Lost in Long Hai

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

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Where I stayed
Ho Puong Bo Hotel

Flag of Vietnam  , Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu,
Saturday, March 12, 2011

The internet at the rubbish beach resort didn't work so we had to make an early stop in La Gi town to try and determine the day’s route. After a couple of very hot circuits of the town we eventually found a hotel with wifi where a lovely lady let us sit on a shady table and even sent someone over the road to get iced coffees for us. Better still, the world wide web confirmed we could get a ferry directly into the heart of Saigon from the coastal port of Vung Tau. It meant at least a 65 mile day, but we could continue to follow the beautiful coast line of yesterday instead of heading inland to the highway.

Fired up we set off, and were quickly mobbed by dozens of cycling school children. Like everyone else in the town they were incredibly friendly and happy to see us. After 12 miles cycling quiet back roads our lack of breakfast hit home and we pulled over for cold drinks. At that point the dried up baguettes we’d rejected an hour before suddenly looked delicious and we wolfed them down (helped out by a very cute dog and 25 chicks who were pecking around under the tables) A cheeky little girl and boy had a lovely time spying on us before eventually coming out for a photo.

It was another incredibly hot day so we tried to stop every 10 miles, especially as Mikey wasn’t feeling great. At another shop we made friends with an old lady who spent a long time over what we thought must be a very large bill, but it turned out she had painstakingly written "what your name?" On finding out she went off to tell a man who’d turned up on a ridiculously loaded up moped (see photo). This lady also pointed us towards the turnoff to the most incredible coast road yet. Lined with incredible resorts, both finished and in the making, Ho Tram to Long Hai was a spectacular stretch.

On reaching Ho Tram we were a bit gutted to find we had another 30 miles to do, making 70 for the day. Arriving at Long Hai, a ridiculously hectic seaside town, we were even more gutted to get completely lost TWICE trying to find the road to Vung Tau and thereby cycle an extra 6 miles! Under time pressure we eventually found the right road and pedalled hard into the sunset towards the big town.

We were further delayed having to stop and help when we saw a moped careen into the central verge and its rider fly over the handlebars into the road. It became clear as soon as Mikey helped him up that he was literally blind drunk, a fact that had probably prevented him getting really hurt as he flopped like a jelly off the bike. He refused to sit down and dragged Mikey to have a look at the curb that had jumped out at him. He seemed to think they needed to do something to make it more obvious, other than paint it red and white and grow a massive hedge on it that is! He wouldn’t drink any water to sober him up, but did consent to wash the blood off his face before getting back on the bike as soon as we righted it. Oh dear!

In town we took a rubbish and noisy hotel because we’d seen a lovely restaurant next to it. This turned out to be a mistake as when we excitedly turned up at the restaurant they wouldn’t feed us because we hadn’t booked. We’d cycled 75 miles on 3 stale baguettes, a packet of biscuits and no lunch, and so as you can imagine this was a massive catastrophe. There were no other restaurants around, and we were only saved by a supermarket which sold spaghetti and tuna. Back to the skanky room to cook accompanied by the sound of screaming kids and wailing karaoke. (We were on the 1st floor above the playground and the window wouldn’t close!) Things continued to go wrong as Mikey spilt the first lot on the floor and I squirted mosquito repellent in my eye!

Once fed however everything seemed ok again and after watching 'Paul Blart – Mall Cop’ (very funny) we used our new ear plugs for the first time and very effective they were too. They even blocked out the continuous scratching and rustling as a cheeky gecko made off with our last few coconut biscuits.
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