We set off from Hanoi at 9:00am only to get 20kms out of the city when our bike rack snapped off, this led to a lot of head scratching and general “well wtf do we do now?” I must have scratched a brain cell the right way as I came up with an ingenious plan to cable tie the rack to the back of the bike so I didn’t have to carry the back pack. After nearly 2 hours (yes, it took us to 11:00am) we were finally out of the city and on our way to Ba Be Lake.
As advised by the lovely lady at ‘Happy Tears’ Restaurant we got in contact with her husband Viet and were headed for his homestay “Ba Be Lake View Homestay”. The first half of the trip was nothing spectacular, until we turned off the highway and found ourselves climbing those much-loved mountain ranges that Vietnam offers you. As we have many times on our trip we found ourselves gob smacked at the scenes in front of us.
After about 6 hours and 230km of riding, our clutch cable decided to call it quits and snap on us. We started pushing the bike in the direction of Ba Be Lake View Home stay, thinking "how long are we going to be pushing this for?" only to see a beautiful blue sign for the home stay only 50m away! We arrived at Ba Be Lake View Homestay, pushed our bike up the driveway and settled in.
Viet invited us on a 16km trek for the following day, which would take us through 3 villages in the Ba Be Lake area; we decided to join in on it and head to bed for an early night's rest.
We woke up at 8am for a delicious breakfast of banana pancakes and special pork and sticky rice (usually only made for Vietnamese New Years). We then said goodbye to Viet and headed off with Remi, Thomas (from France) and Vegath (from Norway) and our trusty guide Phong (who didn’t speak much English) on our day of trekking. Although the first half of the trek was an absolute pain in the ass, as we reached the top of the mountain we were rewarded with views only Vietnam can offer. From there we walked through rice paddies until we reached the village where we would have lunch. After eating a huge Vietnamese meal I was convinced the only way to get back down the hill was to be rolled, however, Justin wouldn’t take part in it.
I better go, have to say goodbye to our new friends and make sure Viet is still alive…