Part two: The Mekong Delta
Halfway through and we are really enjoying the experience. Jean and Young are excellent riders and guides.
AM - Visited the quarry workers - amazed that one of them could keep cutting stone talking to his mate and not even looking where his hammer was landing on his chisel. A wood sculptor that made furniture from dead or destroyed trees. Got within a kilometre of the Cambodia border on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Received the history of how the Ho Chi Minh trail was started and how the northern soldiers fed themselves throug replanting of tapioca plants on route marches to the South.
AM - Saw the biggest Jack fruits ever, even bigger than Matthew's head. Sampled some coconut milk and Gems the coconut. Took in the aroma of the Cashew Nut trees riding down highway one, saw how they deshell and grade the cashew nuts for sale. Saw people making baskets and making chipboard. Old converted lorry engine used for wood shaving machine.
PM - Visited Chu Chi Tunnels - Matthew had funny turn down very small dark tunnel. Came out sweaty and dirty shaking like a leave, smoked 3 fags in 10 mins. Did'nt think he was claustrophobic, how you can be wrong. Viet Cong very inventive in preparing and defending area. Recycled US metal shells and made boobie traps. US army not used to this kind of warfare. Just made the ferry to Ben Tre Island (coconut island) at sunset, nice timing by Jean and Young again.
Evening - Went for dinner at local taxi/ fishermans house had fresh fish spring rolls and the biggest prawns on the whole trip. Gems had about 20 herself. It was nice to be sat in someones house for a change rather than a resturant. Local family were lovely. Oh caught some fire fly nver seen these before and believe it or not people would use these as natural light in their houses.
Young and Jean gave us both easyrider teeshirts and they had tried to judge our sizes. xxl was looking quite promising until we got them on. Mine was obscene and Gemma's well lets just say she would have been locked up back home for wearing it! Matthew resorted to pinning it to his back so they did'nt think we were ungrateful.
AM - Took a morning boat trip through the Mekong Delta, the greenest trees we have ever seen to a locals house for Breakfast - feasted on fresh fruit, Tea, lime and fresh honey. Saw the beekeeper the old man living at the house casually handle his bees with no protective gear on smoking and whistling away. Gems and I sampled some fresh from the comb. Bought 500mls to take with us liked it that much. Went on to see coconut sweet factory sampled some of these aswell. Gems bought some banana toffee not bad but not lions midget gems.
PM - Travelled down to Can Tho went over a massive bridge built by the Aussies, had our final history lesson about the South Armies last stand after the US left. Well not much of one really more like a run for the hills they are coming everyone. Heard how the North Army made there shoes froms old vehicle tyres and wore them the other way round to give the impression on the trails to the South they were marching in the other direction. We all know what happened next. I walked across the thinest bridge in the world and wish I had'nt started to cross halfway through and then released getting to the other side I would have to go back the same way. Question; How would the old bloke manage it after a few happy waters? Answer: swimmingly I suppose! haha! On this leg Young tried to convince both of us that the crouch position he was in which was on a platform hanging over a pond was to feed the fish! Yeah right Young I used the inside loo 5 min's before at this stop!