Day 92, Thursday 05 April 2012, Da Nang
Reasonable sleep last night thank God, was pretty knackered and dreading a long week with little sleep, but awake early and managed to rattle off a couple of overdue blog posts. I constantly amaze myself that I am still doing this blog thing on a regular basis 92 days into my travels. Most days I enjoy writing the commentary and editing the photos, but some days it seems to be such a chore, though it is an ambitious goal to try and blog daily – at least it keeps the drinking and partying to a minimum – though I guess those who know me well realise I do not need much of an excuse to not party.
I was still up pretty early and popped to the cafe next door for a coffee. The guy there speaks no English (this is not a tourist area of a pretty un-touristed town) so while I got coffee it was not what i expected – short black with a centimetre of condensed milk in the bottom, a glass of ice and a cup of tea – the standard coffee order around here. Coffee was OK -ish, but for 70c cannot complain.
I popped down to China Beach – I will call it that cos I can, for an early morning swim with Bruce and Tina, I have biked with Bruce in NZ a few times, but have not met his partner Tina before. The sea was ‘cool’, but not by Auckland standards, but clean and fresh and a very nice start to the day. I love the surf rescue boat – none of this fancy motorised stuff like they have at Piha !
The swim was followed by a mountain of food for breakfast, eggs, rice, fresh baguettes, fruit, vege ‘things’ that I have no idea what they were at this stage and the worlds most crap cup of coffee – no more coffee in the hotel !
The morning was pretty much spent shagging around in the hotel, trying to organise transport to do things, there is about a dozen of us from various places and with varying levels of ability on motor bikes, so it was organisational chaos. We tried to hire push bikes to ride to marble mountain, but they were not available until too late in the day so I flagged it until later in the week.
I took one of the motorbikes for a spin around the block, in NZ terms these are automatic scooters, rather than a motorbike. I did Ok, got up to 40kmh and was passing most of the locals, who generally ride quite slowly. I was tempted to hire one, and may still do so as they are a great way of getting about and at $7US a day, cheap as. But after heaps of faffing I ended up jumping on the back of Dan’s bike and he took his brother Russell, riding his own bike, and I into the main mall in the centre of town. I am soooooooo glad I was not riding, crazy crazy ride, it may not be fast but you need fifty eyes to ride a bike here !
Had a great coffee and cake at a ‘western’ coffee shop in the mall and then Russell and I checked out the market so he could buy some “Oakey” sunglasses and jandals – he is pretty good at the bargaining and got way better deals than I would have. We were wandering around town when Dan arrived back on the bike and he and Russell went back to the mall and I decided to walk the 5-6k back to the hotel and get a feel for Da Nang.
The bridge over the river.
It was a hot hot walk and I got a bit stuck walking down a road that I expected to have a side road towards the beach, that didn’t, so I ended up walking a whole lot further than planned until I found a small side road heading beach wards. This lead me through a fishing village that I am pretty sure did not see too many westerners wandering around, lots of people came out to see me, many saying hello from their gardens, it was kinda cool ! Once I made it to the beach it was a 15 minute stroll back to where we were swimming this morning, past the fishing vessels.
Made it back to the hotel way later than planned and spent the afternoon listening to music and reading. Just before I got a call from Dan asking me to come down for beers at the beach it rained ! man, I have not seen rain for weeks – the last time was when i poured down in Puerto Princesa in the Philippines and the hostel flooded ! It was nice to walk down the street with a bit of drizzle falling. Though the lightening on the beach later in the evening suggested walking on an exposed road would not be a good idea!
I was excited to see this !
I think it was the first night I had not sweated in three months !
Had a good time with Dan, Bruce, Tina and Russell over a few beers and some food and then an early night for all before Dan’s big day tomorrow. Early start, with us all being picked up at 8.00 !