Day 15 - Dalat to Phan Thiet - King of the Mountain
I had a late start after chatting to a lovely bloke called Simon from England over breakfast. After getting thoroughly drenched in a torrential downpour leaving Dalat I found a fantastic route to Phan Thiet. Miles and miles of quiet, winding, narrow roads of fair quality through dense jungle and isolated settlements.
The weather was great, with a cool breeze and no rain. Not even the heat and traffic of the coastal area I had to get through in the late afternoon could ruin it. Challenging, rewarding, this was to be my favorite riding of the entire adventure. It felt like the valleys were untouched.
I found an isolated village at the top of the highest peak and had a Coke. Shy locals peered from their work binding stick bundles to see the alien and his craft.
The road twisted down for a long time before suddenly I burst out of the jungle into fantastically smooth corners on wide roads in golden forests. Soon I was on flat plains and rice fields, the spread out towns adding to the sense of space I felt after the claustrophobic jungle.
It didn't matter what day it was or I where I happened to be, every day I saw big gangs of kids cycling home after school, quite cute really.
Some of the boats in the harbor of Phan Thiet were less sea worthy than others.
As with all cities in Vietnam, Phan Thiet was a nightmare to ride through, particularly in fading light. I ended up going too far, all the way to the harbor. A Policeman eagerly helped get me on the road to Mui Ne. I rode into town in darkness, but soon found the recommendable Dragonfly guesthouse. There were lots of tourists around.
Cream-crackered, I went next door for a fresh seafood BBQ fit for Thor himself. A live acoustic band played whatever that genre is that gets played for tourists worldwide. After just two beers I was ready for a walk on the beach and then bed.
The next day I did very little, just walked on the gorgeous beach and checked the bike over.