School runs, Traffic Jams, and King Kong... The story of Day 3.
Awoken by the sound of Taylor in my ear and fueled by super strength coffee in the national park, we quickly ascended the 15% gradients under the cool jungle canopy. The sound of monkeys screaming and birds singing as we sped through the early sunrise mist was a truly spectacular way to start Day 3.
As we left the national park we went further off-road, it didn't matter that my shock absorbers were fixed I was again riding a pneumatic drill! We rode into small villages where children were heading off to start their school week in their best uniforms, with huge smiles and loud Hello's they started chasing after us, a truly magical moment.
The sight of the children going to school quickly reminded me it's Monday and my first day of annual leave, I was thinking how thankful I was not to be stuck in a traffic jam in HCMC, only to be stuck in one literally 10 mins later!! Whilst we could navigate the traffic in a similar manner to the motorbikes of HCMC, poor Ronnie in the support van was stuck behind the stubborn cattle for more than 20 minutes :)
As we headed further into rural countryside past an area where King Kong was filmed I got into a beautiful trance like rhythm, the pain in my bottom had numbed for more than 3 minutes and I had started to zone out... and then suddenly something got my attention, something huge in the road, at first I assumed it was a small dog and swerved quickly, I managed to stay on my bike, but when I looked back I couldn't believe it. Clearly King Kong is alive and well because there is no way a water buffalo could have given birth to that thing and survived such an obviously traumatic birth. With adrenaline pumping through my veins I grabbed a drink but was too late to warn this poor motorist...
We continued through the countryside, seeing people neck deep in water catching snails.. a very hard way to earn a living... this lady sells the locally caught Snails to markets in Hanoi for only 6,000 VND per KG (0.26 US cents).
We continued our journey riding past the largest pagoda in South East Asia and past the first Vietnamese citadel, two incredible sights but nothing compared to what I saw next... if I ever think I’m doing it tough on the bike I will remind myself of this guy. What a superstar!
Day 4 & Vinh tomorrow....
Thanks for making and difference and helping save a life.
Here are some more images of a wonderful day in a magical country.