Post # 49 Tuy Hoa
Day 58 1022 days to go. Distance: Wed 85km, yesterday 112km today 117km total 3265km It’s 7.25pm Friday 27/1/2012 Tuy Hoa. Well I’m actually 10km before but I have no idea what the town is called so if anyone gets wind on the spot message when I send it later let me know. Hi. The last three days I’ve travelled to Phan Rang, Nha Trang and tonight just shy of Tuy Hoa. The scenery along this stretch is beautiful with coastal and inland mountain ranges keeping us company along with spectacular stretches of beach, offshore islands, cliff lines, coves, fishing villages and coastal roads. When the road does cut inland its amongst farming villages, rice fields, banana trees and grazing water buffalo to name a select few. All the while the mountains loom with drifts of cloud about its peaks and valley. It’s Vietnam postcard style and it’s a real treat to cycle through. The three days have just got better and apparently it continues to impress as we head north. Wednesday morning Phan Rang I headed down to the fish market to check it out. It was low key but really interesting with fish and shellfish hauls being sold straight out of the banana leaf baskets. The locals were battering prices and full of eagerness to haggle a bargain. I saw this one couple having a domestic and you could almost hear him saying ‘ you sold it for what?!’ It was on. Time to go 🙂 The days cycling was really tough as there was such strong headwinds and gusts. I should have suspected so when I saw a field of wind energy propellers along the coastline. I got blown off the road so many times and at one stage literally got blown off the bike. No damage but so deflating to average under 10 per hour for the long day. At the 40km mark I came over this rise and the headwind was so strong I had to get off and push Rube. I walked her into this roadside stop, parked her, squatted up against a post and cried like a big baby. Not one of my best moments. Once that was out of the system I pulled myself together and broke the remaining 42km into 5 km blocks and slowly the kms got done. All that aside this is where the scenery started to impress so that was a real positive and inspiration in the day. When we got into Phan Rang I found this dilapidated old grand hotel so art nuevo (?) something straight out of prague but needing serious attention. It was $5 per night and a great place to stay. When we arrived I kissed Rube for a day so well done. She has kicked arse particularly over the last days in the hilly and windy conditions and not skipped a beat which has been awesome. But the highlight of the day was a family skype session that night with my ma and pa, partner and both pooches all visiting nana and granddads. Loved it thank you my darling family x The southern section of the highway was controlled by the Cam people from the 12th century and there are reddish brick Cham towers or sanctuaries periodically seen at elevated landmarks along the highway. I had a cool stop this day for an iced sugar cane drink. The vendor was run by a mother (84 y/o) and daughter (60 y/o). They were both so keen to talek and share stories it was a really lovely and I enjoyed a good hour break and chat with them both. The drinks my favorite. They add a twist of orange citrus to theres it was yum. Heading onto Nha Trang the scenery continued to impress and the wind eased up for the last 20kms into town which was a welcome change. Nha Trang is one of the top tourist destinations for its beaches and offshore islands, diving and snorkeling. It’s also known as the party capital of Vietnam and it was showing off. It was the last night of holiday celebrations and there was heaps of street activities going on and off. The city was bustling with locals and tourists which made for a greta vibe but unfortunately no accommodation left, Like nothing available nudda nicht bugga. This woman at a guest house I tried earlier in the evening offered me floor space in the front recpetion foyer once the shop front closed if I couldn’t find anywhere else. Two hours later I walked back in and she said to come back at 11pm when she closes. This hgave me a chance to wonder about the city and soak up the atmosphere. The beach was all flood lit so the nightlife spilled out onto the sand and boardwalk area. There were live stage shows and markets and vendors and rollerbladers with everything lit and sparkling. It was cool and fun to take some pickies. I would have done my post up for the day but unfortunately used all my battery playing Ipod tunes for the last half of the day. I was happy to have someone to sleep but didn’t get to many zzzzz last night but was safe at least. The guest house lady her name was Trang and she was such a sweetie gave me a towel to freshen up in the bathroom, a roll mat, pillow and blanky. Nice and yet another ‘saved by a local’ story. It was an early 6a cycle start to the day today. I wanted to give myself heaps of time to get through the Kms and the terrain. Todays leg read as the toughest so we were into it. I actually felt really good considering the lack of zzzzz and the area to cycle was awesome. I love mountains and have since I can remember. There’s something so inspiring and comforting about them. Like big strong arms wise and handsome. I was surrounded with that feeling all day and got to pass over one of the ranges which was a challenge that we both really enjoyed. We went up initially say 500m and it flattened out. I was actually a bit disappointed cause it read up as a big deal. The view was still awesome so we sat and enjoyed a coffee all together, Rube, blue dog Miss J and me. We got back under way and soon found that to be just a warm up and it was about a 10km climb winding up and over. It was hard but cool to do. The Dai Lahn peninsula where the pass was is famous for its fresh water springs. The locals have somehow harnessed the water pressure and have these roadside stops with huge hoses where the passing buses and trucks stop to clean off. Seems like a waste to me but whatever works. I preferred to fill my water bottle with the freezing water from a spring coming from between rocks on the roadside. . The beach coves today were beautiful. So much so I stopped and had my first swim in the surf it felt great loved loved loved it. The locals don’t seem to be that keen on the water. Always keen to be eating at vendors or restaurants perched at these great locations but not to be on the beach soaking it up as such. I must have looked a sight in my bra and undies but that came a way second to a swim. It’s getting onto 9pm now and I’m a bit delirious and starving. Time for dinner and the sweetest of dreams of Vietnamese coastal mountains.