At 8.30 we started pedalling. I’d adjusted Teresa’s saddle and handlebar a little to be a bit more ergonomic. A few minutes after setting off we met an older couple cycling the opposite way. Shortly after that a group of Australians cycling towards Vietnam (our direction) joined us on the road. Most of them were retired but ever so fit and holiday cycling all over the planet. We cycled on and off together and had lunch with them before we departed left for a 7km cave in the nearby hills. They gave us few tips on where to go cycling and we imparted what little we know about equipment and European bicycles.
We decided to take a lift on a mini bus one way to the cave (as it was quite seriously uphill!). It took long time to find a driver willing to stick the bikes on his roof, but the drive across the ridge was pretty scary and very scenic.
Took another bus half way and stopped at a petrol station to fill up lots of jerry cans for the people in the hills. The drive was beautiful, stopping off with deliveries to locals in the valley as we progressed. After over an house (for 40km), we finally we arrived in a tiny village. The last bus was full of tourists: two French Canadians, a Spanish bloke, a couple from the French part of Switzerland and an English disabled lady with a wheelchair.
We went for a quick cycle tour to establish the opportunities for next day’s cave adventure. Returning we popped to the roof terrace of the guest house, where they were mainly staying, to have a great multi-national conversation sharing ideas and plans over a beer or two with an excellent view across the surrounding limestone karst mountains.
Teresa strongly considered staying in the guest house but Tadek’s need to put up the tent in the wonderful setting just outside the cave was much stronger. So we camped - fabulous!!!
Cycled 65 (just in the morning) - not bad J Thanks to the Aussies!