Monthly Archives January 2017

Moc Chau to Mai Chau – 60 km

Another great day of cycling. Up and down in the morning and the last 25 km all downhill. We even had sunshine. Apparently this area has been cloudy no rainy for a week.

Moc Chau is on a plateau and Mai Chau is in a valley and off the main road.  Lots to see here including ethnic villages with home stays and lots of had crafts.

So we just completed 980 km mostly in mountains. Now we will be stopping for one week for TET. Tomorrow we will get a bus ride to Ha Noi  (120 km).

Leaving our Moc Chau hotel.

Below are some photos of the day.

Below is a sign for an Ethnic Homestay.  Sometimes you are not always sure of what you are being fed.   Janis saw a string of dead tree rats on their property so that may end up in the soup tonight.

Pizza lunch...

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A days rest in Moc Chau- 0 km

We did some blogging, yoga, bike repairs and some planning for the next 10 days.

Starting January 26th it is the Chinese New Year and Tet. Combined these two holidays last about 1 week. In that week most things shut down, including lots of services and public transportation. You have to either clear out of the country or honker down for about a week.

It would be like pulling into Toronto on Chriatmas eve and planning two days of sight seeing.  Only here it lasts a week

We hope to spend some times in Han Oi and some on the coast

Click here for a video about New Years trees

Moc Chau is very famous for its dairy industry.  We visited a local dairy farm to see the operation.

This is the first time we have seen cheese in three weeks .

Click here for a video on a local dairy farm

Bye fo...

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Yen Chau to Moc Chau – 59 km

Downhill at the start and uphill at the end. During the ride we decided to take a rest day in Moc Chau to rest our sore parts (mostly sore sits bones). That  is the advantage of not booking ahead, you live in the moment and can change plans on a dime.

We met two Belgium cyclists going the other way.  One of them appeared to be a road warrior.  Some of them have been on the road more than two years.  While we like cycle touring we don’t like it that much.

Leaving the hotel, a local lady wanted a photo with the bike.

Rest on the side of the road.

Another war monument.

Are we lost???  Apparently not.

Shot of the valley and the other side.

A lady selling sweet pomelo , a sweet orange type thing

A lady we met

A home made bamboo bridge that is strong enough to hold skooters

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Son La to Yen Chau – 60 km.

Mostly downhill today.  That is a break.

We had trouble getting a meal without some kind of meat in it. Remember the Vietnamese eat about 90,000 dogs a year.  We ended up with fried eggs inside a crepe.  It did the trick.

 

 

This is group who gave us some air for the tires and sent us on our way with a bag of boiled peanuts.

A lady we met along the way

 

Bye for now

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Tuan Gaio to Son La – 79 km

Started climbing from 7:30 till 11:30 and than down and up the rest of the day.

We arrived at 4:45 and were done in.  Bikes are holdind up well, bodies are another story.  Sitting on the hard bike seat for 4-6 hours a day is starting to hurt.  Thought we would have toughened up by now.

Lovely view.

Usie at a peak.

 

Lots of these signs.

And these.

And these.

And lots of these dudes.

Click here for a video of the ride up

Bye for now

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Dien Bien Phu to Tuan Gaio – 73 km

This day started with a climb to a pass.

Great vistas throughout the day. Lots of rice paddies and people so friendly.  There is a new phenominum in Vietnam that we did not see in Laos.  We have to shake the hands of a lot of locals.  Almost every stop we are treated with a handshake.  We passed many tribal villages.

First impressions of the northern parts of Vietnam.  The people are the most friendly we have ever seen in all our cycle travels. As a nation they are far more advanced and industrious than their Laotian neighbours.  They utilize their farming land much more efficiently and we are starting to see some automation in the fields and processing of the crops.

Click here to view a video of a celebration we attended.

Click here to view a video of our ride out of Dien Bien P...

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Truck Ride from Luang Namptha to Dien Bien Phu

This was an 8 hour ride through the mountains.  It is often about one day cycling for each 1 hour of truck ride.  We had already done 6 of the 8 days of ride in the past so we chose an assisted truck ride instead.

Well 8 hours in a truck through the mountains is like going on the “Great Canadian Mind Buster” at Canada’s wonderland and tell the operator to not stop for 8 hours.  They will stop if you feel like tossing your cookies.  We got through it. Janis had 100 mg of Gravol to assist her ride.

The people of Laos are very quiet and gentle.  The children are very friendly and the adults range from friendly to reserved.  They are a hard working culture and the rural people have only the very basics.  Most of the rural people are still huterer’s and gatherer’s...

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Rest Day In Luang Namptha

The way we chose to travel meant we would have a few days of overlap.  The ride from the Laos Border to Luang Namtha was lovely. In 2012, Janis was quite sick in Luang Namptha so we did not do that ride. It was great to be back and do it.

We took a rest day in Luang Namtha and just rested. Last time here we had some amazing trecks and did not feel like doing more.

It is a tourist town so there was bread with jam and peanut butter, some things you just don’t get in Laos.  

 

 

Bye for now

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Vieng Phuko to Luang Namptha – 60 km

This was a great ride day.  A real highlight of the trip so far.    Some climbs at the start and pancake flat at the end.  One would think you would enjoy riding the flats after all the mountains but we were board by the flats.

Luang Namptha is a nice tourist town, in a valley surrounded by mountains. Lots of hikes, rafting etc. Many ethnic village in the area.  We did all the tourist things here the last time we were in Namptha.

We stayed at Zuelas guest house.

 

 

 

Bye yes for now.

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Don Chai to Vieng Phuko – 52 km

Another lovely day on the bike. One big climb.  The difference today was the slope or pitch was much better with only a little at 10% grade.

The bikes with the gear are quite heavy and it takes a lot more energy pushing the bike up the mountain vs ride.  If the pitch is ok we ride at about 6km per hour.  Once we drop to 4 we know any slower and we will have to walk.  It isn’t always a matter of strength but the build up of lactic acid in the legs.

When we walk the bikes it is usually at 2 to 3 km per hour.

Our room tonight cost $10, so a step up from yesterday.

Even had a balcony.

Giant spider outside our room. In the night Janis woke up thinking she heard vermin in the room.  I could not find any so we left a bike light on...

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