11 March 2017

Time for a Challenge 12.03.17

A rainy walk on the beach on Cat Ba.
After a very rainy, mostly boring few days on Cat Ba island we felt inspired to push ourselves a little for the next leg of our trip. Originally we had planned to bus up to Ha Giang and rent a bike for a week to travel the surrounding towns and villages. However for the following three reasons we have decided that's just not good enough... 

1. Time for a challenge 

We had the chance to really relax at Everest, with a lot of spare time on our hands life was too easy for a short while. As much as I love to watch bad TV in bed we didn't fly half way around the world to do the things we can do at home! We were inspired to challenge ourselves by a fellow volunteer from Everest, Selim.  One night we got to talking about how the South East Asian part of our trip had been much easier than we imagined it would be, and how after so long the charm can where off and things get a little boring; unless you seek the challenge yourself. He is currently cycling almost 2000km from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh in search of the challenge! We're not in a position to be able to push ourselves that hard just yet, but the next best thing is to motorbike it. We're starting with a northern loop, with potential to extend the route right down to Ho Chi Minh, which would mean covering somewhere between 3000-4000km in 6 weeks.

2. Freedom 

Having the freedom to explore at our own pace has become really important to us. We've tried various trips and tours but I get so frustrated at being told where to take photos, how long to walk for and where to eat. With the bike we can stop whenever, wherever we want to. We were also planning to skip places like Sa Pa, which is apparently a complete tourist trap. However, now we at least have the option to drive through and check it out for ourselves, if it's not our cuppa we'll leave within a day. 

3. Bikes are the best!

Getting on a bike was one of the things I was most frightened to do before we came away, but after witnessing the sheer beauty that comes with riding through the rural, mountainous parts of South East Asia neither of us can get enough of it. 

We bought ourselves an extra (knock off Nigel) waterproof hold-all at the markets last night and learnt the true meaning of packing light. You can check out our very rough route by clicking the 'current location' tab above. I'll try and update the page with an exact list of places we stop along the way, and imagery of as much scenery I can do justice. Below is a map of example routes suggested by the hire shop, we're hoping to do a bit of all three! 


Bike hire // Flamingo Travel  www.flamingotravel.com/ 
Prices from $10 a day inc. left luggage service.

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