Have a fine drive through the coffee plantations. Off the joyless north-south Highway One the temperature drops, the traffic thins out to almost nothing and the people get all smiley. No tourists.
Coffee town number one is pronounced “Boom m’ twat”, which is funny for some reason. The ten foot plants line the highway and the town’s people are obviously raking it in. Unlike those who do the picking. Vietnam is the third biggest coffee producer in the world I’m told. The brew comes short and fearsome, like the strongest espresso you’ve ever had, only stronger. It tastes like it has brandy in it. Makes me dizzy. Before ordering another.
In Delat I discover a drawback of finding a hotel in the dark. You can’t see the roof. Last night I thought I was getting a dead good deal at 5USD for en suite with breakfast. Morning is different. The bloody thing isn’t built yet is it? My siesta attempts are fruitless as hammer and axes tap out an unrelentingly cheerless rhythm through the afternoon.
Ride south to Saigon—a phrase that sounds a lot more romantic than the noxious, insanely dangerous reality. Trucks, trucks, trucks: I love each and every one of you murderous gargantuan darlings...
The rear suspension seems to be within tolerable limits now I am travelling alone. As Ollie, another Transalp rider, explained to me “these bikes are a very jealous companion. They play up like a spoilt child when you divert attentions. No sharing.” A possessive beast I am saddled on.
Ho Chi Minh City is one of several giant urban Asian disasters. You know things aren’t right when “fuckie fuckie, very cheap” is the nicest thing anyone’s said to you. Finding the tourist ghetto pretty hellish after months on the road. Even am shocked at the immodesty of the European females in their tights bright vests. Am I getting old?Posted by at May 11, 2002 11:59 PM GMT
Next HU Events
- Brazil: Feb 22-23
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- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 14-16
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