Dalat to Muine
Extremely early start as we had been told that the bus was coming to pick us up at 7am. I woke Ana up because I wanted to steal some of her photographs that she had taken of our time in Ha Long Bay when I dropped the camera in to the water. With our goodbyes quickly said we closed the room door & headed for reception. With our passports back & on the bus we set off towards Muine. Finally we would be getting some beach action - hopefully!
The bus journey wasn't as long as all the other journeys that we had done previously because Dalat & Muine are close to each other but Muine is along the coast. After 7 hours we had arrived in Munie. As the bus pulled up along a lovely stretch of road we could see all the big beach resort hotels. This place looked appealling especially to two people who had hardly touched sand. It was going to be fun & games off the bus because we hadn't booked any accommodation for Muine, so we had nowhere to stay for that night.
Off the bus & with our big bags on our back we had the hassle of trying to find a hostel or cheap hotel in the blazing sun. Luckily enough one of the places that we had been looking at on the internet & in the Lonely Planet which we had been trying to contact last night by phone but got no answer was just across the road. Fingers crossed that they will have a room for us to stay in. We crossed over the main road & started to walk back on ourselves to the Mellow Bungalows. The placed looked great from the outside as there was a pool table to use, a place to sit & have something to eat & the recpetion area just looked completely chilled out.
We approached the reception desk & enquired if they had any room in the inn. Yippee there was space for the newly become beach bums. We were shown to the room & it looked basic but great. All the bungalows where painted a lovely yellow colour, they had straws roofs & the walkways where lined with big palm trees. This seem to be heaven! Inside the room was a big double bed that had a mosquito net over it & the bathroom was cool, it was all made out of pebbles & stone. We needed to wait for the room to be cleaned but we had been told that we could leave our bags in the room - so that was a bonus.
It took all of two minutes for us to be stripped down & in our shorts & t-shirts & heading out the door to find some food. We began to walk down the main road with the sun warming our skin, it felt so nice. A short distance away from the Mellow Bungalows was a great little cafe so we went in & sat down. The menu was great & there was all kinds that you could order. I ordered a lovely herb chicken baguette which come with fries whilst Andy order the good old beef burger with onions & fries. We had ordered smoothies to drink for a change as we needed to fit in with the other beach bums drinking them around us... we needed to be apart for cool & the gang!
Food demolished we left the cafe only to be greeted by the Isralin couple that we had met in Ha Long Bay & then seen again in Hoi An. It appeared as if were following them. We stood & chatted for 10 minutes about what we had all been up to & thats when they mentioned that they were leaving Muine that afternoon & heading for Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). We then headed back to see if our bungalow had been cleaned & it had! We sat on the bed & rested our bones for five minutes till we decided what sights we were goin to see for the time that we had there.
It was agreed that we would rent bicycles & ride through Muine in to the fishing village & to see the red sand dunes. We asked at the reception desk about hiring bicycles & they pointed us in the direction of down the street. Out the hotel we saw the bicycles for hire so we paid $2 each for the bikes & off we cycled down the big long beach strip which was Muine. The road was fairly flat & easy to cycle but with not eating properly for the last couple of days & with the travelling I was feeling quite exhausted so there was only one pace, the slow pace.
We slowly rode down the strip of lovely palms trees which ladies sat under selling coconut milk in their shells. Mopeds with bleach blond Ozzies kept flying past us & it was quite hard to believe that we were actually still in Vietnam - this place was fabulous! Further cycling down the road we kept passing the expensive looking resorts which where right on the beach front, maybe if we where on a properly holiday then I know where our hotel would be.
I was setting the slow cycling pace & as Andy was riding behind there was this Vietnamese boy who flew up next to him & they started chatting away like old friends. The boys English was remarkable as he answered Andy's questions about whether we liked going to school & the things he liked to do when he wasn't in school like football. The boy was questioning where we where cycling to & warned that if we are going near the red sand dunes then to watch out for the minority children who are devious & will pick pocket you given half the chance. The boy rode along the street with Andy for at least 15 minutes, he was a sweet little thing.
A few more kilometres down the road & we finally got to see the fishing village. Along the shore line was boat after boat. They were all shapes, sizes & colours. On the shore there were the little round tub boats which the locals use when getting to shore. Whilst we were stopped looking around we saw two young girls both either side of a big wicker basket which was full of fish & they were headed back down by the boats probably preparing the fish to sell later on. Looking around where we had stopped there wasn't that much to see of the fishing village so we set off & carried on cycling down the main strip when the weather took a turn for the worse & it began to rain.
We eventually come to a cross roads but which way should we go. There was a lady who was selling drinks at the side of the road so Andy went over to her then pulled the map out of his pocket so it wasn't in the rain. The lady had pointed in the direction we needed to cycle so off we went. We cycled further down the road when a lad on a motorbike pulled up next to Andy & was asking him where we were going to which Andy replied that we were cycling to England. It was another 10 minutes cycling or so before we managed to get a glimpse of the red sand dunes.
There was a big roundabout in the middle of the road & there was a big map. The rain had become more & more heavier. What is it with us & rain lately?! We decided that we would turn right at the roundabout & see the dunes that way. The closer we got to the dunes we could see lots of children already running up to us & shouting. It wasn't long before they were climbing all over the bikes. I managed to get the child that was bugging me to stop but Andy was really getting hassled. The children kept shouting "you want slide, pay for my slide" but the weather was too horrible to sliding down sand dunes.
Andy couldn't seem to get rid of the kids from his bike & they were sitting & climbing up the frame. We had read that these poor kids like to sit a take a ride on your bike whilst they rob you or mislead you in some way. Thats when Andy started to ride the bike with one boy attached at the back. The kid was hanging on until Andy slammed on the breaks & the kid went flying in to the back of his seat - that was the end of kids climbing on bikes.
We rode further down the road to take some pictures of the dunes but I was quite disappointed with them to be honest. I think that we have got better sand dunes at Southport so I didn't fancy getting all dirty climbing up them. We decided that as it was still raining we should head back to the bungalow & chill out. About 2 minutes in to the ride back & Andy had realised that one of the naughty poor kids had actually punctured his front wheel with something so his tyre was starting to deflate. We had to get back pretty quick before the tye became completely flat as it was a far way to walk.
On the way back we needed to keep a look out for the bus booking office as we wanted to be on a bus heading to Saigon tomorrow. The bus office was not far from the Mellow Bungalows so we popped in & booked the bus. Finally we made it back in through the rain & with a little bit of air left in Andy's front tyre. I was far too tired to do anything else that day so we lied on the bed & completely chilled out. Before we realised it was actually quite late & we needed to get some food.
We went out on to the main strip to see if we could find a reasonable priced place to eat but all the menu's that we had looked at seem to be too fancy & we just wanted simple food. We also needed a place that had Wifi so that we could sort out a place to stay in Saigon tomorrow. With no restaurants really taking our fancy we ended up back in the cafe place that we had eaten lunch. It was cheap & nice food so what the heck.
After our food had been munched we started to look on the internet at hotels to stay in. As it was proving to be such hard work we had to order some chocolate cake as brain food. We had finally called & organised a place to stay so we were now sorted. In celebration of having everything finalised we order more chocolate whilst I skyped my mum.
Back in the bungalow & all settled down for the night, hopefully we will get to see the beach properly tomorrow before we depart for Saigon..............