Hi all...welcome back there's nothing more satisfying than updating this blog which at times rules your life my poor friend Lorna has just updated hers spending nearly 3 hrs doing so for it to crash when she pressed save, I know we're on the trip of a lifetime and there's so much more to worry about but our blogs our our lifeline!
Must firstly say Happy Birthday to the following over the next few days/this month Dad (glad you received the post from China!) Mark, Jen and Parker, Nik and Tabs wish I was at Mardi Gras and your barbie Tabs and here at Vietnam all at once!! Have a great time all of you and you know I'll make up for my absence on my return...!!
Anyway welcome to Vietnam or should I say Good Morning...(bad pun I know) We're on day two of twelve here and it's an instant hit for us all. We crossed the border yesterday and said goodbye to Steve who has gone to Cambodia with the truck which is too expensive to bring in... so it's now hello to good old public transport and a welcome break for many off the truck... As you can imagine the truck can send you a trifle stir crazy at times with the varying degrees of personality on board!! Thankfully I get along with everyone!!
We crossed the border at Bao Lao and hopped on a bus for 3hrs to arrive in Hue near the coast by lunchtime yesterday, a quick cold shower and I was off out to explore the sights on foot. A few folk headed for the Citadel so I went the opposite way and went off the beaten track to catch local life...the locals are friendly and love saying 'hello' frustrating when I've already learnt a little Vietnamese to practice on them... So after a short exploration I bumped into my mate John and we thought we'd find a few drinking spots Lonely Planet recommended...with red wine at just short of 40p a glass it was rude not to...a few of us then went for local food, stunning. Fine rice, vegetables, beef, fruit shakes and spring rolls all for less than a pound in total...my budget may last until Africa after all.
Needless to say our first night led us astray again and I got back at 5am this morning...not one for hanging around I hasten to add I was up and out for 10am for a 30km round trip on a 25 yr old bicycle to the beach..well worth it. It's been about 37 degrees here today and on a bike with no gears I was tested!! Lorna and I cycled to Thuan An Beach northeast of Hue and I took my first swim in the ocean since Turkey in May. The South China sea was worth the wait it was warmer than some of the swimming pools I've been in recently and the beach was not too disimilar to that of Goa.. After so much altitude and trekking over recent months it was nice to be back at sea level again. So so far so good with Vietnam plenty more time to go before our next country, Cambodia. I'm keeping my relic of a bike and am off exploring again tomorrow (we have a sunset boat trip booked for 25p an hour, crazy...) I also plan to upload all my recent photos of China, Laos and here so far so I'll update you when I've done this, if anyone fancies a chat the hotel I'm in Bamboo Hotel accepts incoming calls so feel free to call let me know if you want the number (ask parents permission first of course!!) Mum/Dad if you do call tomorrow thanks!!
On Sunday we're off to Hoi An for three nights for more beach then Nha Trang the coastal hotspot of Vietnam for another three nights hopefully it's not like Blackpool (sorry northerners, you know I love it really!) our final stop will be in Saigon for a further three nights....
So I'll update again next week hope you're all well and it's stopped raining, again thanks for all your messages Bex can you tell Liz thanks, I'm receiving her texts but can't seem to reply, Nicole I'm not reciving any of your texts can you please send some and are you ever leaving Berlin!?? Maff me and a kiwi friend from the truck are planning a small road trip in New Zealand before you arrive, can you let me know what you want to do and where you've already been so you and I can venture to somewhere new! And is it the 5th of Dec you land in Auckland? Nads how was Thailand and the kids?? please don't tell me it was your honeymoon??!! Northerners please don't let me know about Mardi Gras until it's over I don't want those missing Glastonbury feelings again but you know it won't be the same!!! James and Katie thanks for your messages on the board, I love reading them, I'm collecting local currency from all the countries I go to so when you're a bit older you can take it travelling with you and when I get back we'll go swimming!! Tabs I'll work on that list and thanks for your kind words! Amy what date is your birthday and if I've recently missed anyone's I'm sorry I'll get a round in when I get back! Ad-Slow down I hope I'm in a position to help you out on my return!
Last but not least when I crossed the border into Vietnam I gave a handful of postcards to a Dutch couple and asked them to post them as they were entering Laos and I had Laos stamps on them can someone let me know if you get a card from Laos (just out of interest!)
Right that's all for now, next weekend it's five months on the road, time is flying by now which isn't all that bad as I miss you all!
Take care, much love