I managed to weasel my way on to the Sinh Cafe bus one morning and get dropped off in Bao Loc, the launching
point for my bike tour. Bao Loc is a fairly nondescript city, but the people are generally quite friendly,
and the city center has a nice lake to walk around.
Early the following morning, as I was preparing my bike for the day's ride, I managed to break the valve of one of
my tires. A couple of blisters later, I managed to replace the tube and get on my way. My big glitch for the month
had come and gone.
The following two days were spent adapting to the wonderful choruses of "hellos!" that were thrown out by all of
the children (and some of the adults) along the road. It was fantastic to have people cheering me on, especially during
the first long day of riding.
Agriculture has the largest labor force throughout Vietnam. In the central highlands, the dominant crops are tea and coffee.
I became quite used to shiny green tea leaves and the deep red/rust colored dirt. As you might expect, the tea along this part of
the ride was fabulous no matter where I stopped.
The 8km climb up to Dalat was the first major climb of my ride. Passersby looked at me with sympathy, astonishment, or
some combination of the two. I guess not many people are silly enough to do this ride when the highland temperatures are in the 90s.
Fortunately, there were a couple of waterfalls to look at that gave me pauses on my way up the hill.
The climb was absolutely worth it, as the time in Dalat was one of my favorite parts of the trip.
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