So- we got behind one day staying in Hue–we had taken the night train from Hanoi and our bikes were shipped seperately-they arrived a day late so it wasn’t until Tuesday that we got to do some serious riding.
Tuesday morning we set out from Hue to Da Nang- about a 90 KM ride that includes the Hai Van Pass. When we woke up it was downpouring but by the time we got to the train station it had quieted down. After an hour of riding it started to rain again and we were soon soaked- but it was awesome going through these tiny towns, passing rice fields and water buffalo. Children liked to run out and shout hello.
We went up three small mountain roads, but most was flat for the first four hours. We stopped for lunch by the foggy, rough China Sea before attacking the Hai Van Pass. The Hai Van Pass is 10 KM up a green, jungle mountain overlooking the China Sea.
It took us an hour and half to cycle up, it wasn’t that steep but it just keeps climbing. It was so peaceful because most traffic was diverted to a tunnel that cuts through the mountain, instead of going over, so we had the road to ourselves, except for a couple tour buses that passed us. There were incredible views, and it felt so good to reach the top.
At the top some women got us to sit at their table, where they gave us Vietnamese coffee and tried to hussle jewelry and postcards. We got some postcards and started the ride down, back through the clouds.
After getting to the bottom it was another 25 KM to Da Nang. We got there around 5pm so it was about 8 hours of riding. Da Nang was our least favorite place-not cute and I ate some bad Pho that upset my stomach the next day.
Wednesday morning we rodae from Da Nang to Hoi An, which revolves around its tailor shops that will measure you and make clothes for you- you can choose the pattern and fabric, but we are only here for one day (leaving this afternoon) and had very little time for outfits to be made.
Besides the tailor shops there are a lot of cool temples stuck amongst old buildings and a bustling market. The air is much more tropical here, but it has been cloudy. Hoi An is an old port city and has a Chinese and French influence. There are a lot of protected historical sights and we have seen the most tourists here. I hear French everywhere.
I did have shoes made for me, and I have to go get them now. I will let you all know how that went.