Motorbike Diaries

Motorbike diaries – Day 1 

We picked hettie up this morning and she seemed in good working order, one of the hardest bits was getting back to the hostel the roads are busy and insane. But we took it slow stayed in the bike lane and stopped if we were unsure of the way. I settled up at the hostel and Joe packed the bags. Then we strapped them on and off we went.

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Joe was stressed and I could tell… the roads were mad. And I was a bit stressed on the back plus he’s not used to having the extra weight of all the bags on the bike. But we made it guys. I must admit I did say a little prayer when we got out of Hanoi. our destination was Mai Chau. It was the closet place that looked good slightly North west of Hanoi if anyones looking at a map which I know some of you are (Pops). So we kept going stopped for some lunch but no-one spoke english we ended up with some peanuts, dried fish and a crate of beer!! Don’t worry we had 1 beer each Joe ate the fish I tried it but not to my liking and I ate the peanuts also not my fave but they did. Then we carried on. Its hard work Joe was tired and my legs hurt sat on the bike. But oh my god I do not regret one minute of it the views were amazing. Joe seems to have the hang of when to beep the horn and it feels like we are proper traveling now!! loved every minute of today. We arrived at out destination at 17.00 it was just getting dark and we saw the most beautiful sunset!!! We’d researched a few home stays and were on route to one when a man pulled up beside us and asked where we were from. we told him Wales and he offered us a business card and said “follow me” we were dubious but went ahead… he took us through some fields and we got covered in hay literally they were throwing it over us as we rode through. We pulled up at a home stay he said “have a look” and then vanished. I went to see the room and it was nice £11 for both of us, one night stay dinner and breakfast. We snapped it up. The dinner was delicious and everyone who lives in this family run business seems to be so friendly all in all a really good call.

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Plus I used there wifi to sort this blog up and message home a few times!! Breakfast was great and the whole place had a really nice feeling. So in the morning we got up ate our brekky (american banana pancakes with local honey) and off we set. Watch this space…

Motorbike diaries –  Day 2

We left our lovely home stay and decided this was going to be a long one. The first half was so beautiful mountains like I have never seen them before covered in forrest.

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Vast spaces with local people farming and little villages where everyone just seems to do be working hard and full of smiles. Bearing in mind we’re still getting used to the bike, and the roads it was quite along day after setting off a little later than expected we stopped at just over halfway just outside Moc Chau for some food. Joe said that i’d pulled the short straw and had to try and order which can be challenging in these small villages as no-one speak any english and we’re still getting to grips with Vietnamese. Joe managed to get the drinks sorted.. 2 bottles of water and a can of coke. Now for the food, we observed the locals for a while and they all appeared to be getting a lot of food each we weren’t that hungry but I just fancied some plain rice or something. I bullied Joe into ordering, I think the vietnams think we’re some kind of comedy show this man just pulled up his chair and watched our conversation with a beaming smile on his face. Anyway Joe noticed that someone else had ordered rice so pointed and then tried to mime small as we did not want a whole platter of food. The owner seamed confused and pointed to a whole load of meat asking Joe which one we wanted Joe tried to explain just rice for about 15minutes then gave up and pointed at the pork. After pork and rice is a healthy meal and it wouldn’t go to waste. I could have guessed what was about to happen next as the waitress brought over a tray of soup, pork, rice, vegetables and an assortment of dips and sauces. Ah well we tried the whole thing came to 80,000dong so that just under £2 with the drinks as well.

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It was delicious too, even if we were very full when we got back on the bike. The roads are just amazing the bike is defiantly not been regretted saying that is it hard work… my bum really hurts after 2 days and i’m not even driving Joe seems to be fairing up well though and handling the roads well. Its slow progress because the bike is heavy with all our shit on it, that said though I have been made to dump things :(. Sadly the no7 face cream had to go… although Jenny if you’re reading I have managed to keep hold of my leg scrub (for now)!!! Winner! We stopped a few more times in the afternoon mainly to get water and apply some sun cream as it is HOT today, and Joe was starting to look a little pink. The km’s were counting down and we were getting excited to reach our destination of Son La, now Son La is a province so we’d already been in there for some time but we’d decided that the best place to stay would be the town. We actually took a wrong turn (i have to admit my trusted map app on the iPhone and my navigation skills were to fault here) but we found it in the end and settled down in a little coffee shop to look online for somewhere to stay it was about 15.30 so no major rush. We took this opportunity to text our dads who were both trying to help Joe out with some online banking that quite frankly he should have sorted out before we left the uk!!!  The hotels and hostel online were all expensive so we used our best vietnams to get directions to a home stay. We found one in about 2minutes and I started haggling the price down. The rooms not very clean and not very nice and doesn’t include breakfast but we got it for 160,000dong (just under £6 if my maths doesn’t fail me). So it’ll do!

Paris X

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