First Sea View Since Mumbai
Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
360Trip End Aug 21, 2011
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Where I stayed
The scenery was not very spectacular, and the sky was grey, but it did feel slightly warmer than yesterday and on the little girls recommendation we decided to take a detour before Vinh and check out a famous local beach – Cua Lo. We’ve not seen the sea since Marine Drive in Bombay, so excitement was high – maybe we would swim! It was also great being off the highway and cycling along chatting without being blasted in the ear every 5 seconds. Coming into the town, it seemed pretty dismal, and people were shouting rather desperately to encourage us to come into their empty restaurants. Our expectations lowered and as we reached the sea front, we weren’t actually that surprised to see a dirty brown beach covered in litter and some annoying lads already there waiting to hassle us! Never mind we thought, we’ll sit and look at the ocean and quickly eat our baguettes before heading to the big city for an early finish. I leant my bike against a convenient shack and was about to look for a place to sit when Mikey came back from a quick pee and said we need to get out of here. He’d seen several needles lying around - horrible. I turned to get my bike and looked further into the shack to see literally hundreds of used needles lying on the floor.
We cycled away really quickly, very disturbed
Not wanting to stop anywhere, we ate our cheese baguettes cycling along, and made it quickly to the big city. There were loads of hotels, but seeing a posh one Mikey went in to negotiate. It was very nice, but they wanted £50!!!! They also got very snooty about me waiting outside with my dirty bike, and sent two people out to get rid of me. We got them back pretending to misunderstand and Mikey took his bike into their smart lobby and wheeled it around making a nice mess.
Having arrived early, we checked out several more options before deciding on the Apec Hotel, who had the most hilarious staff we’ve encountered for a long time as well as a good room for £8. The happy friendly cleaners and the bats little girl at the reception desk were fun as was the little old lady who took Mikey’s hand and led him to the lift to show him the room, but the security guard was definitely our favourite
We spent a relaxing afternoon in the room reading up on the road ahead. Other cyclists’ blogs have made us feel much better about not enjoying ourselves too much. Everyone says this stretch is horrible and loads abandoned their plans and took a train/bus to miss it out. (Actually loads also wanted to get a bus/train but couldn’t get anyone to help them who wasn’t ripping them off and had to cycle on instead!) We’re going to stick with it and do long days to hopefully get to the sun and interesting areas further south!
Wandering around town, people were actually friendly and calm. There’s a nice park in the centre of town and lots of them were power-walking around getting fit, overlooked by an enormous statue of Ho Chi
Wandering back to the Apec, via a snack shop for chocolate, we wondered why it was that despite what we had seen today, and lots of youths shouting at us at points, and of course everyone ripping us off, we didn’t feel threatened/worried. We worked out it was because all the men are very small, and therefore not scary! Mikey has been loving not being the 'Little Man’ since we left the big guys behind in Eastern Europe.