It took us 2 days to cycle the 76 miles from Hue to Hoi An. We left Hue bright and early and headed south on Highway 1.
Our destination for the first day was Lang Co, which is about half way between Hue and Hoi An. On the way to Lang Co we made a short detour into Bach Ma National Park to visit Elephant Springs (admission 17,000VNDpp (60p)). It was a scorcher, and we were looking forward to a cool off in the falls.
We got the cool off a little earlier than planned when the heavens opened on our way up to the springs. Still, we persevered, and it was well worth it! Elephant springs was beautiful. The rain halted just long enough for us to take a dip in the crystal clear plunge pool.
'but why is it called elephant springs?'
We arrived in Lang Co early afternoon and found ourselves a guest house. We picked a winner. The view from the back yard was stunning.
Hai Van Pass
The next day we were greeted with our biggest cycling challenge yet, the Hai Van Pass; a 21km col, climbing from sea level to an elevation 496m. The Hai Van pass is one of Vietnams most spectacular stretches of road, Jeremy Clarkson called it 'one of the best coast roads in the world'. The pass also forms the boundary between the climates of North and South Vietnam, so we were keen to get over it into some warmth!
Having scaled many cols, I was in my element. Hayley however, was in the red zone. With laden mountain bikes in 30+ degree heat, the Hai Van pass certainly isn't the easiest introduction to riding up mountains. Nevertheless, she made it! Although I'm not sure she'll be persuaded to join me in the alps anytime soon.
Cracking views of the coast
We made a quick stop in Da Nang to grab lunch and to pick up a new GoPro case - I dropped and broke the last one. Da Nang seemed like a reasonable place. Modern, lots of expensive looking hotels and a nice beach. If we hadn't have been rushing to Hoi An for the full moon, we probably would have spent at least a day in Da Nang.
Feeling dope after completing Hai Van
We arrived in Hoi An early afternoon, looking forward to putting our feet up and exploring the town everyone loves.