– ODO- 18925-19038km
– Location- Dal Leng, Vietnam
– Weather- 20-27 rain all morning
Before I left I spent days reading kit reviews. Something I’ve always spent good money on for hiking and biking is a Goretex jacket. My Arcteryx climbing shell is ultra-light, fitting perfectly in all positions with a hood that fits over the cycle helmet but it’s no match for the rainy season in Vietnam.
I left the yoga studio and hotel at 6 am after the host family dropped two Banh Mi to me. The rain had come down in buckets all night waking my restless sleep – I’ve not been sleeping these last two night with strange head congestion that kept me feeling on the edge of being sick yet denying me the satisfaction of blowing my nose.
The highway began to break up as it headed into the deep forest. The odd bus and truck split the sound of rain on the leaves. Trees shot hundreds of feet from the hillsides with vines hanging down. The forest is strangely silent here compared to the cacophony of eagles in India or monkeys in Myanmar. The only other people I saw were working on the roadside digging truck arrester ramps.
The rain continued. Always at a faint trickle with fickle switches to powerful showers. Climbing the hills my sweat collected inside so thick that it driped out of my loose jacket sleeves soaking my handlebars grips. After just an hour all my clothes were soaked. My climb continued until I was in the cloud itself. No longer rainy just damp all round. Sweat ran, refusing to evaporate. I stopped for some water to drink and wrang our my gloves.
Shooting down the other side of the pass I held the breaks, not wanting to take the poured concrete corners too fast. The wind yanked my hood off my helmet and it flew back flapping. 20km on behind the pass the rain died off and out came the sun. Soon the rain was forgotten. I lay my jacket out to dry eating a fresh dragon fruit and sighed. What a way to feel alive.