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Old 04-04-2014, 11:24 AM   #6406
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Alaska - where hell has frozen over
Oddometer: 4,408
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:50 PM   #6407
8lives
Runnin on wonder
 
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Shasta County,Calif
Oddometer: 1,577
Good job,oh you and Tam can stay at my place and bump bounce boogie all ya want,jus sayin.
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:01 PM   #6408
johnnybgood8
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2013
Oddometer: 52
Man this is awesome! Keep it up, really amazing RR
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:43 PM   #6409
Linhares
OSM addicted
 
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Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Brasilia, Brazil
Oddometer: 234
What?!? I thought you and Tam were just friends...


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Old 04-04-2014, 02:41 PM   #6410
Stonedude
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2013
Location: NW Atlanta
Oddometer: 148
This RR just keeps getting better by the day....
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:54 PM   #6411
jeepster33
n00b
 
Joined: Mar 2014
Oddometer: 8
A week or 3 ago I created a login here after lurking for a while so i can keep track of this RR and this is my first post. Today I got caught up. It’s finally thawing out here from a long winter in Chicagoland.

Your tour and experience at the Chimay brewery was so cool. I just bought some Chimay blue small bottles and a big pint of the red — good stuff.

Thanks so much for your RR and taking the time to do it. I like your approach to the road/trip and I am getting a free education about wine. Usually I go for Two Buck Chuck or Yellow Tail. I hope you didn’t just throw up in your mouth — or in a corner somewhere. ;-)

It’s cool seeing how you find places to stay and camp when on the road. The abandoned hotel in Laos was epic. I need to get better at that.

Count me in for any kind of “camera $upport” , trip extender, etc. that we can figure out.

Thanks again and keep up the good “work” !
Bryan
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:08 PM   #6412
poppawheelie
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Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Oddometer: 489
Just check'n in to say your ride report is more interesting than ever!

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Old 04-04-2014, 03:08 PM   #6413
jeepster33
n00b
 
Joined: Mar 2014
Oddometer: 8
Sorry for the non-RR hijack but I thought some might benefit from this solution to a first world problem.

So having to find that little greater than sign with the mouse to get to the next page of this awesome adventure was proving to be too much work for me. ;-) So, anyone using Firefox — install an addon/extension called “NextPlease”. It lets you define hotkeys to “click” on the next page link. I can use page down to scroll through and read, then because of NextPlease, I press (for me) Shift/Control and right arrow and I am on the next page. No mouse needed!

This is also handy for when we are reading at work. Since your hands are always on the keyboard, you can hit that alt/tab really fast to bring up that Important Looking Excel Spreadsheet when the boss walks by.
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Old 04-04-2014, 05:24 PM   #6414
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Alaska - where hell has frozen over
Oddometer: 4,408
The next morning, the rain had stopped and we headed out back on the HCM hwy. This time we made it only about 20 kms when Tam's bike didn't have the power to make it up the steep inclines. The little automatic was still stuck in high gear. The motor also seemed to lack power and was making a lot of noise. I also noticed that it was smoking quite a bit following her from behind. It was looking like the little bike that Tam affectionately named Shiela was about ready to die.
We turned around and Tam gave it another shot to get up the hill but it was no use........the little bike just couldn't do it.
So we turned around and headed back to the same shop where the guy filed down the width of the belt some more and of course this made no difference.
So then we headed all the way back to the town with the caves and found another mechanic to take a look at it. But we also looked in to figuring how to ship the bike back to De Nang. But to our surprise, the new mechanic had the little bike moving again. He said that the engine rattle was the piston slapping around inside......maybe even a broken ring. We had the oil changed and decided to give Shiela one more chance to get to Hanoi. But one more break down and she would be sent off a cliff.

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Old 04-04-2014, 05:30 PM   #6415
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Alaska - where hell has frozen over
Oddometer: 4,408
Some of the beautiful scenary along the way
This section of the hcm road was increadibly beautiful and remote. It eventually headed out of the mountains and in to the rice field south of Hanoi

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Old 04-04-2014, 05:32 PM   #6416
flyingdutchman177 OP
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Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Alaska - where hell has frozen over
Oddometer: 4,408
We found this abandoned house which would have made for an excellent camp spot except for it was too early. We still had about 400 km to get to Hanoi


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Old 04-04-2014, 05:39 PM   #6417
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Alaska - where hell has frozen over
Oddometer: 4,408
On the fifth night, we rolled in to this small town at dusk. It was starting to rain and we wanted not only a roof over our head, but also a hot shower and some good food.
We didnt see many hotels along the way over the past four days because we didnt know what to look for. But once we figured out the Vietnamese word for hotel, we started to see them along the way.
We found one in town, got cleaned up and headed out to find some food in town.
It seemed like where ever the two of us went, we always had half the town around us......often times buying us beers and shots of rice whiskey.
The food was pretty good too

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Old 04-04-2014, 05:46 PM   #6418
packerbacker
Gnarly Adventurer
 
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Joined: Feb 2014
Location: Woods of WI
Oddometer: 111
i cant stop reading so please dont stop writing anytime soon

btw tam looks and sounds like an amazing chica

you sir, have some giant balls and i am envious
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Old 04-04-2014, 05:47 PM   #6419
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Alaska - where hell has frozen over
Oddometer: 4,408
On the sixth day, we had two days to get to Hanoi but we woke to thunder, lightning and heavy rain. Getting to Hanoi was proving not to be easy.
But the rain had stopped by noon. We got a late start but we still made it about 200 kms that day. tam was riding well. I think she said she got Shiela up to 75 that day but the average speed was still a painful 50 or 55 kilometers per hour.
We found another cheap hotel as it was sprinkling that evening.
We found another busy restaurant and it seemed like we were invited to each table to do some shots of their rice wine. We even tried this one potent drink which tasted like Malibu and was poured directly from the coconut.

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Old 04-04-2014, 06:03 PM   #6420
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Alaska - where hell has frozen over
Oddometer: 4,408
On our seventh day, we were only 80 kms from Hanoi. I figured we would be in Hanoi before noon.
But Tam's attitude changed.
She was a bit concerned about the roads and traffic heading in to Hanoi......as was I too.
But i told her that we would deal with it one step at a time.
We got to within 50 kms and some idiot cut in front of her, she hit the brakes hard and they bumped as they both came to a stop.
I looked back and her bike was on the ground in the middle of the road. She was ok as she didn't even fall but her nerves were rattled.
We made it about another 10 km more and the traffic got much worse and the roads deteriorated. There was mud and gravel on the road as well as lots of big trucks and buses blowing their horns every two seconds.
Tam pulled off the road and needed to take a breather.
I gave her some encouragement but i could see that she had lost her confidence.
We made it about another 100 meters and she stopped again and that is when the waterworks started. It was becoming obvious that she was not going to make it the last 40 kms in to hanoi on her own. Even Shiela was giving me some doubts. We were pouring oil in her as fast as she was smoking it out. I think we went thru 2 quarts of oil in the past 350 kilometers plus the engine rattle was getting louder.
But we still needed to get her and the bike in to Hanoi......but how. I asked Tam what she wanted to do and she just hung her head in defeat and gave me no response. And i didn't have any bright ideas either.
But then i took a 500,000 dong bill out of my pocket and started to wave it around asking and gesturing for anyone to help ride Tam and Shiela in to Hanoi to the train station. It didn't take long to our surprise to find a taker. He was a fine rider and i followed him riding Tam on Shiela in to Hanoi. The roads were so bad. Tam could have never done this last bit on her own.
While Tam felt defeated, she was just being smart by knowing her limitations.
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