Week 1 - Hanoi to Sapa

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July 19th 2006
Published: July 20th 2006
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Hanoi to Sapa on a Motorbike

Additional photos below
Photos: 30, Displayed: 22


Hoan KiemHoan Kiem
Hoan Kiem

We started in Hanoi. In the middle of Hanoi is a lake where in the early morning everyone exercises.
Two Wheel Adventure!Two Wheel Adventure!
Two Wheel Adventure!

First was our motorbike Trip to Sapa. "Molie" or Mr Hung was our guide/translator/karaoke machine and comedian throughout the trip.

Day one was hot and flat. Just ask Lauren! Local farmers are burried in the rice fields each family trying to outdo the other with the size of the grave.
Tam Brother SmokeTam Brother Smoke
Tam Brother Smoke

On the first night we stayed in a homestay overlooking a vast flat plain full of rice paddies. Our host's brother who lived next door loved a quiet smoke from time to time. Here he demonstrates!
Lauren Book Rice FieldsLauren Book Rice Fields
Lauren Book Rice Fields

The perfect way to relax!

After being well fed (mostly on pork) it was time to say goodbye to our host.
Cows Crossing Next 600kmCows Crossing Next 600km
Cows Crossing Next 600km

This was the first time but by no means the last. And yes they have right of way!
Lauren Photographer ExtradordinareLauren Photographer Extradordinare
Lauren Photographer Extradordinare

Lauren captured much of the trip on film while balanced on the back of our Belarusian Minsk Motorbike. Nice self portraite don't you think?
Boat Across LakeBoat Across Lake
Boat Across Lake

We took the bikes and ourselves across this lake to stay with a local Zhou family.
Not without incidentNot without incident
Not without incident

The crew kindly dropped our bike in the mud while unloading it and broke our front brake lever. No matter we were almost there.
Our HostsOur Hosts
Our Hosts

Our hosts were very welcoming. They love TV as it gave them something to do after dinner. He wished TV had come earlier so that he wouldn't have had so many kids.
Always with the Green TeaAlways with the Green Tea
Always with the Green Tea

With any lull in the coversation there was always green tea to fill the gap.

Lauren with our lunch before we hit the open road again.
Beautiful ViewBeautiful View
Beautiful View

This day was a short riding day which was good because there so many things to photograph!
More Mountains and CowsMore Mountains and Cows
More Mountains and Cows

We managed not to hit any of these lucky for us. We are not sure that it would actually notice.
Another feastAnother feast
Another feast

We made it to the next homestay where we met three Australians also on a motorcycle tour. Our favourite homestay of all.
Mountain HideawayMountain Hideaway
Mountain Hideaway

This place really was lovely. Our host had built his own lake stocked with fish set amongst a garden.
Guide Brakes DownGuide Brakes Down
Guide Brakes Down

Our guides broke down going up a mountain pass. We found this mechanic who could not fix the bike not before stripping the engine block down! 4 hrs of this before we set off alone for the next town.

On the road alone we had a great afternoon discovering waterfalls and cascades...

...and the terraced rice fields unfolding around each curve in the road.

We made it to a town and found a hotel. Our guide, "Molie", eventually found a proper mechanic and made it to our hotel at around midnight. The next morning Lauren and Molie exchanged mechanical insights.

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