Saturday, 23 May 2015

Following the coast north: 90 km

We were on our bikes for a 7am start this morning and this is what the South China Sea looks like from my window at 5.30am! 

Amazingly there were people in the sea well before that time.  Very keen!

The first part of the ride was out of Nha Trang following the coast line North.

Fishing and agriculture dominate the rural, Vietnamese way of life - these are all active fishing boats.

And this is me, still fresh as a daisy.  Didn't last long in temperatures up to 38C today!

Topiary art is a bit of a thing in this city and I particularly liked these boats.

The men may catch the fish, but it's their wives who sell it on the quay and probably keep hold of the finances too!

The views are stunning, blue sea, mountains...

just amazing.

Another fishing village, another lot of boats but

these two are off out in their coracle.

Made of bamboo they are waterproofed with tar and cost about $25 each.  Doesn't sound a lot to us, but it will be for a rural Vietnamese family.

These are not paddy fields
but there were a great many all along both sides of the highway.

It was hot, with not much wind, so the reflections are lovely, despite the low level cables.

Any way, not paddy fields, but shrimp farms.

THIS is a paddy field.  There is plenty of rain here in Vietnam and with irrigation they can grow three or four rice crops per year.  So this one is just growning and
this one is being planted.

Doesn't this beach and sea look fabulous?
Would have loved a dip, but there were many miles to pedal today.  So it was a quick drink and off we went.

More stunning scenery as we passed

this secluded inlet which was heavily bombed by the Americans in the war, but now

it's home to a lobster farm!

Lunch was pho, homemade rice and chicken noodle soup and was followed by fresh mango and passion fruits which set us up nicely for the next stage of the ride.   

Field after field of crops all tended by hand.  I've yet to see a tractor working a field even at ploughing time, that's done with a hand farrow or one pulled by a water buffalo.

The road today was relatively flat, just the odd wee hill, but the temperatures were really high, so we needed plenty of stops to refuel on homemade lemonade, mangosteens, rambutan and  the cyclists favourite - bananas :-)

Lee and Matti tried to recruit another member for the A team, but he settled for a slice of watermelon and a 'One-one' - a thin ricecake with salt and sugar, bit like sweet and savoury popcorn.
I took every opportunity for a quick stop, fortunately there were plenty of cows, pot bellied pigs and chickens roadside for photo opportunities ;-)

I was exhausted, but a constant supply of chilled water helped to keep me going (just), that and Lam's constant cheerfulness, although I think he was feeling the heat too, because he kept suggesting photo opportunities too!

The going got easier as the sun started to set and the constant 'hello-ing' and high fives from all the children we rode past was super amazing.  They don't just look up and say hello as we ride past but come running from far and wide waving and shouting madly - superstar status!

And waiting in Quy Nhon was a warm welcome at Seagull Hotel (truelly!) and a bit of

bed runner art waiting for me in my room.  I just about had enough energy to shower, change and stagger down for dinner.  

It's another 7 am bike start tomorrow, only a short 45 km ride so hopefully not too much exposure to the sun, phew!  We go by bus the rest of the way to Hoi An, so early bed after catching up with The Archers.  Wonderful thing the Internet.