Rain was my constant companion in the first weeks – so of course on the trip from Da Lat to Nha Trang. Regularely breaks turned a 4-hours ride into a day trip . At around 4:00 pm I had to move on even it was raining – finally arrived in the coastal town shortly before dark – of course through wet.
Nha Thrang actually represents one of those places that I do not like at all. Big Hotels along endless beaches and shops and restaurants thbuild to handle masses of tourists. Worse is, that it is literally almost occupied by Russians – this is most recognizable by the range of products offered in local supermarkets. More than half of the sales area is stocked with spirits and alcoholic beverages of all kinds.
I like Russians very much – in Central Asia and Russia I have met a lot of nice and warm people. But when they are in hordes on holiday, they behave like Englishmen: sun bathing – boozing – bawling is the daily program.
Persistent rainstorms forced me to stay also in Nha Trang for four nights. There are not many places of interest there – an ancient Hindu temple and a few Buddhist pagodas. However, these sites are heavily frequented by Vietnamese and Chinese.
The excitement was overwhelming when the weather forecast promised improvement. My next goal for a longer stop should be far North the city of Hoi An. On the way up I wanted to check the area for exciting and challenging sections. On the first day, something happened to me that I had never seen before. I had a flat tire – well, of which I had actually many before. But never in this way – when we peeled off the tyre, inside the entire tube was split lengthwise in the middle. Fortunately, it happened to me in a small village , so I could have the damage repaired immediately.
Afterwards the great fun began through the back-country. The selection of the route was in a way, that I had on the one hand to deal with the traffic as little as possible and maximizing the fun-factor on the other hand. It means, I could spend the next days mainly on gravel or clay tracks. The weather was doing a great job and I came through remote places and landscapes beyond my expectations.
In between, coffee and rubber plantations were to cross as well.
A highlight of this days was a passage that reminded me strongly of my dirt-bike times younger years. 150 km of pure motorcycle madness – 50 km on jungle tracks and through rivers that were to cross. On and off I was a bit queasy. The GPS receiver of my mobile phone is very weak, most of the time I had no signal and could not check my current location. Steep slopes through the forest up and down, for almost half a day no one drove the same way. This can mean a long walk – in case of a bike breakdown or when you get lost. Nevertheless, it was the clear highlight of my trip up to this point.
But even the most beautiful times go by once. At some point I came back to the Ho Chi Minh Hiqhway and it was not long before my goal Hoi An was reached. 4 days and 3 nights pure pleasure and the next tourist highlight was reached. My clothes were to wash, my motorcycle was to wash and I, of course, too. Freshly cleaned it was about time for a break again.