Day 48 1032 days to go. Distance: today 63km total 2389. It’s 7.00pm Tuesday 17/1/2012 Long Xuyen. This has been one of my favorite days. Planned stuff and lots of unplanned stuff all rolled into one very cool day of it. I’ve just got in from checking out the city for the afternoon, cleaned up squeaky clean and sitting on the bed under the fan posting to you fine folk. They’ve got the Australian open being telecasted and Layton Hewitt’s just won his match yay. I went into the morning market first up today and found freshly baked baguettes for the day. The cycle was fabulous. The road followed the mekong right on top of the local river life. I stopped for a break and just watched the comings and goings people washing transporting goods, ferrying people, just everyday stuff but on the water and such great people watching. Actually that’s pretty much the theme of the day for me. I got to nejoy the everyday life I came across by riding with it and sitting and watch it go by both on the river and on in the streets. Rube and I are so used to being gawked at like we got two heads and six wheels but I laughed out loud today. We were going through a town looking about and I caught our reflection in a shop window. We definitely look odd enough without extra bits and I cracked up. It was a good perspective and I’d gawk at us too but more so because we’re two spunky sportos 🙂 I had lots of people contact time from the very little to the very old and I loved the mix. Some people would just gawk but most would flash a smile or smiled back at my crocodile grin. it’s happened a few times over the last couple of days where guys would follow me on their mopeds not being weird but checking out rube then heading off looking back giving us the thumbs up, big nod and a grin. It’s cool. That’s quite a common salute the thumbs up or the peace sign from all ages but more so teenagers. I rode past this vending lady grilling bananas covered on cocoanut creamed rice and it smelt so good I had to stop and buy one. She was great and giggled the whole time. This old fella came up before heading and asked me ‘where you go’ and I showed him the map and he said ’54 km’ gave Rube a shake and nodded his approval and waved us on our way. The sprawl of towns doesn’t end one rolls into the next with very little unused space. The volume of people is a real stand out but there’s not a sense of aggression amongst the people. The chaos seems accepted and just a part of life so you just join them. It’s such a surprising step up from where Ive been with respect to the volume of people even Phenon. It makes me wonder what Saigon will be like but I’ll just ride that one it comes I think. One day at a time and there’s enough going on in the day to move from one moment to the next that’s for sure. I stopped today to watch this bicycle repair lady serving a bike and so into it and efficient. It was fascinating and I got a couple of pictures before she realized she had an audience. I gave her the biggest grin and thumbs up and shook her hand calling her a jet. She had no idea what I was saying but new it was a compliment coming from the passing female cyclist so she loved it. I passed lots of rice drying out on the road and coconut shell pieces that they dry for kindling. i also passed a few shops drying incense sticks. I arrived Long Xuyen about 1pm and its a huge city bigger than chou Doc and spread over such a distance. I didnt have a city map in my guide book but had a couple of names of hotels. There was just no way of finding myself around despite trying for about an hour to find where the hotels were. I ended up stopping at a cafe to ask and the man who owned it offered to leaed my by moped to one of the hotels in the book. how lovely was that. I sat with his elderly mother who was very amused by my visit and situation. He took me to the hotel which ended up being baulous only $5 and right in the city centre I think. It’s just up from a roundabout with a monument so I used that as a landmark to check out the city for the afternoon. Found the river markets where people living on boats were preparing their produce it was so interesting to watch. So much so I just had to stop sit myself in the street just up from the river and watched the markets and general goings on, passing of people and vendors it was just awesome. I sat there until the sun started to set so I thought I’d head for another ride about before it got dark. I found the river side markets of mostly flowers and assorted fruit trees and bonsai. I was there right on sunset and it was beautiful on the water. It started getting dark so I headed back to the hotel and here I am. Really loving the difference of Vietnam and the unique daily life and activity and being amongst it. Great day and onto Cantho tomorrow. Starving!!!! talk soon x
One thought on “Post # 42 Long Xuyen”
Sounds like you`ve found your next favourite place, Re. Would lobe to be there sharing it with you – sounds fanttastic!!!!!!!!