Sunday we left for our first ride from HCMC to Da Lat. Google said the trip would take six hours but were told that we should expect double when accounting for stops and break downs. Anticipating a twelve hour journey, we left early at six in the morning. By this time, the traffic had already picked up but surprising didn't dampen our efforts of escaping the city.
The driving we had done the day before was good preparation for the roads outside the city. The first couple hours were uneventful, aside being stopped by the police once for driving too fast. Along the way, we encountered some amazing, winding mountain roads filled with enraged bus drivers, some pot hole ridden country roads filled with enraged bus drivers, and roads closed to hardly a single lane filled with enraged, oncoming bus drivers. About seventy kilometers from Da Lat, a sudden chill hit and the sky darkened before giving way to an all our downpour. We stopped at a roadside shop to buy cheap ponchos so we could continue in the rain, but they were only good for a few more momoents when the storm let up. However, the rain returned later but with droplets the size of marbles that hurt as we drove at speed. The other bike riders quickly disappeared from the streets of the small town we were driving through to find shelter. After only a couple minutes of rain, a couple inches of water had already accumulated on the sides of the road.