January 13th 2016
This afternoon we reached Phu Quoc island after our two day, 130km cycle from Long Xuyen.
It has been a great couple of days and we are settling into a good rhythm, managing more miles in less time. It has been completely flat the whole way which has been perfect for this first week – it’ll be interesting to see how we get on with some slopes, although this might not be for some time.
Our bums are still sore – on the second day we even tried the double shorts tactic.
We’ve enjoyed a ‘varied diet’ including liver & kidney. During one lunchtime we enthusiastically pointed at what we thought were harmless eggs but they turned out to be fertilised, semi-formed ducklings… Paddy’s even had feathers, a head and a beak! He was encouraged to have a taste but the response I got back was ‘over my dead body’.
Most importantly we saw through our plan to camp on the eve of the second day. Before our trip, we had read a couple of blogs which said camping was difficult or even impossible in Vietnam.
Due to the Delta area being intensley irrigated and farmed, finding a camping spot was a little tricky at first. Finally we passed a small patch of forest next to the road which turned out to be pretty perfect. The only slight irritation were the red fire ants but long socks and our helinox chairs soon sorted us out.
WE ARE SO GLAD WE BROUGHT THE CHAIRS!!!
It was good shopping for supplies and cooking our own dinner and breakfast. The Optimus stove has been great.
It was way too hot to sleep under the fly sheet but we were still protected from the mozzies without it and enjoyed the added bonus of star gazing before falling asleep. We both had minor irrational panics during the night – convinced we were going to be eaten (!?) or discovered – other than that we slept soundly until dawn. 🙂
After camping we set off for Ha Tien and on the way we were passed out by the Tour of Vietnam bike race (that’s not it’s official name but it’ essentially what it is). We got a lot of attention from the race photographers and friendly support crew.
Finally we rolled into town around 2pm and enjoyed a few beers and a good night sleep.
We logged onto Wi-Fi for the first time in two days and read the news about David Bowie. Devastated. What an artist. We enjoyed watching videos and interviews of him over our beers.
We’re writing this on the ferry to the paradise island of Phu Coc where we’ll celebrate Annie’s birthday tomorrow.