Tuesday 5th December
Miles: 96 Climbing: 1198ft
I had really wanted to get to Phong Nha today. Phong Nha is a National Park further inland but it was showing as being 130 miles away and I just didn’t think I could do that distance yet so I settled on a hotel 65 miles away so I could split the journey into two shorter days. The weather forecast had predicted rain all day also.
Firstly, it never rained. There was hardly a cloud in the sky and it was really hot. Despite putting sun cream on I was getting burnt.
Secondly, google maps lies. I finally reached the point on my map showing my hotel after more than 90 miles (I followed the route the whole time).
Thirdly, my hotel wasn’t there. There was nothing there. I was on the top of a hill in the middle of the jungle. There was nothing but the road I was on for miles in any direction. Having not bought a local SIM card I was also stuck without any internet. I cycled on a little further and found a farmer. I discovered that my booking.com app had a great offline feature where it will display the address of the hotel in the local language, I think it even says something along the lines of “will you direct me to …”. The farmer looked puzzled for a while before pointing further down the road then forming a 1 and 0 with his hands and said kilometres.
I thanked him and headed further down the road. I wasn’t very hopeful of finding my hotel but there did appear to be a town about 10km away on my map.
I headed into the town and started checking out the local hotels. I eventually spotted a hotel that had just one word in the name matching my hotel. I thought it would be worth a try so I confidently walked in and said I had a booking. Either it was my hotel or they didn’t bother to check because within 5 mins I was showered dressed and on my way to dinner.