Post # 54 Phu loc

Day 65 1015 days to go. Distance today 67km total 3711km. It’s 6.40pm Friday 3/2/2012 Phu Loc. Oh my goodness it’s so wet. Let’s just say the place I’m staying is somewhat different to the resort and spa in Hoi An but it’s dry yay and so am I double yay. It’s rained for most of day and has made for some chilly descents on the three passes I crossed. I’ve worked pretty hard for the 67km given the weather and ascents. My fingers and toes are so pruney from being wet all day they look 100 years old now and really funny typing up my post. But rain aside I’ve had a fun day. I went to a cafe first up this morning and sent my sister an email for her birthday and uploaded the post over a vietnamese coffee. It’s like an iced expresso with condense milk and after the shock of the strength it’s actually quite delish served with hot green tea. The beach party celebrations in Munich will be well underway now and I wouldn’t mind being beamed up there to share the festivities with the family. As an alternative I bought my sisters and I porcelain beaded bracelets from a roadside stall at the top of the Hai Van Pass (500m). I was enjoying a coffee at the stall when the bracelets got my attention. They’re really sweet and I even bartered which is a rare deal for me and not a forte. Instead of $10 for one I got 3 for $15 which is probably far more then they’re worth but hey it’s a special occasion. My sisters bought us matching pendents as a safe trip gift before me leaving. The bracelets aren’t as elegant as the pendents but it’s nice to share something between us to bridge the distance at a time of wanting to be together. I’ll give them to Ma and Pa in Beijing to forward them on and as always I am with them in spirit with all my love. Hope you are having great fun celebrations xx. Heading out of Danang this morning there was this tiny roadside food with one table and chairs stall serving noodle soup. I haven’t been able to stock up on supplies as yet and am a sucker for the small time vendors so I stopped for breakfast. The noodles and broth were really yum with lime, shallot and fish sauce the main ingredients and she was lovely topping up my bowl as I hoed in down with my chopsticks. What I thought was tofu was liver eeeeek but I ate it nonetheless and it was alright just a slight and momentary diversion from my vegetarianism šŸ™‚ The road lived up to the book’s description of being one of Vietnam’s most spectacular stretches. Even in the crappy weather the view out over the ocean was awesome and I stopped heaps of times to enjoy the view. There were sea eagles soaring over the dense forest up the mountain side and the best song birds singing their tunes in the rain. The people here love their caged song birds. They look like a canary but black, white and grey with a black crested head and their song is beautiful. The guest house I’m staying at has one in the foyer where I’m sitting now and it’s showing off for the tourist. It’s a familiar tune that I hear cycling through the towns and being caged doesn’t seem to dampen their spirits that’s for sure. It’s a nice background noise now but allot nicer heard up the mountain side in their natural surroundings. I spotted lads retrieving cages today during the ride so they’re obviously trapped and sold as pets. The seaside bays were dotted all around the mountainous coastline today some appeared to have small villages in the tree-line but most looked uninhabited and enticingly remote. I could imagine stocking up on necessities and finding a possy down amongst the palm trees. Given access and a bit better weather I think Rube and I would have explored the idea but in the rain and fog the idea was close enough. There didn’t appear to be access roads down to them so they may be only reachable by boat but would make a great remote camping spot. The thought crossed my mind that’s for sure. During my coffee break I met some cool people. One Austrian fellow ‘Sep’ came up and introduced himself. He first came to Vietnam over ten years ago when the place was far less touristed and he cycled then and loved it. He was very impressed with Ruby. Each year he’s come back but travels by motorcycle now this year with his daughter in tow. I also got talking with these really young lads from Ho Chi Minh who are currently not working so decided to go traveling by moped. They were really fun with a huge sense of adventure and loved Ruby. She got so much attention today so she’s very happy with herself tonight. I must say she’s looking pretty hot with her new mud guard and saddle bag. These were some of the treats in our care pack from home and accessorize the girls’s red dress beautifully šŸ˜‰ The mudguard couldn’t have arrived at a better time. It can be very wet in North Vietnam February to April before the summer season so I think we’re in for more. It’s not dampening the spirits just yet as I’m feeling pretty good even with pruney fingers and toes. The gear might start to smell a bit ripe over the next days which may sour things a bit so I’ll find a more suitable guesthouse tomorrow night to wash and dry out the gear before it scars us both šŸ™‚ The coast road is joined regularly by the train track which also runs along the coast. Periodically the track crosses the road and we have to stop for a passing train. There’s no automatic boom-gates here. Instead gates are wheeled across the road by conductors to stop traffic. It’s so different to back home but it works. It’s kinda cool seeing stuff still done by hand but I’m sure the automatic world will catch up soon enough. I had to laugh today amidst the fog and rain I had to stop twice for cows and then goats on the road. I don’t tire of this stuff and love how they are common road traffic. Allot nicer to contend with and I always great them with a big ‘hello ladies, you’re so beautiful!!!.’ What I wouldn’t give to be able to read their thought bubbles šŸ™‚ I got a bit adventurous today and took moving pictures on Rube one of us and the other of this fellow who road alongside wanting to exchange smiles and have a chat. We’re currently trying to upgrade the blog site so I can upload videos which will be a cool dimension to add so I hope it works but I’ll keep you posted with that one. At the top of each mountain pass today were Buddhist shrines very low key but with incense burning even in the drizzle and music was being fluted from somewhere. The atmosphere was wonderful enhanced by the misty rain and I stopped each time to soak it up. There’s something about these shrines that draws me in and has done so since I started. It’s nice to start seeing them again Vietnamese style of course but the same majestic feel. I was reading last night that Vietnamese people mostly identify as Buddhists. As taken from Lonely planet, ‘Over the centuries, Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism have fused with popular Chinese beliefs and ancient Vietnamese animism to form what’s collectively known as the Triple Religion or ‘Tam Giao.’ Whilst stopped at one shrine today a fog bank came up from the valley and looked magical making a great photo. I should get an opportunity to upload the photos in Hue where I’m headed tomorrow. It’s only 50kms away so a short day but there’s lots of cool things to see in the town so It’ll be good to have an early day and check them out. For now I should probably start thinking about dinner an bed. I’ve scored some hot chocolate sachets as part of my care pack from home so that’ll be desert yum. It’s been fun to spend some time posting tonight. I’m sitting in the foyer with the lady who runs the guesthouse. She’s just quietly reading sitting beside me and the bird’s going off in the background. It’s been a nice space. For now it’s goodnight.Talk soon x


Published by shecyclesolo

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.' H D Thoreau

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