Nhat Ky Xe Day 5: Dien Bien Phu -> Tam Duong Approx. 250km or something
This was a really long day. I think we ended up in Tam Duong as planned, but I can’t be sure. We couldn’t have been far from it, anyway.
We checked out early. After a breakfast of pho, we were on the road by 9:30. The first few hours of the ride were in solid heavy rain and it was considerably colder out. The muddy stretches of road grew more frequent and we hit some rougher rocky bits, but nothing too bad. Most of the time we were on the “new road” aka highway 12, which is a huge improvement over the “old road” aka highway 6, so I hear. To take a break from the rain, we stopped to eat some warm food and play cards (in Pa Tan maybe?) for an hour.
One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is that Michael is incurably addicted to chocolate. He strives for “at least 100 grams a day.” Good chocolate is hard to find when traveling through southeast asia, especially when your only hope is the occasional dusty Vietnamese convience-store-shack. Every time we passed by one his eyes would light up.
“Maybe they have chocolate!” “Uh, sure. Maybe they have chocolate…”
We only found good chocolate once, but thats later in the story. Today we found two packages of really promising-looking “pure cacao” that turned out to be compressed, dry, buttery-floury-sugary bricks of nastiness. Michael was not satisfied.
On the way out, we got a bit lost but some helpful locals pointed in the right direction and we ended up in Tam Duong (I think) just as the sun was going down. Same old: hotel, food, sleep.