Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Good Morning Vietnam - Biker Man reaches Hue; follow follow follow the biker man trail..

The ride into Hue, my intended stop today was mostly uneventful. I rode through a number of market towns and surprised a few people. Highway 1A is a well trodden path for cycle tourists, so the surprise I am sure is to do more with the kind of cyclist.
The scenery was unremarkable with nothing catching my attention. I stopped twice for some fluid and once to buy a Baguette for breakfast.
On my approach to Hue, things began to change. The traffic became heavier; not with cars but with Mopeds, thousands of them. They were everywhere. There is some kind of order to the way they navigate around each other, but I suspect to the untrained eyes it would seem like pure chaos. You will see them riding against the flow of traffic, you will see them riding with the flow of traffic. They would jump red lights though cars wouldn’t do the same. The time of day determines which direction gets the bigger share of the road. Almost all Moped riders wore facemasks. I had noticed this since entering Vietnam.
I was approached by a man with a woman passenger on a Moped. He said hello to me and asked if I spoke English. He asked me where I was going and I told him Hue. He asked if I needed a hotel and I said that I did. We had stopped at this point. He gave me a card with directions to the hotel but I couldn’t make any sense of it. I asked why I couldn’t just follow them on my bike. The man laughed and said “too slow, too slow”. I smiled back at him and said I think I could manage. The roads were too busy for him to just speed away. He agreed.
He weaved his way through the traffic with me on his tail. I would take the same risks he took. I would weave my bike to the front of a large queue of Mopeds just as did. While waiting, I could see the surprise of the other road users when they saw me in the midst. People would mostly move their Mopeds out of the way to allow me passage to the front. I am sure they did this because I was an unusual presence.
Eventually we turned off the busy road into a quieter road. We pulled to a stop into a pretty looking building. It was the hotel. I negotiated a price for a room, handed in my passport and was shown to my room. The room was nice, it was also very small. It had taken me 2:48hrs to cover the 70km’s to Hue. It was now 10am. It had been a very easy ride with flat terrain all the way. I went into town to check out the town

Catch up with Biker Man at http://blog.bikermanscafe.com