Pomello Paradise

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
1
164
360
Trip End Aug 21, 2011


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Where I stayed
Thao Nguyen Hotel

Flag of Vietnam  , Phú Thọ,
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The noise in the hotel over night was UNBELIEVABLE! We had thought one of the bonuses of being in the middle of the nowhere would at least be peaceful sleeping, but we couldn't have been more wrong. A Chinese tour group turned up at about 9 and spent the next 4 hours shouting their heads off, and letting their children run riot, so that they tried to get into our room 3 times! I am a really heavy sleeper, but have been woken up every night so far, think we’d better try and get some ear plugs.

Breakfast was great, the tour had woken up early, made LOADS more noise and left, thank goodness, so we had the place to ourselves. Stir-fried noodles and strong coffee make excellent cycling fuel and we did the first 15 miles without any problems, despite the continuing up and down.

We then bumped into our cycle tourist for today, a French guy called Gilles who is on a 3 month trip this time, but previously cycled from Alaska to the tip of South America. He’d been having problems in the North-East with roads on the map not existing and had now got behind schedule. He was trying to catch up with Vincent who we had met yesterday, aiming to do a 150 day – I think he was a bit disappointed to hear that the road ahead was hilly. It has become clear over the last few days that this is a popular route for cyclists and explains why the locals are shouting hello and smiling, but not gaping in astonishment as they were in the mountains of Northern Yunnan!

A mile down the road, we reached pomello town and where every stall had about 100 pomellos and nothing else! We pulled over and a lovely lady did all the boring peeling for us and letting us play with her cute little baby and two puppies. It is hard to imagine how they sell all of the fruit as there was so much, and no one around buying. We felt very virtuous cycling off having had a healthy snack for once!

I think Tet really is over now as I saw someone taking down their decorated tree and at 12 we cycled past loads of huge groups of kids on bikes who can only have been on their lunch break from school. Mikey got into a race with two little monkeys which went one for at least a mile and left me well behind.

For lunch, the options on display were some dodgy looking chicken legs and extremely dodgy looking fish. We opted for what looked like omelette chopped up, vegetables and rice – delicious. After we’d eaten it, we discovered that it had in fact been the dreaded tofu! I don’t know what they’d done to make it so revolting the last time we had it, but it tasted fine today.

The afternoon’s 30 miles passed in a blur of shouting at buses -Mikey ( he even followed a particularly ridiculous driver into a stop and got on board to give him a lecture) and enjoying the sunshine and scenery – me! Although yesterday and this morning were overcast and actually perfect cycling temperatures, the sunshine this afternoon was gorgeous. I’m really looking forward to getting to the coast now, and getting on some of the white sand beaches I’ve been reading about.

10 miles before the end of the day the road became a double highway and the surrounding much more built up. Viet Tri, were we are staying is actually a big town, and we are supposing it will remain like this until Hanoi. The hotel we’ve found is ok – cleanish and we’re on the 8th floor with a balcony. The lift is very dodgy though and has a mind of its own, only arriving when it wants and taking you up instead of down if it wants. I’m hungry again so we’re off to explore the town and find something that’s not pork and rice
Mad things seen on a bike - Two enormous urns, perhaps for cremation, instead of yesterday's coffin?

56 progressively hotter and flatter miles
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