Yesterday 10th August, Hue to we think it was called Phuoc An but not sure = 60km
We finally got ourselves out of Hue after a great relaxing time there. The relaxation was well and truly a distant memory from the first pedal as we fought the traffic for 10km out of Hue and then started barreling down the highway making our way towards Danang. As this distance to Danang is approx 120km including going over the Hai Vanh pass we wanted to break this up over 2 days. So thanks to maps.me we found a fishing village to spend the night 60km down the track (8km off highway). Was nice to be off the highway and some peace and quiet. Felt like being back in Laos a real step back in time, very remote and finding something tasty to eat a struggle. Once again the heat was a killer so a very quiet afternoon mentally preparing ourselves for the big pass tomorrow. Nice to see the ocean again, first time since Southern Thailand. We checked the temps yesterday and they were 40deg saying pfelt like 56 no wonder we were in bed at 8.30pm!
Today Thursday 11th August
Phuoc An – Hoi An via Hai Vanh Pass and Danang = 82km
Up at 5.45 as we want to get this show on the road early before it gets too hot. We have both also been battling a bit of a virus the past day or two so not sure how the energy levels will hold out today in the heat.
Back blazing down the highway for the first 16km before we start the Hai Vanh pass. We had read so much about this pass known as one of the best passes in the world. So we were both anxious and excited. It is 21km over the top and has gradients of 8-10% the entire way. Now for those of you that don’t know what that means…….it’s bloody steep!
So off we go and right from the get go it’s tough going with absolutely no respite, flat or downhill for the 10km up. The mercury once again rising rapidly and without a doubt hitting the 40deg this was a grovel. No its a challenge we kept telling ourselves! Now I know we have gone on about how hot it was but to give you and indication we could both wring our shorts and shirts out. My wrists were like a tap and we have never been so exhausted but with only 3 stops we made it to the top. There we see all the other tourists sitting in their lovely air conditioned vans looking so fresh checking out the view and a few clambering over an old US army bunker which we just waved to!
So a huge buzz getting to the top and with it being so steep and the drivers here so unpredictable we took it easy going down the other side taking in the lovely view of Danang. The body is a funny old thing once down the other side of the pass we had forgotten about the energy exerted and how shagged we were. Approaching Dannag and seeing how crazy the traffic was on the outskirts of this city of 1 million people we changed plans to push through another 35km to Hoi An. One wrong turn on the overpass and looking down at where we should have been, a few F bombs were let out and we sat down for a drink to contemplate how to attack the overpass and back track.
All good though and despite both of us not feeling 100% we have had an awesome day and here we are in Hoi An which was our goal for this cycle tour. Found ourselves some digs and chilling out. Will spend at least a week chillaxing here while we contemplate our options for the next part of the adventure. With the traffic here being absolutely nuts (saw another crash today) we are finding we are riding for the destination not the journey. Having said that we are loving our time in Vietnam.