Today the real adventure begins.
This is a gps read out of where we cycled but more on that in a minute.
This morning we were picked up from the hotel by our tour guide Hoang (pronounced more like wang) and driver of the support vehicle Du. Thankfully we do not cycle straight out of Hanoi as it is plain madness on the roads here.
Our cyling actually began roughly 160km’s north west of Hanoi in a village called Mai Chau. To get there our driver successfully navigated out of the city without injuring anyone, then took the most deserted freeway I’ve ever seen, got booked for speeding (though I don’t think we ever exceeded about 70km/h) before climbing over the fog covered mountains to our destination, a traditional Vietnamese house on stilts overlooking rice fields, where we will spend the night.
After lunch (Gemma will write about the food shortly) we boarded our bikes for a quick ride to a village about 20km away.
Gemma took a while to familiarise herself with the mountain bike controls and the additional gears offered over her usual steed, but did well. Th journey which you can see on the map above was actually about 20km. I forgot to unpause the app on my phone when we started, thus the big straight line, I promise not to do that again.
The riding was quite pleasant. Largely flat with only a few short uphills requiring the shorter gears. We road along the bottom of the valley with mountains shooting straight up on either side. The temperature is probably mid 20’s but the humidity does get to you quickly. The locals are all very friendly, especially the children who wave and shout hello to practice their english. Gemma will need to gain a bit more confidence before she can take a hand off the bars to wave back.
Lots of video has been recorded which I will try to upload soon but may not be able to until our return.
Tomorrow we get closer to the national park and have about 35km’s to ride after breakfast so it will be off to bed for us soon.