New Record Set

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Huong Vu Restaurant

Flag of Vietnam  , Kon Tum,
Saturday, March 5, 2011

We knew today would be at least 75 miles, probably more, so despite achy legs from ill-advised running a few days ago, we were packed up, breakfasted and on the bikes by 9. The wind was kind and stayed behind us blowing us happily along at a 15mph pace. We were hailed over after 13 miles by some Malaysian cycle tourers with a flat tyre. We spent a happy half hour swapping stories and blog details while Mikey helped sort the puncture. The bike was a strange looking chair thing which apparently had made it from Bejing to Paris – amazing. They were very jealous of us as obviously the wind which was blowing us along was making slow progress for them. We were so lucky to have met them though as they confirmed that the unfinished coastal route to Mui Ne was ok to cycle, a fact that would save us an extra 10 miles.

Two miles later we had to stop again as the beach was so beautiful that it seemed madness not to check it out with a cool drink. Another wedding photo shoot was going on, this time with a white guitar as a prop. By this time the grey clouds of the past two days had finally disappeared and the day got progressively more and more boiling. By lunch we were lightheaded from 40 miles of intense arid heat and forced ourselves to stop and have a proper meal. We just pointed at what two other diners were having and sat back with cold cokes to see what we would get. Good food luckily! A spicy fish steak, herby salad, fish and beansprout stew and rice – delicious. A very sweet puppy spent the time licking our legs trying to get us to give him some.
As we asked for the bill however things went badly wrong when the girl said the price was $30!!!! This is the most outrageous attempt to rip us off we have yet encountered and I spent a long time assuming she must mean something else. When given a piece of paper, she changed her mind a bit and wrote 300,000 dong (10). We lost patience at that point and shouted for her to get her mother the cook out and write out a proper bill. At that point even the cute puppy turned a bit nasty, growling at us from under a chair. We haven't had any experiences like this since the north and had just got out of the habit of asking the price of everything before we ordered it. They attempted to keep up the charade saying rubbish like cokes cost 2 pounds etc, but started to look pretty shamefaced about the whole thing. We left the 3 we normally pay for a meal like that and left – never to return!

Soon after lunch we hit the small town of Phan Ri Cua and turned off the highway onto the unfinished coast road. It was a fantastic short cut, although very hot and dusty. Eighteen miles from Mui Ne we saw the white sand dunes it’s famous for. They are incredible – East Head on a massive scale with no grass to ruin the look of the white sand. Jeeps carrying tourists bumped along the tracks beside us and we could see them all racing around on quad bikes or trekking up on foot to slide down. Looked very good fun.

The last 18 miles were very hot and very hectic. It turns out that Mui Ne is actually a little fishing town several miles before the 10km stretch of beach which constitutes the tourist area. We spent quite a bit of time lost in the village cycling up and down the back streets before we realised. By the time we go to the right area we had done 86miles and it was dark.

The resorts looked incredible but we were too exhausted to check them out and find a good deal so took a very cheap, but grotty room in a restaurant. At least the restaurant was good and we refuelled on barbequed chicken kebabs and garlic bread. Dan called to say they were having a great time in Saigon waiting for the night bus so we arranged to meet in the morning - cant wait!

Miles cycled: 86 record breaking miles sailing through the desert landscape

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triciagick on

And now to get stuck in with Dan and Claire - excellent xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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