Day nine, a 96km ride from Dong Le to Dong Hoi, was an absolutely fantastic one: completely dry (though still cloudy), and it featured by far the most astonishing scenery yet. We're currently in the narrowest part of Vietnam, approaching Hue, and the geography is jaw-dropping: mountains, karsts, rock formations, rivers, farmland. The first 50ish kilometers were on Highway 12, and for the better part of an hour I struggled to decide when to stop and take pictures and when to keep going. My tired mind can't find words to adequately describe the scenes at the moment, so I'll let a few pictures do the talking:
|"WTF are those Westerners doing?"|
My body is holding up well. My slow pace during the first two days had me concerned, but after discovering that it was bike problems that were holding me back, and then solving these problems, I've been flying. I expected to be one of the fastest cyclists, and I have been these past few days. (Not that it's a competition...but come on, it kinda is.) All of my joints, tendons, and ligaments feel fine. My knees are pain-free, something that can't be said for everyone else, and I can tell that I'm getting stronger on the bike. The only physical issue is the wound on my left leg that I got in the post-wedding haze of day five: trying to keep it clean on these dirty roads has been a hell of a task, but I think it's starting to heal. Knock on wood, this clean bill of health will remain untarnished as we move forward.