February 18, 2013
When the alarm went off, Chandler and I leapt out of bed. We were in a hurry to get out of town. We loaded our bikes up before breakfast in case Crazy Lady tried to encourage us to stay another night. As we walked to the restaurant, we noticed “Hotel California” playing on the stereo and couldn’t help our nervous laughter during the “You can check out, but you can never leave” line. In the end, we got a solid breakfast, our passports back and slipped away without any interaction with Crazy Lady.
Our entire ride was spent on Highway 1, which means lots of trucks, motos, busses and honking. We don’t normally listen to music while riding, but we made an exception today. So, we put in our headphones, put our heads down and pounded out the miles with few stops and zero photos.
At this point, we should admit that Chandler has been doping. With his cough not getting any better, we got him some Salbuteral which is some version of or maybe the same thing as Albuterol, a kind of steroid. Chan is not a fan of taking any drugs usually, but this was some miracle stuff which virtually eliminated his cough by allowing his lungs to operate more normally. He was still pretty sick underneath the drugs at first, but since he was no longer exhausted from constantly coughing, he got better pretty quickly. He took the last of his ‘roids on the ride today, and was generally feeling pretty good, despite the less than ideal riding conditions.
We checked into a small hotel in Hue with the kindest owners. After asking about the price of the room, they insisted we sit down and have a cold drink before looking at the room. The owner’s wife brought us homemade strawberry juice, which was absolutely delicious and refreshing. The “strawberries” were quite a bit different than what we’d call strawberries, they were more like shriveled looking blackberries, which were a little bit bitter, but infused with some sugar in ice water, they tasted divine.
We spent the remainder of the evening in our room, with one exception of going out for dinner and Chandler going to the grocery store for some food for our upcoming ride along the Ho Chi Minh Highway. While he was out, he ran into Leonie waiting for the bus to Hanoi. I wish we had made it to town sooner so we could have hung out with her again!