Vietnam Voyage: Biking the Cloud Pass
Then There Were Three Again
Rush left us the next morning, and the three of us rode out. The next part of our drive was absolutely beautiful! It was all mountains after Da Nang, and on the map, it was called Cloud Pass or something. My bike didn’t make it very far before dying out again, so we turned around and got it fixed up a bit before trying again. It did feel better after the oil change and tightening of the exhaust pipe…
I hope my eyes never forget the view that we experienced on that drive. Gatty had his camera out almost the entire time. It was just so beautiful! There was only one road. It was long, very windy and nicely paved. It was up in the mountains (obviously) so we could see a vast expanse of ocean along the coast with lots of little islands sticking out everywhere. The sun was beating down on us and it made the experience that much more beautiful. It only took about an hour or so to get over the mountains, luckily, because my bike wouldn’t have been able to make it any further with those kind of inclines. Once we got over to the other side, we stopped for lunch. What a surprise to see a full pig foot in each of our soups! Ryker and Max didn’t touch theirs, but I had to try it. The meat wasn’t very enjoyable, it just tasted like fatty gristle with a hint of bacon. I feel like it was mostly there to add more flavour to the soup. All-in-all, it wasn’t that bad.
More Bike Problems
My bike died after lunch again so we took it to a little shop on the side of the road. The guy took a bunch of the engine apart and temporarily fixed it, but deduced that one part of the engine wasn’t squirting oil through like it should and that he could do the fix in three more hours if we wanted to stick around. We took our chances and left though. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Early evening, we arrived in Hue. We stayed one night there, the hotel was pretty nice. Hue was a nice city with a decent tourist strip. We had a few drinks at Brown Eyes Bar and shot some pool. We went home early though so we could have an early start in the morning. The next stop on the list was Dong Ha.
We rode into Dong Ha in the early evening and grabbed dinner at a Pizza Hut. We’re really keen to make it to Hanoi now so we didn’t do much of anything here. We found a little hotel to sleep at, and went to bed. The next two days went by uneventfully and we finally saw signs indicating we were nearing our destination of Hanoi.
Big Spill Before Hanoi
On the major highway approaching Hanoi, we had our biggest near-death scare. I was biking behind Max and Ryker and saw it all happen right in front of my face. We are sharing the highway with cars, bikes, and semi trucks. There are lanes on the highway but in Vietnam, they aren’t really abided by. A black sedan started closing in sideways towards Ryker (practically cutting him off) so in turn, he started to veer sideways towards Max without warning and Max was too close to him to avoid him. Ryker cut off Max and his back wheel clipped Max’s front wheel and caused Max to lose control and fall. We were going about 90km/h and I VIVIDLY recall watching Max slide along the pavement in front of me for a good 30 yards with his bike sliding beside him. slammed on my breaks and the two semis behind me started breaking too. I helped Max and his bike up and hurried over to the side of the highway. Max had some pretty significant road rash but for that calibur of accident, he was lucky to walk away from it with only minor(ish) scrapes.
We had plenty of iodine on us so we cleaned his wounds, then grabbed a drink and a bite to eat to take in the fact that Max almost died right there. He was pretty shaken up. There was a bike repair shop nearby so we took in his bike and got it fixed up. An hour later we were back on our bikes and cruising along the highway again. Now entering the city Hanoi, capital of Vietnam.