Saturday, March 30, 2013

Vietnam Tour: Day 6 (26th Aug) Quy Nhon to Tuy Hoa

Woke up, relatively early packed up my stuff and headed down to the reception. All staff was still sleeping and felt a little guilty waking them up to allow me to check out.

Commonly known as a moped, affectionately known as the Mobylette. No longer in production, i believe it is rare! Petrol powered bicycle anyone?

The guy was nice enough to wait for me to strap up my bag and lead me out onto the street, where I filled my bottles in the day light (the curtains made it impossible to see inside).

Immediately on my way to the next town was the climb out of current town, it was long but cooling. A couple of local roadies was going downhill and shared eye contact that mostly likely meant respect, respect that the climb was no walk in the park. After longer than I wanted, came the first down hill. And I was greeted by a lush hill...

Some climbs were pretty bad... The only consolation were the coastal views and eventual downhills after the climbs. During one of the climbs, a full sized bus blown it's tire right in front of me. It made me do a unintentional bunny hop (just kidding) from the deafening boom as smoke erupted from the wheels and escalated my heartbeat quickly. I took a few seconds to calm down and carried on riding (no one was hurt, and the bus continued driving after the driver came down to check). Think a stretched Mandai with a more uphill nature and amplify it. A really meandering road, going up and down and around the hills, many times the road would go inland and then out again to the shore:
Oceanic views
Lovely place to take a break, rock faces and small islands galore.
As quickly as the downhills disappeared a insanely long a straight road was ahead. I must have spent more than an hour on this road. Dead straight... A peloton of roadies actually came from the opposite direction, with the slight headwind I wished I was riding in a peloton too. The company would have been great too!
The views are sometimes surreal, and I was still on the wicked long straight road! Who knows such views were ahead?
Reaching the base of the hills, a tiny settlement by the river.
The children on the extreme right had just broke their bicycle chain... I had no chain breaker and couldn't help them out. Still, it was funny that they tried to continue pedaling!
I stopped to apply sunblock, and this road marker, 1270 km to HCMC!

My first real break was at the 70km mark, it was good progress and the setting off early thing really paid off. 

As a toured, my main form of navigation came from my iphone 4's GPS. I came to a crossroad, continue on the road:
Oh gosh, not another climb!
Climb the hill or a bridge made of sticks.
Here goes nothing! Live for adventure! (Start of bridge) Btw, there is a toll. Be careful, they will try to charge you double.
And it ends off in sand! The bridge was extremely uneven, but luckily for my huge 2.0 ties at a comfy psi. It was alright.
Just at the end of the bridge was a man made pool, the locals were inside using a net to harvest some fresh prawns!
Looks like I'm off the beaten track! I just went with my gut as there were no signs and 101 junctions, I eventually turned on my GPS and followed it from there. Some of the younger resident saw me and laughed. No idea why.
It was quite tiring to be riding on the trails, but it was welcomed break from the horn blaring roads. Great to see the slow pace of life there and the many faces I rode past. I got some biscuits from a mini shop and continued on my way until finally I reach smooth tarmac:

I like this shot. Originally meant to mark relief at riding on tarmac again... As I took the shot I was overtaken by this lady, and the result is just magical
Thought of riding across this thingy across the river, there was no reason to. haha
It was really hot, but hey since I brought the tripod might as well use it for a cool self riding shot. Should have taken more of these.
Chicken rice for lunch! The chilli was sweet, good fuel this was.
Another climb, a whole new view!

As I was nearing town, a large building stood out at the crest of a hill. I would have loved to give it a visit. But the gates were closed. It looked to be a run down factory of sorts.
As I finally reached the peak, a quick rest and a look back on the long straight climb as a pat on the back.
Just before I set off downhill I noticed a hitch hiker.
What a bugger, but i let it get the free ride. Riding solo, has it's pitfalls.
Once in town, I visited 3 hotels asking for the cheapest room and spent a considerable amount of time thinking if I should rent a motorbike and visit a nearby attraction. I researched on my phone, using the hotel's wifi and found a must-visit restaurant on trip advisor. And it also lets offer a motorbike rental service, so why not?

It wasn't difficult to find as it was marked on the map, as I entered the restaurant... A guy eating and drinking vodka greeted me and asked me to take a sit. He was quite clearly wasted but I figure what the hell, the reviews were quite amazing. There were only two tables set up, I just sat around waiting... Until eventually a guy came out from the back door and told me that he might not have any more food left and that he would be closed tonight. He checked and told me only pizzas left. 

Good for me!

As I was waiting for the pizza to cook, the must have drink was good:

Good stuff.
Called Bob's cafe he adviced me on ghan da dia, but was told the sky was going to get dark quick and night riding is really unsafe. Valkyrie a Russian (the guy who was wasted) who has been in Vietnam for 4 years works as a tour guide, offered me 1/3 full vodka shot, while I was eating the duo gave me some history from the Vietnam war. Bob's sidearm was a rifle with it's barrel cut down (Smaller was easier and if the enemy fired they could just spray, no need for accuracy since they can't see the enemy anyway) and his stint in the navy, and got his book too.

He shared quite a plenty of stories with me, in his shop. There is a wedding photo of him and his Vietnamese wife, he joked about when they brought her back to his home. He couldn't recognize her from the lack of makeup. But she has an extremely kind heart, and the proceeds from his book are channeled into improving the lives of the locals and charity work. The Russian also talked about his life as a military pilot and how i looked like a local, many a times conversing with me in Vietnamese. He also confessed he loved the place for it's sights and told me roughly how to get there. It was just the 3 of us, and finally being able to speak English to another person probably kept me sane. I must have spent some 2-3hours there, just absorbing the stories and just enjoyed myself.

His book was good (by the way you can have it for a donation of any amount), I read it during my rest days and made me realize how rare a person like him was. To the River Rats, I salute you!

Distance covered today: 110km
To date: 563km

No comments:

Post a Comment