Morning couldn’t come fast enough, though I slept well enough in the safety of our net-shelter. The bird had quieted overnight and was nowhere to be heard. We strapped our bags onto our bikes with the rubber straps provided to us, fueled up at a nearby petrol station, and hit the road. We were glad for the riding jackets and the long-sleeve base layers that we brought after much debate as the morning air was cold (note that the cold air did not last long).
Once we were out of the city, ethnic minority villages and much larger, sharper mountains lined our way. Along our route we found a nice field and hiked down a little lower to take a picture in order to avoid the power lines that plague nearly every landscape we wish to capture (at least these people have power, right?).
As we climbed back up the hill and popped out of the brush, we ran right into minority woman getting off of her scooter heading out to work in the rice paddies. She was quite startled by the sight of us and we all shared a good laugh. I guess she doesn’t see too many Americans hiking in her fields!
Our ride continued out of the paddies and into the surrounding hills past more tiny villages of the ethnic minorities. We stopped to visit a few selling some snacks, and since we had not eaten gladly paid a few thousand dong for something to eat. Most of these stands were run by children, who much like their parents are very shy about being photographed.
With about 70 kilometers to go, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant across from some fruit stands. With a fair bit of miming we secured our best pho yet and then headed across the street to buy some oranges from a fruit stand. As we ate our fruit, Bree tried to pet the dog that was milling about and gave him such a scare that he ran straight into the scooters parked nearby. He must not get much human interaction.