Have you followed this whole journey from the beginning? Follow this link to find all the episodes of our Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam Cycle Tour.
Day 55 to 56– January 24th to 25th: Quy Nhon
This morning I was shocked to attention by the world’s worst coffee. I never thought there was such a thing until now! Thank God the hotel is nice.
I was running out of some things, namely sunscreen and deodorant, stuff I really needed. The fact that I was buying sunscreen actually cheered me up and reminded me that sunny days were ahead.
There was a Big C a few blocks over from our hotel, it’s a big supermarket chain, and they have everything. I got the sunscreen and deodorant in a chemist just outside the Big C; all I needed now was some more instant coffee, the 3 in 1 variety, you add hot water. Most of these small hotels had a kettle but little else. All I needed was the coffee. I took one look at the queues in Big C; they were huge, so I instantly walked out. There was no way known I was going to line up for hours in there for just some instant coffee!
I also needed some more cash, and there’s always an atm at Big C. There was, but it was broken – it just wasn’t my day. Thank God the sun was out!
Later on, we took a Grab bike each and went down the coast to Bai Xep, a small fishing community with a couple of small resorts nestled in amongst the village. I knew I would have to negotiate some pretty big hills getting out of Quy Nhon, and this was a great opportunity for me to see just how big they were.
They were big! Not just big, but long, winding ones. I had decided our next stop would be in Tuy Hòa in Phú Yên Province, roughly 100kms away, my longest day by far. These big hills ran around a series of headlands that finished about 35kms away, a testing time to begin a long day. I was a little bit worried, to be honest.
After lunch at the Big Tree Bistro, we ventured next door to Life’s A Beach, a small backpacker-type resort with a bar and restaurant as well. Here we met the owner, Steve, an Englishman, and had a good chat about life up here, the problems of foreign ownership in Vietnam, and the ever-present task of dealing with the police looking for bribes.
Steve organized a taxi to pick us up, as getting a Grab bike out here is near impossible. We got dropped off at the Unique Craft Beer taphouse and met Hoang, the owner there. He’s a really nice bloke and deals with a lot of the guys we know back in Saigon to get his beers delivered. The place was pretty quiet, but it was still pretty early.
The next morning I slept in while Sharyn had breakfast upstairs. I couldn’t face the coffee again, and there wasn’t much on offer for breakfast anyway. I eventually got up and went around to a bakery up the road while Sharyn worked on her computer.
I bought some pastries for tomorrow’s ride, and later on, we headed back to Docker’s bar for a couple of beers and an early night. I didn’t want to play up at all; I was still feeling a little apprehensive about tomorrow’s ride over the mountains.
Time to head south again: Working on the Highway. The Longest Day