Ngai Giao to Ho Tram 36km
Total Distance 345km
Day 5 and the aches and pains of five straight days in the saddle are beginning to take their toll. We hoist are weary legs over the bikes and set up. And of course there are yet more hills nothing too high but a few sharp inclines and the landscape is rolling so lots of ups and downs.
Then we hit the second puncture of the trip. And it’s in kim’s back tyre the same as before. It’s also in almost exactly the same position in the tube about 5 centimetres from the valve but as the first puncture was caused by a big lump of metal and there’s nothing in the tyre it must just be a coincidence This time i have an audience as I’m fixing it . As first one guy pulls up on a motorbike to look then another couple halt their gate painting oand come over to also take a look. But they’re not here to help instead they start pulling and prodding at the bike investigating the quick release wheels and generally getting in the way. Clearly nothing quite as exciting as this has happened in the village for a long time because shortly around 8 guys are standing around or sitting on motorbikes and looking . Which is not improving my demeanor in any way so I start videoing them and taking photos to try and embarrass them into going away . But it seems to have the opposite effect they start posing for photographs and when 1 disheveled looking old guy with a missing tooth put his arm around Kim I have had enough. I told him to piss off in the clearest possible terms . Which he duly did w and the others seeing the angry scowl on my face took the hint and left too and i was left in peace to finish the job in hand.
After a few more ups and downs finally we start descending down to the sea and this time there’s no assents. We pull into the small town of Ho Tram and eat lunch. Our hearts not really in it today and when I ask Kim whether she wants to continue on for another 20 kilometres or call it a day at 36km she immediately says let’s call it a day and there were no complaints for me.
It was also time for a rest day the next day so we had a very pleasant 36 hours chilling out in the small beachside town of Ho Tram. We found a small hotel negotiated a reasonable price and settled down to some serious relaxation. Whilst it won’t win any beauty awards it does have a certain charm. The village itself isn’t much to speak of just a scattering of houses and a few shops and restaurants spread out across a crossroads with a backdrop of sand dunes. And the beach in is typically Vietnamese affair with lots of ramshackle old sheds selling seafood and trinkets and some wooden shelters on the beach where people sit and eat seafood and avoid the sun . Further down the beach past the row of fishing boats pulled up on the shore the bay curves round to a rocky headland and it’s really quite pleasant. Even though it was the weekend it wasn’t very crowded and we spent very pleasant time wandering on the beach and eating some delicious seafood.
Like much of the Vietnamese coast it is already feeling the effects of climate change. Not only from rising sea levels but also because storms are getting stronger as are the winds particularly during October which coincides with particularly high spring tides. We could see plenty of signs of the losing battle being fought against the tide, buildings slipping slowly into the ocean, reinforcements being made to defend buildings and further along the beach ruins that had already lost that fight.
Batteries recharged we were ready to continue our journey.