June 12th Northern Vietnam

by - June 15, 2019


We left all of our baggage in the hotel and just packed what we needed for the day.  We went to try a new Vietnamese dish for breakfast, but we both found it inedible.  I'm not shocked we didn't like a sweet and cold rice noodle dish.  We got on the road and headed towards the Chinese border.  The roads were mostly flat and well maintained, which meant we made good time.  There was tons of traffic though.  On the way to Ban Gioc Waterfalls we stopped at a Honda mechanic and got our chains tightened and our oil changed.  The mechanic took each of our bikes out for a test drive.  On his way back, while riding Blue Steel, two people on a motorbike ran into his side mirror and tipped over.  Bart's mirror went flying and he got a brand new one.  Once we left the mechanic, Red Rocket started acting funny while in 3rd and 4th gear.  We stopped by a couple of locals who were making wheels out of rebar and asked for help.  For a dollar a young guy loosened my tire and tightened it again.  It helped, but it wasn't perfect.  Eventually we arrived at the waterfalls.  They were nice, but after Iguazu Falls in Argentina all waterfalls are underwhelming.  We tried to find a hiking path that I read about that is supposed to go up and behind the falls to some private pools.  We negotiated a price with the tour boat driver and he took us to the other side.  When we found the trail head and were trying to find a way around the fence they put up we got stopped.  Apparently they patrol the area as well.  I believe it's because you are technically in China on part of the hike.  We also really wanted to swim, but that is forbidden as well.  We headed to Nguom Ngao Cave.  It exceeded our expectations. After we paid to get in we headed down into the cave through a small opening.  We had the place almost to ourselves.  It took a solid 15 minutes to get to the other opening.  After that we headed back to Cao Bang.  We stopped back at the Honda mechanic, but he claimed the bike was fine.  Then we stopped at a mechanic in the city and he showed us that both of our chokes were on and weren't supposed to be.  Problem solved.  We ate at Pedro's Pizzeria for dinner, which was amazing!

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