Post # 61 Thanh Hoa

Day 73 1007 days to go. Distance: today 105km total 4271km. It’s 6.30pm Saturday 11/2/2012 Thanh Hoa. Hi hope the Staurday finds ou all happy and in a good place. Today has again been rainy and the road conditions a bit crapola. It’s so evident we’re getting closer to Hanoi with the volume of people and road traffic increasing over the course of the day. One positive is that there was little headwind yay so gave the brain a chance to deal with the other which was appreciated. Earlier on was more of he farming land that has dominated the landscape in between towns. It’s very open and flat and rice paddies as far as the eye can see. People are skin deep in water a resiliantly planting new harvests in a weather. By the roadside are the workers parked mopeds and bicycles and they are literally head down and wet bottoms up busy at it. Some stop and check out the passing cyclist for interest sake and others great us with a huge wave and ‘Oy.’ This is the prefered term of greating amongst folk. It’s taking me a litle to get used to but it’s meant in a positive way despite sounding very abrupt. Woman and men alike use it to get attention and it works 🙂 Earlier on I passed this young fella using a beautiful big cow to pull the plough he was using to dig fresh rows and plant more corn. He had the loveliest smile and I stopped to watch him hard at work. He stopped and I went down to the field to say hello and meet his huge workmate. The lad was so shy but happy to have interest in what he was doing. I told him how clever he was and he got that I was being friendly but he was all shyness so I left with a handshake and happy to have stopped. The landscape started to change with limestone hills appearing amongst the fields. It looked great in the mist. I had a break and watched this mother and baby cow walking a path in front of the brown coloured hills. They blended so beautifully and with the green and mist is looked cool and was a nice chill out time between the kms. The architecture of the homes are becoming classic french colonial mixed pastels and state of decay. It’s odd having such grand style buildings as farm houses. The towns are more urban sprawled with the same style homes and indicative of the top end of Vietnnam from what Ive read.Hanoi is very much french colonial and it’s showing early signs as we get closer. We’re less than 200kms away from Hanoi. I’m doing a side trip out to the Cuc Phuong National Park and looking forward to enjoying it’s wildlife reserve and natural environment campng if I can. I checked out google maps tonight and there appears to be two alternative roads out there with terrain pretty flat on both options. We’ll see tomorrow on the road but I should get there tomorrow or Monday depending on distances. I passed rice fields today with that familiar sound of croaking frogs cool I love that sound reminds me of home when it rains and the creeks run. The frogs go off and have a mating frenzy. You often see white herons busy poking about the paddies I imagine looking for the source of croaks 🙂 They must also get into the rice shoots as there are regularly makeshift scarcrows propped up in the fields. They look great dressed in old shirts and hats on a t-shape stick to add to the effect. My next stop today was brief as this woman stood nearby gesturing I thought for me to eat but it ended up she wanted money to buy food. I offered to share my lunch but she wanted cash so I politely said no and left. We’re staying on the outskirts of Thanh Hoa close to where the highway continues on tomorrow. Ninh Binh is only 65km away and it’s north of there where limestone karst country starts again. Ive heard from other cyclists I’ve met theat the area is beautiful north of here so looking forward to seeing how it unfolds tomorrow. Toniht I’ll upload the photos from the last days and find an ATM to get some cash out if it turns out we can get to the National Park tomorrow. That’s about it for tonight. Not sure what sort of internet access I’ll have over the next days but I’ll keep posting and upload them when I can. Talk soon x

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About shecyclesolo

If you could dream up the most wildest adventure imaginable what would it be? Between jobs and craving new experience, I decided to indulge the challenge. This is what I conjoured with a promise to come home safe and smiling. I hope you enjoy the 1080 days of stories as much as I will sharing them. "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.' H D Thoreau

4 responses to “Post # 61 Thanh Hoa”

  1. Judy Rasmussen says :

    Hi Travelling Girl,

    Maleny finally checking in, just found out how!!?? pretty dumb of me.

    All fine here and following your story, now that I have sat down to look at the web site! Interesting stuff, the places, the people.

    Sarah, Kerry and I send our love and thoughts to you…Judyxxxxx

  2. Linda says :

    Great photos……the national park should be nice and quiet…here’s hoping .xo
    Ohh by the way ….an idiot abroad started last night …it’s called the bucket list….omg he cracks me up

  3. Vicki says :

    Maree, I am finally linked to your blog. Can follow you all over Asia now!! Great to see your smiling face shining out from the computer. Is it smog the reason you are wearing the bandanna or strong smells emanating from the farms??

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