Vietnam to Cambodia Cycle Challenge is Underway

16 October 2017
  • Challenges

Vietnam to Cambodia Cycle Challenge is Underway

The Vietnam to Cambodia cycle challenge has arrived! Over the next 10 days, 19 Teens Unite supporters will embark on the adventure of a lifetime, cycling a huge 330km.

The team departed from Heathrow airport on Saturday and arrived in Ho Chi Minh around 12 hours later. From the airport, they were transferred to the hotel where they will be staying.  One of the cyclists, Nathan, celebrated his Birthday today, what a way to celebrate!

Once settled the team were then free to explore the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh at their own leisure. In the evening they headed over to a local restaurant to sample the south Vietnamese specialities such as Cao Lau which is a mouth-watering bowl of rice-flower noodles with thick slices of grilled pork.  Over a relaxed dinner, the group took the opportunity to get to know the tour guides and each other.

After dinner the group spent the evening as they wished, most of them headed off for an early night and a good night rest, ready for the real challenge to begin, Sunday saw the group cycle to Can Tho, a distance of 65km.

Sunday morning, and the team departed for the Mekong Delta region home to a maze of rivers, swamps and Islands, and home to floating markets.  The Mekong River is referred to as the River of Nine Dragons by the locals. We’re not sure they saw even one!

The team were able to rest their legs for a short while as they left the busy streets of Saigon, loaded their bikes and drove to My Tho Town. Here, they were back in the saddle and continued to cycle for a further 40km until they reached the Tien Giang province.  Stopping on their way for lunch, and a well-deserved drink, in Vinh Long. 

Refuelled, the team cycled through a variety of small villages and farmland heading towards Can Tho, their stop for the night, and the Mekong Delta’s largest city.

The first and what may well be the toughest day for the team. They cycled a huge 65km, the most they will cycle in a single day throughout the trip.

We can’t wait to hear from Teens Unite CEO & Co-Founder Debbie Pezzani and the cycling team to see how their day went. Watch this space for latest updates.

UPDATE from Deb on the first two days of the Challenge

"Jane and I set off at 6.30am to collect some of the team from the office and start our drive to Heathrow together – good to travel early as there’s no traffic.

At the airport a bit of a problem with excess baggage – 90kg of donated gifts that we will give to the children of Vietnam and Cambodia – giving out gifts as we go all adds to the trip and the experience that we have, it’s an amazing thing to do for these people, who have so little.

After buying a bottle of gin for the hotel room – top priority we climb aboard the flight and it takes off dead on time.

We watch a couple of films, a few glasses of wine and have a little sleep – wine as there’s no gin and no vodka – who booked this airline?

Everyone starts to get to know each other as we travel across the seas. We finally land, pick up our bags and head out of the airport. However, there’s a problem with one of the group and their paperwork. The passport and visa information do not match and it looks like one of the group will be sent home. There are a lot of tears and a bit of panic, but Sarah Kershaw steps in and comforts the poor young girl, and after a frantic few hours the problem is sorted and we can finally head to our hotel.

Some of the group decide that a few hours sleep will be a good idea, however, a few of us head to the markets for a look around. There’s a Stabucks (can you believe that?) and we have a coffee which wakes us right up! We then decide to have a body massage – wow! This was amazing and was so relaxing. After this, we headed back to the hotel, and I fell asleep immediately – so needed after the journey and the worry at the airport.

After showering and getting ready to meet with the guide at the hotel at 5pm, we came down to a HUGE parcel of colouring pencils, notepads, colouring books, biscuits and sweets, so kindly donated by Anthony Charles. Things that we so much take for granted make a huge difference to the young people of Cambodia and Vietnam and we can’t wait to give them out on our travels.

More news later.

Deb x"

"Sunday, a day to relax and find ourselves. At 5pm, we met our Guide, a lovely man called Chow who speaks very good English.

He told us that tomorrow we need to be up at 6am and set off at 7am. The reason for the early start, unseasonably heavy rain is forecast from 1pm onwards, so we need to get a head start. We will travel 25k without any support vehicle. The route takes us down very narrow roads where the support vehicles cannot get through. It’s also along a river, where he told us a few people have fallen in – not sure we wanted to know that!

We headed off for an AMAZING Vietnamese meal. As Nathan celebrated his Birthday on the way over, we continued the celebrations with a surprise cake, kindly arranged by the lovely Sue, back at the Teens Unite Office. I have to say it was THE most delicious cake, so light and fluffy and enjoyed by everyone.

We’re now all heading off for some much needed sleep ahead of tomorrow’s early start.

I’ll keep you all posted as we start our journey.

Deb x"

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