Wednesday, September 15, 2010
(PICTURE: Perhaps the flattest part on the road to Tam Dao.)
With the wounded on the back of our motorbikes, we continued to Tam Dao. After one wrong turn that cost us a few minutes, we were at the base of Tam Dao mountain. The road from the bottom of the mountain to the top is 14 kilometers (8.7 miles). This presented two problems:
1. My gas tank was showing that it was nearly empty and there were no stations around.
2. Huyen and Lena were on Huyen's sister's old bike which isn't exactly powerful. We had had the bike fixed a few days earlier but it still wasn't running like my Honda Wave.
Well, we started up the mountain and it quickly became apparent that Huyen and Lena's bike couldn't keep up with the one that Jed and I were on. Slowly but surely the two girls kept disappearing around the mountain bends. After waiting for them a few times, I decided I couldn't keep stopping because I would run out of gas. The thought of pushing the bike up the mountain was the last thing I wanted to do after a day consisting of one blown tire, bribing cops and two accidents. Once we were about halfway up the mountain I decided to just put the pedal to the metal and get to the top as fast as possible (although perhaps this is also the best way to burn gas). Jed and I got to the top of the mountain and parked the bike. After waiting for about fifteen minutes my phone rang. Huyen was on the other end and she sounded a little bit peeved, "Where are you?!" I told her I was at the top of the mountain and she said that they were still 7 kilometers away because their bike broke down. Apparently they had been pushing the bike up the mountain for the last few minutes while trying to call me. I offered to drive back down the mountain but Huyen told me it wouldn't be necessary. She said some guy had just pulled up next to them and was trying to fix their bike. Well, the guy did fix their bike which would make it seem like our luck had changed...but perhaps the worst was about to come!!!!