Phong Nha- Gió Lào (300km)
Day 3, Phong Nha - Gio Lao (300km)
Nice to be back on the bike for the first time in earnest for over two months. I was a bit nervous about the knee but relieved to say it held up pretty well so confident going forward. Got away around 8am for the scenic 60 odd kilometres North of Phong Nha on Uncle Ho's Road. Just as the monoliths change to ranges and begin to flatten there's a left hand turn to the Cha Lo border gate with Laos.
I'm loathed to recommend it but I will. It's a great 38km each way through some beautiful mountain country but you share the road with poorly maintained and obviously overloaded trucks out of Laos. Many struggle to make the climbs so you can be sure their brakes won't hold if they don't. The overtaking manouvers completely disregarding bikes in the opposite direction are regular. Do it but be aware.
Once back to the HCM Road it was a pleasant ride to Gio Lao. Hadn't stopped here before but looked a nice option with the boss on board.
Got in early enough to enjoy a nice boat ride around the lakes system and vast expanses of tea crops it surrounds and get Gurtie up to tell the story better.
Perfectly located if going to either Tam Coc, as we are, or Pu Luong the next day. This little eco resort seems okay too. Bamboo cabins with beds as hard as a bulls forehead but otherwise clean and tidy with all the necessary inclusions.
Bring the mozzie repellent. They too seem to be missing the tourists.