Thur 8, Can Tho to Soc Trang, 70km
Take it easy in the morning, grabbing a couple of pork rolls from outside the hotel to eat as I pack.
Spend the first part of the ride heading south-east on a busy highway before turning off at a bridge to ride along the river. It was a really nice path to ride but unfortunately it stopped at the next bridge and so all I ended up doing was a small loop.
I tried again a bit further on, turning right on to a smaller marked road running along another river. Before I had the chance to get to the river path the road became an almost unrideable beginning of a road with bloody great stones forming the foundation. That won’t do for a great amount of time but I pressed on hoping things would improve. Wouldn’t you know it, they got worse. The road turned to mud, which I sank into, resulting in dirty boots. Dear oh me. I needed to be on whatever path was on other side of the river.
I could see a bridge about a hundred metres away so pressed on until I could duck across to the corresponding river path.
For the most part it was great fun to ride, with rickety bridges crossing tributaries and lots to see, although the path was very rundown in places with big cracks and movement in the concrete slabs the most awkward obstacle.
Not many food options. I stop at one place and have what they can offer, instant noodles with bean sprouts (plus a coffee, plus a coconut juice- which was emptied into a plastic container, presumably so I could enjoy it with sugar and ice).
As I was leaving the young chap in the above photograph jumps up and more or less advises me to go back 100 metres to take a ferry to the other side. I’m not sure what lay ahead on this side of the river but I took his advice. My best guess is that one of the smaller tributary bridges was broken.
Similar path conditions, with just as many interesting things to see and shocked people to pass. I stop at one group with children to show photos and offer stickers.
Despite enjoying it tremendously, the ride was slow going and I was grateful to be able to link back with a nicely sealed major road for the final 20km or so into Soc Trang.
There, I meet another cyclist, 29 year old ‘Paul’ from China, the first I’ve seen in Vietnam. We share stories and emails.
Enjoy a beautiful chicken curry for dinner, and then have an early night.