50 Miles of Bad Road - This Time Tomorrow - CycleBlaze

December 24, 2016

50 Miles of Bad Road

Tra Vinh to Can Tho

Tra Vinh to Can Tho 50 miles

December 24, 2016

50 Miles of Bad Road

We had been staying right downtown in Tra Vinh. I like to stay downtown in cities because it’s usually exciting. But there wasn’t much to Tra Vinh except construction and dust. We hadn’t really explored far from downtown but when we left for Can Tho we realized how nice it was on the edge of town. There were loads of Nha Nghi’s and they no doubt would have been cheaper. It was pleasant and without construction on a big wide boulevard.

Daily Banh Mi
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But that didn’t last long. We turned onto QL 54 and immediately the road was basically gone, being worked on, dust, mud, dust, mud, huge jagged rocks being placed by hand! Big rollers squeezing them down and us dodging the big rollers. No way to dodge jagged rocks. And that’s the way it was most of the way all day long. At times there were sections of good road. I can’t be all negative about it. But the good sections never lasted long and in the end they were irritating because they got our hopes up that the bad stuff was behind us finally. And it never was until we got pretty close to Can Tho. I can’t believe we didn’t have a blowout. Plus it was a very hot day and no rain.

Not a lot left in the butcher shop.
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The graphics have changed down here to more existential children.
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I think this says, "Merry Christmas."
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There is actually popcorn in Vietnam.
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There were some nice things like the purple flowers alongside the road with green rice in the background. There was a stop for some great coffee which when they poured it over the ice made the ice sparkle in a cool muddy way. There was a stop for a couple of coconuts and the woman who chopped the ends off for us was nice. Our banh mi’s which we purchased on the edge of Tra Vinh were good. So, the day wasn’t a total drag of a day. There are always beautiful things to photograph and enjoy.

Bike Friday and rice paddies
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Purple flowers and rice paddies
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Daily coffee stop.
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When we got to a crossroads we chose to go into the small town of Tra On instead of continuing on a dusty road under construction. But that was short lived because we had to come back to QL 54 to cross a river. From there we could already see the huge bridge we would have to cross that led into Can Tho. We were still miles away from that bridge and for us to see it meant it was really high and we got panicky because the last huge bridge we were on over another part of the Mekong River was quite scary, especially the metal pressure joints which were nearly wide enough for our tires to slip into.

Banana Boat
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When we approached the bridge it did look like a formative obstacle. We wished each other luck and went for it slowly. But, to our surprise, the pressure joints were a different design that was no big deal for our tires to pass over and the area for us to ride was much wider than the last big bridge. We were all right. It was taller and just plain bigger but it wasn’t scary.

The huge bridge that leads to Can Tho, the biggest city on The Delta.
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Happy the bridge wasn't too scary.
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Just one of six arms of the mighty Mekong River through The Delta.
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Impressive bridge
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We swung over a smaller bridge that led right into downtown Can Tho and by instinct we rode right to the coolest part of town, not far from a big market (which we rode directly through and bought bananas without leaving the bike). There were hotels everywhere and the first one we saw we liked a lot. The price was great considering we were in downtown of the biggest city on The Delta. We were within a couple of blocks of the night market where we ate dinner. It was a nice end to a long hot jagged day.

lovebruce

Night market - Can Tho, Vietnam
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Night market - Can Tho
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Night market - Can Tho
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Night market - Can Tho
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Today's ride: 50 miles (80 km)
Total: 1,179 miles (1,897 km)

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