What a calamity. We must of cursed our good luck in Dalat when we told people how smooth our journey had been so far!! Without any major disasters.
We figured it was one really long 100 mile day or two shorter days from the mountain town of Dalat to Mui Ne on the coast. All downhill! Surely we could make the 100 mile journey at a push?
We thought we'd give it a try.
The morning of the ride Mike was complaining of an upset stomach, but he thought it was just wind so we set off regardless, zooming down the first mountain pass no problemo.
On the second mountain pass however, about 50 miles into the ride, Mike collapsed on the side of the road retching and vomiting. He was in no fit state to go anywhere. He had no energy, couldn't keep anything down and was becoming delirious. I was concerned. It was 25 miles to the nearest town, we were in the middle of nowhere halfway down a steep mountain pass!
We waited a while on the side of the road, Mike lying in the gutter. Trucks had been passing us every now and then while we were riding so I was hoping to flag one down and hitch a ride into town. After waiting for about 20 minutes, nothing but a couple of mopeds had whizzed by. We couldn't stay here, time was ticking on. It was already 3:40pm and it goes dark at about 5:30pm. Mike summoned the strength to get back on his feet and I walked with him to the top of the next hill. We got on our bikes and began rolling.
Luckily, in Vietnam even in the middle of nowhere you are never too far from a little shack with a tin roof, red plastic chairs out front and a lady selling refreshments. God I was relieved, we rolled into her front yard, got Mike a Coca Cola for energy and settled him in a hammock. I'd have to flag a passing truck down from here.
More time passed and still no trucks had gone by. The shop lady noticed Mike wasn't quite right when he stood up, almost fell over and then projectile vomited off her decking and into her back yard. Her husband rushed out and started rubbing and massaging his back, trying to get me to rub a lime into his back (Vietnamese remedy - Mike was having none of it). They were very kind, and noticed I was worried so started trying to help me with finding a method of transport. A bus went by and we tried to flag it down but it was full of people and didn't stop. The lady suggested a taxi, but when I pointed out we had our bikes with us, she realised they wouldn't fit.
By this point Mike had started muttering the words 'ambulance' and I was really worried. I was sure it must be food poisoning so I settled him back in the hammock and took action. I needed to get him to the nearest hotel/hostel/guesthouse asap. The lady got on the blower and was obviously calling her mate. She showed me 2.5 million Dong as a sign this was how much it was going to cost us to get out of here. That is nearing £90!! I was having none of it, I got her down to 1 million Dong and she called her mate back and showed me a sign that someone was on the way. Thank god!
It took almost 2 hours for the man with a van to reach us up the winding mountain pass. It was pitch black when he arrived but at least Mike had recovered enough strength to climb into the front seat of the van and not vomit everywhere. I instructed that we wanted to go to the nearest town Luong Son, 25 miles away and off we went.
The journey was rough, the road was crumbling and had been washed away in many places. We also saw a huge stripy snake in the middle of the road! After what seemed like forever we arrived in Luong Son. We got the guy to pull over at the first hotel we spotted, got out and put poor Mike to bed.
Luong Son to Mui Ne - 30 miles
So we never did do a 100 mile day. The next day was still a good 30 mile ride to Mui Ne and Mike was still very weak. He managed to choke down a plain Banh Mi (baguette) in the morning and then we set off late, in the heat off the day for a slow ride to Mui Ne. Poor Mike was struggling and he got a puncture, but we made it. Unfortunately, I had no option but to cycle straight over a snake that slithered right out in front of me. I hope that I didn't kill it!
Impressive view from the mountain pass
Mike feeling poorly in his hammock
Snap of my loaded bike which squished the snake moments before