Biking Through Vietnam

March 11, 2012

Day 6 – To Buon Ma Thuot

Filed under: Uncategorized — scribblygum @ 5:33 am

Buonmathuot (Buon Ma Thuot in local spelling) is a major town along the Ho Chi Minh trail.

From Lake Lak we get there after encountering snakes, scorpions, singing children, stinking hot and humid weather, a refreshing dip under a waterfall, and a quick ride along a busy main road to a very welcome hotel swimming pool.

We are now leaving the misty lake and heading up into drier country.

First stop is into a snake and scorpion place.

Mrs Shifty gets off the bike and finds some shade. She refuses to go any further.

On the left is Nigel, the photographer for Cycle Torque.

Dave on the right.

Mandy is Dave’s wife.

She’s sister to Laura, the other daredevil with the snake wine in yesterday’s pics.

Mandy rides a Ducati.

The scorpion now wants a Ducati tatt.

Everyone falls in love with Golden Stig.

Even scorpions love Golden Stig.

Golden Stig treats scorpions with scorn and turns away.

Golden Stig is brought back into line. After all, he is a guest in somebody else’s country.

Our guide, Bao, is pretending to drink scorpion wine.

Want to guess how they make scorpion wine?

Yep, same as in snake wine.

I don’t know what might happen if they ever find out about grapes.

Everyone wants to get in on the act.

The toddler needs no protection, the biker is wearing dragon jeans.

Just an observation, that’s all.

These three little girls turned up from somewhere and started singing songs in English that they had learned in school.

‘One little, two little three little indians’,  ‘If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands’, couple of others.

We chased up some loose notes (no coins much in this country) for their performance.

From snakes and scorpions we headed out into the heat. It is now sweltering and the sun stings like hornets on the skin. When the guides stop to show us anything we complain about stopping unless there is shade. So after some negotiation we forgo a couple of stops and head to a local waterfall.

Golden Stig is first in.

Doctor & Mrs Shifty in the water, other Aussie biker tourers (see the Southern Cross tatt?) on their way.

Dave (with the hat) and Mandy in the background.

Stinkin’ Yamaha rider teaches Golden Stig bad habits.

We had to stop him that night from picking up butts in the street.

Nasty Yamaha riders!!!

While a more spiritual local turns Golden Stig into an object of veneration.

Golden Stig can handle it. Sometimes I think he expects it to happen like this.

There is a cafe at the waterfall, which is where we have lunch.

They served wonderful local coffee, even gave out free samples.

Glen turned out to be not a local coffee fan.

Glen thought he’d order something exotic for lunch. He chose Potato with Beef.

It turned out to be steak and chips.

After a long swim and a slow lunch we headed off back to the main road with a surprisingly good and consistent surface.

We had a good fast run, which means almost 70kph in some places, all the way to Buonmathuot.

Local scenery

Things on bikes.

Truck rim just balancing on this one.

Three little kids all dressed alike.

Good wide road.

Bike and helmet shop.

Unusual roof.

Local shops falling onto roadway.

Fancy Yamaha shop.

Pagoda along the road.

Another floral tower in the main street.

After a couple of hours on the main road we pulled into here.

Our big fancy hotel.

And most importantly, it had this.

That night on the menu there was a whole page of different ways of cooking and serving ‘uterus of pig’.

Did I get a photo of the page? No.

Did you want me to?

Sorry about that.

And … the next morning we came out to find the bikes all official.

Seems were were being recognised as official ambassadorial dignitaries with the national flag emblazoned on every bike.

That official ambassadorial stuff? It’s crap of course.

Now that we were on one of the major roads through the country they needed to know we were all still there.

Tomorrow is a big ride, 260 klm in one day. At somewhere between 2nd and 3rd gear that is heavy stuff.


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