Had been keen to get to Hanoi but keener to leave. Not sorry to escape the aggressive horns and hectic pace. This is winter and the temperature and humidity is pleasant. Hard to imagine what it feels like in the middle of summer. A short transfer in our bus to reach the outskirts of the city before riding our bikes along the Red River delta. Very flat, bordered either side with fields of vegetables and fruits. The road is very quiet but dusty with no tourist traffic, only the occasional truck or moped. After 50 km, another transfer along the main highway to reach Tam Coc. Followed narrow country lanes leading to the river and the entrance to the limestone caves on our boat ride. Still sad to see so little wildlife, only spotted a few kingfishers in the park and one or two egrets.
Zan, our guide is great. Good English and looks like a cyclist should – ie not at all like Paul. He may well be dragging us up the hills in coming days. We are sure he can. Hung, the driver is also great. Stopped at motorway service for lunch. Loads of rice and tasty pork. Beer warm but welcome. Ice offered, er, no, ta.
Tomorrow is a bigger day. So to prepare: beer!