Beach bound again!

Trip Start Nov 06, 2012
Trip End Feb 01, 2013

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Having decided to cycle to Nha Trang, we spent most of breakfast time on the day of our departure wondering if that had really been a wise decision. Neither of us feels in particularly good shape at the moment and we didn’t think to bring our special padded cycling shorts! Plus, we knew we weren’t exactly going to look like pros, what with not having any tight, fluorescent lycra! 

Cycling to Nha Trang was a great way to experience more of the countryside: we lost count of the number of different crops being farmed and were wowed by the layers and layers of different shades of green as the various fields, forests and mountains faded from the foreground into the background. The mountains between Dalat and Nha Trang provided a stunning backdrop and a FANTASTIC downhill run towards the coast (there were a number of uphill stretches too, contrary to what we had been told when hiring the bikes!). On the downhill stretches, A was surprised that V didn’t use the brakes - not as surprised as she was - clearly the Vietnamese rules of the road are rubbing off on her - all she was missing was a horn!

We knew we were approaching the coast before we could see it: the warm, dry sea air very quickly replaced the cooler mountain air and the temperature was increasing. 

Our guide for the trip clearly didn’t think we were up to the distance as he repeatedly told us we could hop into the support car and finish the journey by road. We are pleased and feel very smug to report that we ended up having to hop into the support car 15km from Nha Trang, because the guide was exhausted and told us that people didn’t usually cycle as far as we had. We were to keen to finish the journey by bike but he’d clearly burnt all of the Oreo cookies he’d been munching on in the morning and had nothing left in his legs. Perhaps we are fitter than we look and A’s belief that he is “a fat Bradley Wiggins” may not be too far from the truth...

Nha Trang proved to be a good place to rest our heads for a couple of days. Watching the surf while enjoying a cold beer was a great way to move as dusk descended over Nha Trang. We had some brilliant seafood on the beach while we were there - a large plate of sea snails, lobster, crab, prawns and something unidentifiable (but very delicious!) all cooked by a woman using a bucket BBQ. All for a bargain price too. Continuing the seafood theme, one evening we devoured two MASSIVE fish for dinner - beautifully barbecued on the street outside the restaurant - all for less than 10 (including lots of drinks).  

Now, the lots of drinks led to a lot more drinks. This in turn led to some iconic dancing from the Lamport/Orr duo, much protesting to the DJ about “rubbish” music and A testing out his French on two unfortunate volunteers with whom we had drunkenly become acquainted. One of these poor women was French and took the assault on her mother tongue in good spirit, the other was Vietnamese and couldn’t understand a word he was saying so dragged V onto the dancefloor to bust some Gangnam Style moves. We ended up rolling from the bar to our room as the sun was rising and spent the following day feeling very, very sorry for ourselves. We decided that a few casual drinks followed by an early night were not such a bad thing after all and that it may be a while before we drink that much again. That said, A, who had declared on our “day of doom” that he wasn’t going to drink again, was by the next day back to his usual SE Asia beer intake, so watch this space...

In addition to being party central, we were surprised and excited to discover that the local version of “Tesco Express” sold everything a homesick traveller could possibly wish for. Neither of us are feeling homesick, but we did spend quite some time walking up and down the aisles taking in the product selection: “they’ve got Kettle chips”; “they’ve got Erdinger”; “they sell sliced bread and Frosties”; “they’ve got decent suncream”; “ooh Haribo”; to name just a few things. And to top it off, we were served by the spitting image of Mrs Britton (yes, Liz, you have a Vietnamese double!!!). A wanted a photo but wasn’t brave enough (and didn’t have the vocabulary) to ask.

To sum up our couple of days here, Nha Trang tried to break us, but we survived.
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