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E-bike expedition part 4 Vietnam - Online diary 2016-2017

A relaxed day

N 19°17'25.3'' E 105°28'40.3''
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    12.11.2016 until 15.11.2016

    Day: 505 – 508


    Nghệ An

    Motel Hải Vân

    Latitude N:

    Longitude E:

    Daily kilometers:
    87 km

    Total kilometers:
    20,599 km

    As the crow flies:
    70 km

    Average speed:
    22.5 km

    Maximum speed:
    48.4 km/h

    Travel time:
    3:51 hrs.

    Soil condition:

    Maximum height:
    200 m

    Total altitude meters:
    56.205 m

    Altitude meters for the day:
    692 m


    5:20 pm

    Temperature day max:

    09:20 a.m.

    Arrival time:
    2:30 pm

(Photos of the diary entry can be found at the end of the text).


In the morning, our bikes are still where we left them yesterday. We push it out of the former guardhouse, load it up and roll out of the hotel courtyard onto the Ho Chi Minh Highway. We have breakfast at a simple street restaurant with one of the famous and tasty homemade Vietnamese noodle soups.

For the first time in over a week, the sun’s rays peeking through the monsoon sky are warming us today. Before we say goodbye to the friendly cook and her husband, we buy some rice cakes, soy milk and nuts for the journey. With our stomachs full, we cycle on along the highway, which certainly doesn’t deserve the name because it’s only a single-lane country road. Fortunately, we can still experience this arterial road in its original state, as the government is planning to expand it into a real eight-lane highway in the future.

“Hey! Hey! Hey!”, an oncoming cyclist greets us. We stop immediately. “Paul”, the cheerful man introduces himself to us, laughing and shaking hands. “Where are you from?” I ask. “I’m fulfilling a dream and cycling through Vietnam from south to north for three months,” replies the Australian. “Great, you’re the first long-distance cyclist we’ve met in Vietnam,” Tanja replies. Before we continue our journey in the opposite direction, we exchange a few experiences about the route ahead of us. “And remember, in about 220 kilometers there is a very long stretch without accommodation. I’ll email you the coordinates of a small, run-down hotel where I could sleep!” he shouts, gets on his bike and pedals off.

After 87 kilometers we discover the newly built Hai Van Motel. A well-dressed woman standing on the side of the road waves us into the parking lot and advertises the house. “Looks good,” I say, which is why we decide to stay. With bones heavy with lead, we unload our bikes and carry our equipment to a simple but new room. It takes a lot of persuasion to be allowed to bring our bikes into the long motel corridor. “But the dog trailer has to stay outside, it stinks,” complains the cleaning lady. When we want to take a shower, we are disappointed to find that only cold water comes out of the tap. The Internet doesn’t seem to be working either. “We repair everything,” we understand the manager, who is immediately talking busily into his smartphone. It doesn’t take long before our room is swarming with two technicians, a plumber, the woman from the street, the manager and a cleaning lady. The different parties talk loudly to each other. “Phew, I had imagined my stay here would be a bit quieter,” Tanja moans, sitting on a simple wooden chair. After 30 minutes of hectic stress, the two technicians are successful. The Internet is actually working again, but the installer’s efforts remain unsuccessful. We are asked to move. “Oh no, I don’t feel like carrying all these bags to another room,” says Tanja, which is why we are offered the use of one of the bathrooms in the spare rooms for showering.

It is dark when the owners drive us each on a moped to a simple garage restaurant where we have dinner. “What can I get you?”, the English-speaking waitress asks us in amazement, as hardly anyone in this rural part of Vietnam speaks English. “I worked in a restaurant in Hanoi for a few years and opened this small restaurant with my husband two years ago,” she explains. We order rice with tomatoes, tofu and green vegetables. All without flavor enhancers, which are also added in abundance to every dish here…

If you would like to find out more about our adventures, you can find our books under this link.

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