that I wont have any rain tonight. I put my tent and my luggage was outside, I told myself. It is ok I think rain finished today, just by the moment heavy rain started. Just I throw my stuff inside the tent and I went to take a shower in toilet!!!! Yes it is true; many times happened that I had no choice except washing myself in toilet. After one day cycling under rain I needed to clean my body. The dark toilet that had no light inside, but I had to do it and also enjoy and I enjoyed. However after shower I went inside the tent and after eating something just I slept. In the morning when I woke up I saw I am sleeping in a pool. Inside the tent was ok but non stop rain had made a pool around the tent and . I was disappointed for rain and again I slept till 8. It was really difficult to decide, everything was wet and heavy rain outside and 120km to ride in front. At first I told myself it is impossible, I cant cycle under this rain and I have wait to rain stop, I was thinking about waiting that I remember one of our training program in mountain. It was winter time and very cold, we started trekking early morning but it was rainy and we all soaked. After few hours walking we stayed in a shelter and we made a fire to dry our cloths and eat breakfast, our trainer asked us" hey guys. What do you think? We can continue today with this weather? "And we all answered him for sure no. it is winter and very cold and rain, how we can continue? And just after that he said "ok, so you have time 10 min to get ready, we want to climb the summit" and we worked more than 3 hours very hard rock climbing in snow and under rain.

Later when I asked him what the reason to do risk was, he answered me "when you have a goal, just you have to continue your way and nothing can stop you. You have overcome on every difficulty." Thank you Hussein Amani ( my trainer in mountaineering ) just I remember that day and it gave me supper energy and just I came out and pack my bags and loaded my bicycle which was 6-7 kg more heavier than usual. Thats why I had 2 broken spokes. That day was difficult day. At night finally I found a hotel (it was more bother than hotel) and just lied on the bed and slept for few hours. I woke up by the sound of my stomach which was too hungry; I hanged my tent and wet cloths around the room to dry and went out to eat.

A day after also I started cycling just under rain about 6am, oh my GOD the rain wont finish and it looks it would be rainy forever. Regarding to my schedule I had to get Danang by that day, but rain and wind didnt let me to follow that and I was one day behind. So just a day after I could arrive to Danang. However again one day cycling under rain and wind all the day. For sure I have no picture of this part of trip because of rain. So in that day also I cycled till 5pm and after that I saw that really I can't continue ridding under rain any more. I was passing a small city and I could find a small guest house and just I slept like a dead.

The last day before Danang I had rain for just 2-3 hours and after that finally rain stopped , I was too happy that I have no more rain and after 120km cycling I arrived to Danang about 2pm, I called Steve and just I cycled ahead to BBQ in Sally house. Thank you Steve and Sally and Ken…having BBQ after 10 days hard ridding is the best for a hungry and tired cyclist.

8 Aug 2007


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Released at August 2
4 days ag, I was going to come to Mashhad from Tehran by car. in a very shoort moment, someone broke into my car and stole my duffle bag which was filled with all my equipments. The hardest part was losing my passport, ID car, Swiss simcard, Banc card, and 2 hard drives full of picturesa nd videos from my journey, also tent, mattress, sleeping bag, 3 pair of shoes.....ooops!! ) 
It wasnt fun at all but not much I can do now and I have to restart again from the very beginning to collect those equipments again and get my documents which doesnt have a funny procedur. is going forward and I should follow it. 
I will be back on the road soon.....just need to get prepared again.
These days I am training harder and palanning my journey. I am going to go back to the road in a month.