It’s 35°—Do you really need fleece?

Distance (yesterday): 108km
Temperature (max): 33°C
View the stats on Strava (Hỏi An to Quang Ngai)

Distance (today): 78km
Temperature (max): 35°C
View the stats on Strava (Quang Ngai to Tan Than)

Total distance to date: 1,110km

It would be nice if we could say that every day had stunning scenery and glorious riding—but we can’t. For two days now we battled headwinds that slow us down to a painful crawl, requiring stops every 5k just to relieve our aching everything. Those overcast days with pleasant temperatures? Gone. Nada. History.  We are into the hot weather now! A thermometer is installed on the bike so we can confirm what our dripping selves already know—it’s stinkin’ hot out there and we are melting. 35°C today. Not a cloud in sight. It’s too hot to even take pictures. Instead we just file the sights into our personal memory banks. As we reach breaking points we start scanning for ice cream opportunities which don’t present nearly as often as desired or needed. Today while hovering on the brink I saw it. “STOP!!! ICE CREAM!!”—we both screeched to a halt, did a U-turn on the highway (anything goes here) and positioned our hot sweaty selves in the teeny tiny chairs of the roadside ice cream vendor and we slurped—Coffee-flavoured ice cream. Then, orange creamsicle. Then, watermelon flavoured popsicle thing. We were not leaving that spot in the shade until our mental & physical states improved. We noticed a local girl slide on up on her motorbike looking cool as a cucumber—in her heavy sherpa-fleece jacket & pants, with her hood up. We couldn’t help but notice how many locals are out and about with puffy jackets.  Hoodies.  Ski-type coats. Its 35° folks—really?? 

We are in Central Vietnam now where the climate has changed from temperate in the north, to tropical. The scenery is also changing a little. We are seeing more coconuts. And house geckos. And the sounds at night are more tropical sounding. New, unidentifiable squeaks, chirps, & warbles. And there was a gigantic black june-bug type beetle flying around our room last night.

Yesterday’s ride took us along very long, straight, barely used palm-lined roads. For as far as the eye can see there were cemeteries. Burial sites scattered literally for miles & miles. There was plenty of time to ponder—Why so many? Why so spaced apart? Were some of  these veterans from the Vietnam War (American War as it’s referenced here)?

There a lot of time to ponder things while riding a bike for  upwards of eight hours a day. Like, What’s all that grain doing on the side of the road? Why are all the chairs in restaurants kindergarten-sized? What’s in all those square-shaped lakes we see? Why are there random goats at the side of the road in the middle of nowhere? What are those round puffy things that look like meringues that vendors are selling? Why is our hotel only $8 a night? We have questions for which we don’t have answers yet. But we still have time—800km more to reach Saigon.

Our $8 a night hotel.

Posted in Uncategorized, Vietnam 2024.


    • It’s mostly an attempt to lower our body core temperature. We’d be slurping smoothies if they made them.

  1. All the mysteries of travel eh. I do remember in Saudi when daytime temps were in the high 40s, when it dropped to the 30s at night it did feel cool to us. Guess you just have to stay there longer…😁

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