Thieves to Fireflies

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

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
Where I stayed
Rang Dong Hotel

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It was feeling ominous. An early morning power cut had put the lift out of action so we struggled down from the 7th floor with the panniers. Reaching the bottom we then realised that the power cut had also put all of the ATMs out of action so we were without enough money to pay the bill.  Add to this the most ridiculously loud electric guitar music coming from outside  and you have all the ingredients for a grumpy start.

However, a lovely relaxing muesli opposite (yes, I now eat muesli) with Dan and Claire, made us feel much more optimistic about the miles ahead.  We negotiated the Saigon traffic to find the Post Office.  As Pols struggled inside to work out the postal system, I mapped out a way out of the city and South West towards the Mekong Delta. 

The ride was going really well.  The city was really buzzing and it was the usual adrenaline rush of cycling out of  a major city.  But then Pols shouted from behind "They have got the camera".  It was all over before we could do anything and it left us with a horrible feeling.

Two blokes on a motorbike had snuck up behind Polly and cut the camera strap which was around her neck and sped off with our camera.  They must have been tailing us and it was obviously something they have done before.  I gave chase but it was pointless as they had done it on an open stretch of road and were already out of sight before I hit top speed.  We have used that camera so much snapping our way through cities and probably the biggest frustration is losing the great photos from this morning and the ones of us saying goodbye to Dan and Claire.  We stopped for a drink and a breather.  The camera had gone but at least we were safe and still rolling. We also felt quite satisfied that it was a pretty rubbish camera, battered from being dropped so much.

On we went and enjoyed the rest of the ride.  It was mostly on the busy highway but we had some nice stops and the traffic was pretty peripheral.   One guy had caught a rat in a cage and was very pleased to show us.

When we arrived in My Tho we were picked up by a hotel tout.  We followed him to a very nice spot on the river and checked in exhausted.  We had only done 46 miles but the heat is so draining. We were then hit by another tout who offered us a ride down the river for a few dollars.  It seemed a good idea so before we knew it we were showered and whizzing down to the dock on the back of his motorbike.  We boarded his sister's boat and set out on The Mekong for our first stop on Coconut Island.  It was such a lovely tour.  We saw bee keepers and drank honey, bee pollen and lime tea, we ate coconut candy, we watched the sun set, we strolled around a very strange temple and best of all, we saw fireflies.  This really was amazing; the palms that lined the riverbank glittered furiously.  We reached out and caught them between our hands.  Up close you could see the lights on their bellies.  Quite a sight.

Back on dry land we enjoyed a seafood dinner and then joined a group of students from Can Tho university who had invited us over for a drink.  Their English teacher was very keen for us to talk, and it proved to be a very good end to the day.  They are on their way to England to study and were all really lovely.  They are off to Greenwich and Bristol University and we swapped emails in the hope that we could help them out next year.

We are now watching 'Taking Woodstock'.  A great day, if only Polly had been quicker on the draw with the pepper spray we could of 'ad ‘em! 

(We are now using my mobile phone as a camera, hence photos from this afternoon).

Miles cycled: 46 hot city and highway miles
Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • You must enter a comment
  • You must enter your name
  • You must enter a valid name (" & < > \ / are not accepted).
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address


Foos on

Lovelies! Really sorry to hear about your camera, bad news. On the upside you seem to be having an amazing time and I'm still absolutely loving hearing all about your adventures; I do read every entry but mostly at work first thing before patients and the joyful system lets me peruse the blog but not add to it, most annoying! I saw Clarey, Spigs and Bobs last weekend when Clarey had us round for birthday tea and cakes. We were talking about you and all miss you lots! My parents are big fans of the blog too. Big hugs xxx

triciagick on

Those rotten thieves - believe me, had I the chance, I would much more than just pepper spray them! However Pols, make sure you have the trusty pepper spray (for all readers - we purchased that in Connaught Place, Mumbai) at the ready and get them full in the eyes - take no prisoners!!
Everything else looks most interesting. I actually bought a dragon fruit the other day (bit bland), and I saw those huge pointy jobs a lot in Sri Lanka - are you sure they're not Jack fruit? Looking forward to Dan and Claire getting back tonight - they should be high in the air as we speak.
Kite surfing looked far too energetic and dangerous to me, but I may have been up for an ostrich ride - easy to say from this distance! Keep a watchful eye at all times you two
Much love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Jojo on

Definitely think Ostrich racing should be included in the 2012 Olympics - it reminded me of that ancient Disney film 'Swiss Family Robinson'! What a shame about the camers - still the 'phone seems to be doing the trick.

Christopher got delivery of his brand new Claud Butler bike this morning and is tickled pink with it - I think he as only ever had one NEW bike before. I also splashed out a small fortune on a fantastic black and silver globe so I can see properly where you are in the world - it is great fun and shows up all our ignorance as to where places are (a good game after Sunday lunch).

Beginning to get much more spring like here but still bloomin' chilly. Hope the rest of you week goes well and you have planned in a rest day.

Lots love Jojo and Christopher

Lindy on

Just done the catch up - also sorry re the camera but pics from the mobile are excellent. Think what you are doing is amazing and also is making me desperate for a holiday - not sure when that might happen - keep the blogs coming - I love it
All love Lindy

Spigs on

Great to finally have a chance to catch up on the blog today. Things have been manic at school and with finalising our house purchase. We exchanged contracts on Thursday and we're completing next week so that's all very exciting! Brilliant to read about your adventures in Vietnam as we've been to a lot of the places you went. Was great being able to picture you there. Really sorry to hear about the camera but at least you weren't hurt Pols. Can always be replaced. Glad you had a good time with Dan and Claire; kite surfing sounds brilliant, Jon's always been keen to try that on the beach here. We miss you lots and we think of you often. Take care of you precious selves, Xxx

Tracy Neville on

Hey you two, off with flu for a couple of days so have had a very long overdue catch up on your travels! As amazing as ever, chuckled at the lacy gloves Mikey, "suits you"!!!! Saddened by the Vietnam story by a fellow cyclist, very sad. Smiled at the China New Year firecracker bit - remember being 20 stories up in a Beijing hotel drinking tea, listening to them all go off all night! And the fireflies, once only have I seen them in Italy - incredible.

We've booked our USA trip last 2 wks July, will msg you with the details & see if you'll be anywhere nearby.

Take care both of you and thanks for keeping us entertained - can't get the Mikey on an ostrich picture out of my head!!!


Jojo on

Terrible failure of the crossword with Tricia yesterday - I do hope it is down to a change in compiler and not a sign of mental faculties rapidly failing due to age! Beautiful Sunday in Bosham, lunch with tribe (I acutally overdid it this time, when I put the joint in the roasting tray I read the packet and it said it was enough to feed 18!) Still we all put on a very brave face and pigged out - there is still 2 thirds left!
E & G did washing up and then slid back down to the club as Olaf was asleep - thankfully he woke up fairly soon so CJB and I had a lovely time playing with him in tthe coservatory - basically he found a big pot of nuts and bolts and was blissfully happy.
Hopefully we will have Amanda Mae next weekend - she had been busy baby sitting, writing essays and teaching so I think is looking forward very much to the Easter break. Which makes me wonder if Easter is celebrated in Borneo as i don't think it's a christian community - be sure to let us know.
George has picked up your bikes from Windward and I think he and A will be getting in some serious training very soon - although they will have to work out who is going to have the pedals!
Take care of yourselves and lots of love from us both

Ray on

Well done you two, main thing is that you're safe. So glad the day got better, sounds amazing. The ostrich video was funny, reminds us of the donkey ride in devon. xxx

Debbie Cox on

Hey good blog update guys, it is too bad about the camera. shocking that mikey didn't cycle fast enough to catch them up, take them all out single handedly and rescue it. you both look v well, well polly looks all clear skinned and glowy, mikey looks hairy but i am sure is glowing underneath.
provisional date for nuptials 1st Oct so I hope the world is small enough for you to cycle round it and get back in time, get a move on x

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: