Vietnam, Cambodia, Alzheimer's, Cycling, Challenge, Plumbase, ViessmannDay 5 of the cycling began in the same way every other day has................. Early!
But this time with the threat of a tropical rain storm
The TEAM, as always its early but everyone's in good spirits
Once again it was deemed to dangerous to cycle out of the city, so we boarded the coaches that would take us to a start point where we would start our 95K trek through southern Vietnam and would get us near the border of Cambodia.
Whilst we were on the coaches the storm started and boy when it rains here, it rains! so much so the our crew from Vietnam decided it would be best if we all wore ponchos and the support motor bike rider was sent off to buy 30
Getting covered up before cycling the first 20K
We cycled through the storm and actually loved every second of it, it was fun, it cooled the air a little and many people said it was like being a kid, being allowed to ride through huge puddles without being told off!!
By the time we got to our 20K water stop, the rains had eased back and the heat of the sun started to come through.
During this water stop, Catherine our Alzheimers events leader asked us all to stop and have a minutes silence to remember the reason we are taking on this huge challenge and to remember the person who you may know now or from the past that has suffered from Alzheimers, but not to remember the illness, remember the person.
This sparked a lot of emotion in the group and it was great to be there to not only be supported, but to be able to put an arm round others and support them
REMEMBER THE PERSON, NOT THE ILLNESS
At this point most people took off their rain gear and dried out cycling the next leg, which took us through some beautiful Vietnam country side, with kids running out of their homes to shout "hello" then giggle when you shouted hello back
Cycling through villages and boats carring tractors
Lunch as always was welcome and excellent, but today included frog and the best urinals i've ever seen, it was also a good chance for essential maintance on the bikes my gears were sliiping bad and we had the hill climbs to come.
Graham Fisher or Fish in a basket.
Urinals, or a window in to the river!
Dinner, or Frog (tried it, didn't like it)
After lunch we headed towards the mountains and the Vietnam Killing fields, the next emotional part of our day.
Heading for the hills
The Killing Fields of Vietnam in Ba Chuc, where thousands were slaughtered many of them whilst in the temple itself
Its horrible to think that one human can do this to another
When we left the temple, we were on the final leg of the days cycling and the final leg in Vietnam, which would have been emotional, but we had some big hill climbs and some fast downhills to come and any cyclist reading this knows, thats fun, thats why we do this.
A handful of us were keen to 'race' it and thats my weakness, challenge, competive and the need for adreniline rushes, so we headed off towards the mountain climbs and Mr Hun our guide picked up the pace for those of us who wanted it and before we knew it, we were dipping down low and powering through the villages and up the hills and it wasn't long before it became a race, i stayed low behind Mr Hun but could feel my thighs burning, but there was no chance i was giving up, Mr Hun asked me to take the lead which i did and had a quick look behind me, i could only see 2 others at this stage, we continued like this for 10 mins or so, then suddenly Mark came past me on the steep section and pulled away, I had nothing to attack him with and his lead was soon 200 metres and the downhill section was so fast and so dangerous with people, cattle, mopeds and pot holes, catching him was a no no!!!!
Mark Seal, King of the mountains
Ian Golden, 2nd
Gary Foord, 3rd
The finish line
And that was that, we had cycled 283k through the beautiful country of Vietnam, we had seen things you can only see on a bike or treking and we have met some wonderful people, so it was time for beer, hugs and laughter................ and emotions, which continued in to the evening
The final part of today's emotional rollercoaster was saying goodbye to most of our Vietnam team, drivers, guides, water stop guys and of course the guys that keep our bikes on the road
Tomorrow we start at 6am for breakfast then its a short coach ride to get a 5hr boat to Cambodia......................