Merry Xmas!!

Trip Start Jul 01, 2006
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Trip End Ongoing


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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Hi everyone! Merry Xmas etc, etc!
 
Sorry it's been so long since I've put anything on here but it takes so long & I'm such a lazy bastard that I've fallen miles behind!
Since Hoi An in Vietnam we've done so much. First of all we carried on northwards up the coast stopping off at Hue where it was still pouring with rain all the time. We hired a C90 just like Sam Thacker used to have & rode about 10 miles through the crap weather to see some ancient tombs. We were both absolutely soaked!!! The mud was so thick & a couple of times Kirsty had to get off the back so I could go through foot deep puddles! Halfway through the ride we had to go down a 45' slope (which we almost missed) to get to the river bank. Somebody screamed over to the other side where a man with a canoe woke up & came across to pick us up. He charged us about a quid instead of the 10p it should have been & then shoved our bike up a plank & onto his totally shit boat. I lost my shoe in the river trying to help him in the slippery mud but luckily it floated. When we finally reached the tombs there was no one around (I don't think we found the right place) but we walked over to the mausoleums anyway, & when I tried the door the rusty lock fell off so we had a look inside. It was a good day because there were no other tourist so we felt intrepid but I'm not sure if it was worth all the discomfort!
Our next stop in Vietnam was Halong bay, a huge stretch of water off the north-east coast peppered with over 3000 islands and islets, we sailed through on a junk, visiting 'Surprising Cave' and then staying on Cat Ba island. Our boat also stopped for 1/2hr or so to let us swim.
After our stay on the island (Which has a main road the size of Heathrow's runway but only about 3 cars) we returned to Hanoi, Vietnam's capital a couple of hours down the coast. Here we split up from the tour group we'd been travelling with and had about 5 days on our own before flying to Singapore.
In Singapore we checked into the crappest hostel ever. (We only had about 3 nights) One whole day was dedicated to the amazing zoo where we got to hand feed manatees for about 2quid! Their noses are so bristly that when they scrape the mashed potato & boiled carrots out of your hand it's like feeding a sweeping brush!! They had a 5month old calf at the time which was really cute despite its hideous face! There's also orangutans which roam freely, tree kangaroos and archer fish that shoot crickets out of bushes with their spit!! (Incidentally, I got to try crickets, locusts, bee larvae, frog's leg & crocodile in Vietnam at a restaurant called Highway4, all of which tasted pretty good!-I didn't dare try scorpion though!) The following day we shopped a bit in the shockingly huge malls that dominate the city, bought a tent to use when we got to Australia and pigged out on delicious McD's which hasn't got any outlets in Cambodia or Vietnam! 
From Singapore we flew into Perth, Western Australia where we spent a few days in the quiet little town of Fremantle looking for a car. We finally found one for 300quid, which includes insurance and tax as they have 3months remaining! Aussie car laws are well lax! It's a Holden Camira 1988 which is a bit like a sierra or granada! Cool! The guy put a new battery on it and in the past 10 days we've come about 2-3000 miles to Adelaide, taking in the '90 Mile Straight' which is really weird and scattered with literaly 100s of dead kangaroos. The newer ones are all swollen & look like inflateable toys that have blown over in the wind! The driving is strange because the scenery is the same for 100s of miles. It's like being on SuperHangOn (if anyone remambers that arcade game?) One disappointing thing about Oz is that it's supposed to be midsummer & it's so cold! The wind never stops for long & when it does you get covered in the most persitent flies in existance! Apart from that though, it's great & we're having a fantastic time. Even though we had to eat roo burgers for xmas dinner & missed being at home. Have a look at the pics!
Sorry for the wait! See you all soon! Ben
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