Mèo Vạc to Hà Giang 172km. Start 8am arrive 7.15pm. 11 hours and 15 minutes travel time.
Even though yesterday had been a long and hard day, and we had to cut our route short, this ended up being good luck!
If we had arrived in the dark last night, we would have missed what is said to be the most astonishing mountain road in all of Vietnam, Mã Pí Lèng Pass. It would have been very disappointing to miss this. It was so beautiful!
We wound up the pass to 1,500 metres above sea level. So many photo opportunities...
The limestone formations here look like small versions of the Tsingys of Madagascar. There were stacks of harvested corn stems that looked like haystacks. They use these for fires to cook.
There was quite a lot of road construction and we stopped while four men picked a very heavy steel pump off the back of a small scooter. Next to them there was a pile of bricks getting loaded onto the back of motorbikes that then proceeded to ride down a very steep, winding track down to a construction site. Amazing skills! Russ and Sue broke their car, again! But, we had a lovely view, so we were in no rush to leave.
By 9.45am we were in Đồng Văn where we were supposed to get to last night. We waited while another flat tyre was changed, and Rob and Jenny’s car was given a tune up. This was overlooking a harvest and we saw some huge bales of the harvest loaded onto a small motorcycle. There is always something interesting to watch here.
Rob and Jenny’s tune up lasted about 20 minutes and then we stopped again. But we think this time it might be sorted... we’ll see.
I decided to treat Twan and Huyen to some of my music today. I think we have heard his play list so many times I can almost sing the lyrics in Vietnamese. From what I have heard of his music I think I’d better keep it “soft rock”.
There were more tourists here – not surprising. There were Thai cyclists grinding up the pass and quite a few tourists on mopeds and adventure bikes.
After lunch in a local restaurant the boys were drawn into a small hardware shop, but then we were on our way.
At our afternoon iced coffee spot, a dog that was on a leash at the coffee shop decided to bite Kerry’s leg. It was not a bad bite, but it did break the skin and despite the fact that there is a program in Vietnam to eradicate rabies, it still exists here. We quickly got into the first aid and washed the wound with saline and then betadine and called the insurance company for their advice.
We sent Kerry and Steve on to Hà Giang with local guide Cuong to find the hospital while the rest of the convoy continued on. Unfortunately, the hospital was closed but as Kerry had already had her rabies course, getting her shot in the morning would be fine.
We regrouped at our Bui Ty homestay out of town at around 7.15pm and arrived to a G&T followed by a delicious dinner.
There are four generations of the family that live here in their house on stilts. We slept on what I would describe as futons and you have an area surrounded by curtains and your own fan. The amenities are shared and the sleeping quartets close. I put in my ear plugs and hoped for the best!