Hello again readers...... ever been tortured for days and realise you still have 2 more to go.... thats me at the moment.
Sitting is getting unbearable, and I wish we could skip todays ride down to the coast...about 7 hours of torture before an overnight stay.
Anyways, Mr T is eager to press on so its another 8am departure. Today he promises me a visit to "Chicken Village" a hydro electric station, red sandhills and finally the Mui Ne fishing village. It was so sad to be leaving the coolness and beauty of Da Lat for the heat and stickiness of the coast again. I feel now 5 days is maybe too long on my butt.
We head out and wind thru the lovely pine covered hills of Da Lat. We descend into a nice valley that grows tonnes and tonnes of vegetables, salad greens and flowers and head for Chicken Village. This is another minority village that has a huge statue of a chicken...hence the name Chicken Village. Here a lovely local woman explained the traditions of her village. They were a matriarchial society where the women made all the decisions. They chose their men partners, the men took the females family name and the men did all the meanial tasks. The women ruled totally.... such a change to see the men in the fields and the women in the huts. Watch out world!
Then it was a long journey down from the highlands to the coastal plains. I found out later a bus had gone over the edge about 2 weeks earlier on this road killing 10 russian tourists...so glad I found that out after. It seemed to take forever to get down to lower altitudes, and as we did the temperature started to soar. At the bottom we had a quick visit to a Hydro electric station and then moved on. the temperature and the wind was unbearable. Here where we were, the wind rushes in from the coast and dries out so quickly as it passes over the most desolate landscape I have seen in vietnam to date, even the trees are withering and there are water canals feeding them. The road is deplorable with about a 50 klm stretch only passable at about 20 klm per hour speed and much pain on the posterier. We passed through some of the poorest villages I have seen so far, and I saw this small boy , covered in sweat and filthy dirt and dust, by the side of the road and I just gave thanks to the destiny that chose for me to be born where I was to the family I was born into...what cruel fate choses for someone to be born with relative wealth and privledge and others to be born into a life of misery. These thoughts can really play games with your mind if you let them.
Soon we briefly hit Highway One again for the 1st time since Na Trang. Lunch time! We pulled up at a cafe and as I dismounted I pressed my left leg against another bikes hot exhaust...OUCH! Instant blister about 3 by 5 cms on my outer calf muscle. Before this I was not feeling hungry, now so even less eager to eat, so it was Baguettes and coffee...I have just about had enough local cuisine.
Last stage to Mui Ne now and we turn back off Hwy 1 and cross more desolate red sand country. Mr T asked if I wantede to go to the red sandhills and slide down them..NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! was my dried out and parched response...hotel quickly. 1 hour later we arrived in Mui Ne...I must say in my current demeanor, a miserable looking place. We stopped at the fishing village and I must admit to being impressed with the number of fishing boats crammed into this bay... there were thousands and thousands and it was equally impressive when dusk came and I watched them all head to sea . It looked like a lantern procession that seem ed to go on forever across the horizon. Apart from that... well if you cant say anything nice...say nothing, as my Nan used to tell me.
Looking forward to tomorrow and my last day of bum torture as we wind up our tour and enter Ho Chi Minh City.
Bye for now...I need a hammock in the cool breeze,