Bob begins to cycle . . . and forgets to stop

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Today Bob left Hanoi on his loaded bike, cycling through the heavy traffic. He then entered another world in the rural countryside, heading to his planned destination for the first night, Hoa Bihn, 75kms from Hanoi. Bob gave me a quick call from here as he climbed the mountains out of the city in the early afternoon.

Vietnam Cycle 20050614

I unexpectedly heard from him again as he had just arrived in Mai Chau, a further kms from Hoa Binh; dehydrated, too tired to be hungery, and in a town where the power was off for "a couple of hours" (or so). whilst I would have done the same thing myself, we did flog himself far too much. Not evident on the map above is the mountainous terrain over which he was travelling. He sounded completely wasted last night, so I hope he takes it easier today, eating and drinking heaps, and not travelling too far.
The highlands and mountain plateaus in the north and northwest are inhabited mainly by tribal minority groups. The northern section is narrow and very rugged; the country's highest peak, Fan Si Pan, rises to 3,142 metres in the extreme northwest. The southern portion has numerous spurs that divide the narrow coastal strip into a series of compartments. For centuries these topographical features not only rendered north-south communication difficult but also formed an effective natural barrier for the containment of the people living in the Mekong basin.

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    December 297 km