Morning in Nha Trang was sunny and warm. Quick coffee, laundry return – one of life’s practicalities easily sorted in Vietnam – and on the road. The ride to Da Lat would be only some 140 km inland towards the hills.
Navigating out on Nha Trang was easy enough, I had my mobile navigating using google maps and had ear pieces giving instructions. In the busy traffic no need to keep on eye on the map on the screen. Works really well!
We progressed quite fast into the countryside and to green hills, but after some 70 km there was a road block. No passing through after typhoon Damrey. No choice but to turn back.
Just as we turned back, I felt the bike acting funny – Flat tire! All we needed just now! Some 50 m down the road a bike shop mechanic happily took the tire off and only THEN told me he could not fix it – No electricity, no air.
Luckily we were now two bikes, my friend had joined me in Nha Trang and I took his bike and the loose wheel and started to my return ride to Nha Trang. I was told that would be the only way.
Okay, I rode 100 down the road to another mechanic. He said he can help, took his air compressor on his bike and rode away, only to return with the compressor tank full of pressurised air. A quick fix with “camel shit” and the tire was good enough to hold air and let me continue my journey. A journey which was now getting much longer as we had to find an alternative route to Da Lat.
The 140 km we started, turned into nearly 300 km before we arrived to Da Lat. But the ride over the hills was great and the town seemed clean and nice. Check into our hotel and a quick dash to find the Honda garage for tomorrow.
Actually, it is sometimes really hard to find your way even with the address and all the technology in Vietnam. For some reason address takes you wrong and helpful locals guide you even when they have no clue. But eventually we found everything we needed.
The dinner was one of the best during the trip and enough to put us asleed around 9 pm…
The following day was bike service followed by The Elephant Waterfalls combined with some city sightseeing. A great little city of some 200.000 inhabitants.
Road to Cat Tien National Park was a 180 km mix of country hills and main roads. As we are now further south and closing Ho Chi Minh, the towns started following each other very quickly and getting bigger in size.
Our accommodation, Green Bamboo Lodge was at the edge of the park, right on the river Dong Nai and obviously, made of Bamboo! This will be a good base to explore the park and to rest for two nights.
The forecast is yet for another tropical storm… Who lives, finds out!