Ride To Dalat May 18 and 19, 2002

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.

[If you cannot see the navigation on the left, please click here.]

119-1918_IMG 119-1919_IMG 119-1920_IMG 119-1921_IMG
River Town   Another Uncle Ho   Hrm. Posture.   Bao Loc  
119-1923_IMG 119-1925_IMG 119-1926_IMG 119-1927_IMG
The central lake   More lake   A pagoda...   ...the first of many  
119-1928_IMG 119-1929_IMG 119-1930_IMG 119-1931_IMG
Peaceful garden   Church   More church   View from my room  
119-1932_IMG 119-1933_IMG 119-1935_IMG 119-1936_IMG
Another view from my room   Bicyling to Dalat...   National Highway 20   First Vietnamese food stop  
119-1937_IMG 119-1938_IMG 119-1939_IMG 119-1940_IMG
Beautiful views...   ...of tea...   ...and coffee fields   Yet more views  
119-1941_IMG 119-1942_IMG 119-1945_IMG 119-1946_IMG
Free food and vodka   "Hello!"   Duc Trong Market   Kids in a park  
119-1947_IMG 119-1949_IMG 119-1950_IMG 119-1951_IMG
Rambutan! (or Chom chom)   Sketchy hotel room   19km to Dalat   Prenn Falls  
119-1953_IMG 119-1955_IMG 119-1956_IMG 119-1957_IMG
More Prenn Falls   Datanla Falls   Slightly better posture   Pretty path  
119-1958_IMG 119-1960_IMG 119-1961_IMG  
Chained, but cute, Monkey   View from the Prenn pass   Another view from the pass