Let me start by saying that the Hotel is busy now and I am getting a lot of on-line reservations. It is getting difficult to make the time to blog, especially now that the power is off so regularly. A couple of growing pains the hotel is experiencing… I replaced all of the remote control batteries with good quality Duracell or Eveready ones. Mistake!! They are being removed by some guests and being replaced by peoples cheap dying ones. I also had a couple of people who checked into a room, and half an hour later came down
to angrily check out because of some fictional excuse. It looks like they just wanted a free shower before continuing on their journey. Man…….. It never ends.
I hope I can recall all of the adventures clearly. I am currently about 3 days behind so I will do my best to catch up. Three Amigo’s….. Owen, Carl, and Paul headed back to the old city to see what we could find. Information on this city is rare indeed. Carl has done some research on the internet and has found almost nothing about it. Our nosing around had us discover all four walls and gates and a few structures that could have been very old. I would be inserting pictures here, but I forgot my camera battery. Carl took lots of shots, but I did not get copies yet. Anyway….. Our long bike ride took us down a lane that followed the outside of the walls. Aha!! It is starting to make sense. The 4 gated probably led into some kind of old military installation or temples that needed protection. The city could have been outside the walls as we saw many ancient looking properties along the way. Our newest cyclist, Paul had a chance to experience the fun that Carl and I have on a regular basis. There were kids running behind us calling out their hello’s and countless waves. At one point we stopped to discuss something and were motioned by the owners of the house to come inside. They called out that we must be hungry and offered lunch. We politely declined, and were then offered for us to come inside for a nap. This just speaks to the open friendliness of the Vietnamese people…. Even country folk who have probably seen very few foreigners. This fortified area is still a mystery to us and I am determined to get to the bottom of it. OF course there is nothing more refreshing than stopping for an ice cold beer on the way home. Sadly, our new biking partner had to leave for another destination on his holiday. Happy Travels!!
I had been invited earlier in the week by friends to go to visit an aunt who lives in the mountains. Beautiful Giang announced that we would climb a mountain. Knowing her and how she thinks walking a few blocks was too far, I agreed not thinking it would be too bad. Boy was I wrong!!! About 15 or 20 km from NhaTrang is a mountain range with some very jagged and high peaks. The area is full of glowing green rice fields. As you approach the Mountains the are replaced by many manner of fruit trees. We approach the mountain and I can see a large temple about a quarter of the way up. No big deal I was thinking as I assumed that it was the destination. I purchased a small bottle of water and after hooking up with Giangs father, we were off. Like most temples located in the mountains, there was a set of stone stairs to climb. Up we went for quite a distance until finally we reached the temple. Oh Oh…. I am told we are only one quarter of the way. Oh dear, we are climbing to the top. Up and up we went, first on stone stairs and eventually a small stream bed and clay paths through the jungle. I now know what the American GI must have felt in some of their marches. We could see our goal in the distance and it was indeed at the top of the mountain. We passes some small wood and tin houses and struggled up the final 50 yards. We finally arrived after one and a half hours. Chests heaving and sweat soaked we arrived at a small stick house that had
been built by a couple that had returned to Vietnam from Virginia. They were surprised that Giangs friends were westerners. And we were surprised at their excellent English. The family was preparing lunch and we sat and talked for a while before a vegetarian meal was served. It was a very relaxing and pleasant afternoon spent with some very nice people. I do not even want to think how they had all of the cement and goods carried up. After a nap in swinging hammocks, we sadly said our goodbyes and headed down. Within half an hour we reached the bottom almost as fatigued as when we went up. The ride home was beautiful…… Another good day in Vietnam