Wednesday, September 19, 2012
A dry day until it rained
You're probably all bored with pictures of sweaty blokes in ridiculous shorts - so here's a picture of a pig.
The team's well-intentioned earlyish start was foiled by Andrew getting all of 30m and finding he had no brakes. Roadside repairs and the fitting of new pads - thank you Shaun for adding those to the pack of spares - got him going again but we lost a bit of time. Mark was with the peloton today - Jim long gone. We gradually descended from the plateau, though with plenty of uphill climbs in between, and did a fair few long, fast descents which invariably ended in a broken up/muddy/appallingly-mended stretch at the bottom (where I suppose heavy rains kick off the erosion process) for us to negotiate amid the trucks and buses and scooters each picking their favoured line through the battlefield. At these times, indeed at most times, driving on the right is more a guideline than a rule to be pedantic about.
We rode into Dong Xoai as it was getting dark, whereupon the black clouds which we had been watching with apprehension finally did their thing and the last 5km was in a huge downpour. Just had time to stop and put the essentials in the waterproof bag before we were drenched, which took seconds.
Jim had been here for hours of course. We will be sad to lose him after tomorrow, the man's a legend. Andrew too - assuming we get him there on time - will leave a big hole in the team. His hung-ho attitude and aptitude for fixing things have been invaluable, though he has lately become a bit slack as Al's coffee partner. Complaining about the sugar hit in the condensed milk or some such nonsense.
I've just noticed our room has a window with a curtain - but it's onto the corridor, not the outside world. Strange.