Wednesday, Phan Rang to Ca Na, 8:30am – 2:30pm, 57 km
We finally packed up all our gear on the bicycle and left Phan Rang, not without some hugs and pictures at Solarvina Hotel with the friendly family staff who has taken such good care of us.
It felt good to finally be on the road, and the 25 mph tail wind helped propel us southward. In our first kilometer we had to stop and check the phone map, since trying to stay too close to the coast had brought us into a bustling little neighborhood. We had veered too far south already and had to get back to cross the bridge and be on the main road. The main road turned out to be a divided highway, two lanes in either direction, that was mostly deserted. The wind sang softly through the street lamp poles as it carried us past the remains of the city, wading birds, and delta crop land and towards sand dunes and bouldery mountains. Halfway up one of our first moderate inclines we lost all torque, and looked down to see a broken chain. At 9am the sun was strong, so we pulled the tandem off into a little shade and got to work. In no time I had taken out the bent link and reattached the chain with enough to make it work in all gears. It’s messy work and I was frustrated with this setback, but I felt like in the end it wasn’t much, as long as it didn’t happen again. But it did.