Saturday, 25 June 2005

Sa Pa to Lao Cai, train to Hanoi

Saturday 25 June 2005

Woke at 5:30am, and was showered and the first person to breakfast at 6:30am. Sat by the window of the hotel restaurant looking into the valley below and across to the highest mountains in Vietnam, unfortunately still covered in mist and cloud. Pleasantly quiet. Bought some water for the cycle to Lao Cai, packed and checked out of the hotel. As the temperature was quite cool as always in Sa Pa at this time of year, wore a tee shirt under my jersey for the descent.

Was on my bike soon after 7:30am. First had to return the room key to the Son Thuy Hotel that had inadvertently taken with me. Then started the twisting, winding descent, being careful of the many buses and some trucks, mainly heading to Sa Pa. Overtook a bus on the way down and it was another 15 minutes before it overtook me on an incline, with horns blaring and everyone in the bus smiling, waving and yelling at me: am sure that the first time they'd seen a cyclist faster than a bus! Had a close call when a bus coming towards me overtook a truck on a blind corner. I was traveling fast and had to brake hard and hug the edge of the bitumen, with little room to spare. If I'd been a bus there would have been trouble.


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