Day 54 1036 days to go Distance today 42km total 2905. Its 6pm Monday 23 January 2012. I’m sitting on the beachfront watching the last of the sunset. It’s been such an interesting and mixed day today but this moment watching the colors fade was just to nice not to share. It’s getting dark now so I’m going to head back to the place I’m staying clean rube and me then I’ll finish this post. Back soon.
Its 9.30 and I’m sitting at fhe restaurant attached to the guesthouse. Can you hear that squeaky noise that’s me and Rube. Her front derailer got bent up against the chain in the bus trip from hell back in Phenom phen and has been rubbing since driving us both nuts and can’t be any good for her. So today I held my breath and muscled it back eeeek. I was waiting for it to break off and be left holding onto it with an ‘oops what now’ look on my dial and a ‘I may have to kill you in your sleep’ look on Rubes. I hope I did an ok job. I got some advice from the fellers from Spin city Mooloolaba along with the bike manual so we’ll soon see. It gets a bit hilly over the next days so I was keen to try sort it. As I said earlier its been a mixed day but what a way to end the daylight hours with a sunset over the ocean. Yay the coast there’s something about the ocean isn’t it. I was totally ready for an easy day and to turn off a bit so I cycled a short way to Mui Ne. It’s a beach town about 20km on from Phan Thiet. Interesting place. I did some exploring all afternoon after I found a dorm for $4 awesome. It got written up as one of the best beaches in Vietnam but we’re so spoilt at home with no comparison. It’s sort of divided into three bits: the town which is neglected and a seedy place. Tragically for the environment the pollution on the waterfront there brings tears however I did get my first glimpse of their bizarre row boats. They are round woven baskets with waxed outside. There’s a plank and paddle and look like ‘rub-a-tub-tub,’ The view back from the town you appreciate the red dunes which the area in known for along with kitesurfing. Heading back along the coast the resorts start one after the other. They control access to the beach in front so you cant actually access the beach unless you’re a patron at one of them. I did find this empty allotment with grass huts sheltering a handful of beached row boats. This was a beautiful spot to just sit have a late breaky and coffee and just enjoy the sound and view loved it. We headed onwards then to a public area that has a tiled boardwalk and rock wall. Again the little boats were beached and look so odd and cute. I found a possy on a rock and just people watched for ages it was great. This woman came up at one stage totally curious with my tattoo and nose ring. She asked me using hand signals how old I was and ‘tut tut-ed’ me. Evil Maree was saying to myself ‘yes you’re right I should be overweight and rude like you,’ but just shrugged and smiled indicating I was happy. She then offered me a green mango and it was delish. Go figure anyway the mango was yum. A far more friendlier experience was this morning before leaving Phan Thiet. The daughter was visiting the parents who run the hotel and she speaks excellent English. So we got talking and she offered me a Vietnamese coffee and we sat and chatted to midday. It was fabulous she was so interesting and we talked about experiences and perspectives and cultural differences and adversity and spiritual strength and outlook. Honestly I could still be there it was wonderful and I got so much out of it and it was really special to share some ideas and have them challenged with extra information. For example I shared with her the story of the caged birds from Loas and how they are released to lighten your worries. She added how sad she thought it was that something so special has become about buying and selling at the cost of the birds who suffer and sometimes die before being released. She spoke about the irony of caging an innocent creature to sell to someone to release their worries. I remember at the time being so releived that they werent for eating and how much I liked the symbolism. But she spoke about the importance of looking further into things for truth. Anyway like I said it was really interesting. She was a writer now a designer and lives in Ho Chi Minh with her son. We exchanged details and I hope to keep in touch. The coffee was great. I thought the drink I’ve seen people having in cafes and eating places was coke or pepsi on ice but it’s actually iced coffee. It’s brewed quite strong and you can have it black or mixed with condensed milk how she served it today. Then it’s served on ice and it tastes big time yum. I’ve seen mostly men drink it by the bucket loads like in a pot sized glass. The men’s cafes I’ve mentioned mostly serve this drink if not beer. So there you go. It went down so well as I had a crappy sleep last night with the New Years festivities lasting all through the night. Good on them but it made it hard for shut eye with the cymbols and firecrackers and drums going off. It’s been really quiet today most shops are closed with rhe start of family time. Luan’s family left while we were talking to see her grandmother. She shared her granmother’s story being the sole suvivor from her village that was bombed and everyone killed during the vietnam war. She just happened to be away from the village at the time but unfortunately lost the rest of her family in the tragedy. I just checked my photos to see if I had missed anything I wanted to include tonight and found a photo of a little honey eater. While I was sitting at the grass huts I spotted this colored little thing busy and bright as he was. I took a picture as it reminded me of the little family that nested at my mum and dads place near their back door. They got so much joy watching them build, lay, hatch, feed, fly and leave to do it all over again all in a space of a few weeks. It was beautiful .Anyway mum and dad that photo and story’s for you and the honey eater family whever they may now be. Off to bed. Talk soon x ps Highlight of the day was my Skype date this morning with my partner and pooches. I love Skype.