Distance today: 86km
Total distance to date: 379km
Temperature (max): 29.8°C
View the stats on Strava

Having cycled about 6,000 km in Cuba and Thailand on three different tours, we have never had a flat tire. Today we woke up to a flat. Like greased lightning Randy had the wheel off and located the offender—not just one, but two small pieces of metal embedded in the tire.

We rolled out into the misty morning fog—we’re talkin’ heavy, wet, make-your-handlebars-slimy mist that just hung in the air and made us drip. We couldn’t see the hills in front of us and we pretty much had the road to ourselves for while. A few kilometres later came an unusual looking motorcycle with a contraption on the back of it. We noticed a gigantic 6ft wide magnet was affixed to the back and was sweeping the side of the road for metal fragments. It was low-tech magnificence and we both appreciated the genius of it, wishing one of those would clean our roads at home!

Later, when the sun came out and the day really started heating up we took our chances on a dubious little road through a village just to escape some gnarly traffic mayhem. It was all lalalalala…until it wasn’t.  “Woof woof wooof arff arfff wooof what-the-heck!”  — Just keep goin! Look ahead! Don’t stop! OMG! Randy dismounted to stare the dog down but it was a war of wills. Randy won that battle. Not five minutes later the scene played out again. Then again. By that time we were unnerved and stood there paralyzed, mentally calculating how to escape this village of crazy dogs and return to the preferable highway mayhem again. As we stood there, wishing we could teleport ourselves away, out of the corner of my eye I spotted an older Vietnamese man standing in his doorway trying to snap some incognito shots of the crazy first-time-for-everything-foreigners-in-the-village.

People sneak pictures of us at every angle—passengers (sometimes the drivers) of passing motorcycles, teenagers lucky enough to have cell phones—and the ice cream guy. We stopped (rather, came to a screeching halt) when we noticed an ice cream parlour. We each ordered up a chocolate Sundae. Then another. Then another (for Randy). Five in total, to be exact. As we are slurping away, the ice cream guy tentatively approaches with camera in hand. We put on our biggest smiley faces and it became a paparazzi moment. Ice Cream Guy’s girlfriend saw her opportunity and she too came to snap a picture of The Foreigners.

But today wasn’t really about flat tires, dogs or ice cream. What really seared itself into our innards was the car honking. Little toots, bleeps & beeps we can handle. It’s the soul crunching booming, bellowing, heart-stopping blasts from every single passing truck and bus that penetrates the blood-brain barrier and traumatizes our eardrums. They aren’t just occasional thunderbolts into our sound-sphere. Every truck or bus lays on the horn as though they want to notify humanity that they are about to drive off the edge of planet earth. We get it—they want (need) to announce their approach from behind as they pass.  But when you get a transport, right beside a megalith bus and they are both passing you at the same time, blaaaaaaastity blast blaaaaaast—it feels like there’s about six tones of angry metal right above your head.

Maybe a few barking dogs on back roads aren’t so bad afterall…

Posted in Uncategorized, Vietnam 2024.


  1. Very glad and happy that you are enjoying your retirement. You deserve it after working so hard. Thanks for everything

  2. I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying your blog. Sitting here waiting for spring, I can travel vicariously through both of you.
    Thank-you and stay safe…PB

  3. We could use that magnetic contraption here on Mastwoods rd! Elizabeth and I are really enjoying reading of your great adventures.

  4. Yay!!!!! You found ice cream! I bet that made all the dogs and honking disappear out of your thoughts for just a while…….
    I love reading your daily posts Anita. You capture your moments well!

  5. You needed five ice creams because that’s close to what you get when you go to that ice-cream stop in Peterborough. You’ve been spoiled.

  6. Now you have a taste of what the people in Ottawa went through with the constant honking day and night!

  7. Your story today makes me exhausted and I haven’t moved out of my comfy chair! Your stamina is unbelievable! 👏👏❣️

  8. Randy pointed me to your blog. What a great way to document your adventure. I’m loving it so far. Its a beautiful country and what a great way to see it. Keep it up. Have you tried a 3 bean drink? Its exotic looking but I think you’d like it. It’s a refreshing desert and would be great after a long day in the saddle. This is the Vietnamese name for it, Chè Ba Màu. Cheers, Khoa-HLC.

    • Thanks Khoa, I’m going to keep my eye open for it. Randy will try it—he’s the experimental one!

  9. What a ride! Menacing dogs and truck/bus blasts would have done me in!! Kudos for your steely resilience!

    • Thanks Nadia—the trucks and dogs did nearly do us in. However, it hasn’t been constant. It was super intense for only part of the day but it was enough to rattle us.

  10. Goodness!! Today sounds like an adventurous day!! Hoping you found an especially restful place to sleep, tonight:):) The scenery, as always, looks beautiful!! Continued safe travels!!

    • Thank you Carol. Everyday there’s something new. We always start out saying “I wonder what today will bring?”

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