ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-12-2012, 05:32 AM   #61
RhinoVonHawkrider
Beastly Adventurer
 
RhinoVonHawkrider's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Eastern Pa
Oddometer: 1,228
Great Stuff

Keep Going

Hope to ride there someday
__________________
FREE Discount Prescriptions http://hta270hs.supremerxsavings.com/
AVO - R.I.P. - "When you don't have goals, you can't fail" - Neil Fallon
"He said, Son, remember where U came From" - LOA
Until the colour of a man's skin - Is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes -Me say war RNM
RhinoVonHawkrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 05:56 PM   #62
Comrade Art OP
Working stiff
 
Comrade Art's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Oregon
Oddometer: 455
Day 7: Pleiku to Buon Ma Thuot

Left Pleiku and headed for Buon Ma Thuot at 7:45 AM. At the intersection of Highway 14 and Highway 19, Mike’s rear tire went flat. We stopped at a gas station and asked the attendant to call a tire repair guy because we had a few tools but nothing to change a tire with; tire repair guy said he’ll be there by 9:30 AM. We waited and 9:30 passed with no sign of tire repairman so the gas station attendant called again; as it turns out the repairman was having trouble loading the air compressor in the car so Mike decided to push the bike about two miles to repair shop. Tire was finally repaired and we hit the road at around 12:15 PM. I had a feeling that this was going to be a long day!



Gas station attendant’s daughter



While Mike’s tire was being repaired I cruised around Highway 19. Saw some large tea plantations; in recent years tea has become a high value product of Vietnam.






Comrade Art is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 11:50 PM   #63
Comrade Art OP
Working stiff
 
Comrade Art's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Oregon
Oddometer: 455
Day 7: Pleiku to Buon Ma Thuot

We wasted valuable riding time with the flat tire incidence and an hour later Mike’s bike was having trouble again. We started climbing a few hills and I could see Mike in my mirror falling behind; he was full throttle and bike wasn’t responding. We stopped at a small repair shop. The mechanic adjusted the clutch cable but to no avail. The diagnosis: worn clutch. We paid the mechanic $25 US dollars and it took him one hour to change the clutch. Mike took the bike for a test ride and everything was in working order.





Old scooter


While the bike was getting fixed I took a walk around the neighborhood. On our ride today, I kept seeing large tarps spread out in front of shops and homes. On closeup, these tarps contained peppercorn. The peppercorns are in the process of being dried and powdered pepper is derived from grinding them. Currently Vietnam is one of the world’s largest producer and exporter of pepper.





Another aspect of the Central Highlands are the cicadas. You can hear the sounds of the cicada singing in every direction.



Comrade Art is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 06:32 PM   #64
mrphotoman
Banned
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: KBR27
Oddometer: 1,030
Great report, this may be our next trip!
mrphotoman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 08:03 PM   #65
Comrade Art OP
Working stiff
 
Comrade Art's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Oregon
Oddometer: 455
Day 7: Pleiku to Buon Ma Thuot

We left the mechanic’s shop close to 3 PM and started our journey again. As we roamed closer to Saigon I saw a lot of barren terrain. Only later did I find out that Vietnam has a big deforestation problem. Since 1945, Vietnamese forest land, north and south, has shrunk by half from the war, human settlement, postwar building/reconstruction, illegal logging for export, domestic firewood consumption, slash-and-burn farming by ethnic hill people, and the usual accidental destruction caused by pests and wildfires.






South Vietnam has two seasons, hot and rainy or hot and dry. Today was one of those hot day’s that made the riding enjoyable until Mike crashed. We were 27 km’s from Buon Ma Thuot when the crash happened. It was late in the afternoon, road heavily congested and I swerved to avoid a large pot hole. Mike was trapped between 3 scooters, oncoming traffic and couldn’t avoid the pothole. I heard the distinct sound of metal screeching on pavement; I looked in the mirror and saw Mike tumble like a rag doll. Mike was motionless for several seconds but then got up; he was alright with the exception of torn jeans, superficial lacerations on his lower legs and right elbow. He was wearing a Icon Field Armor Stryker Vest that protected him against serious injury.
Mike was angry, pissed off and said, “I’m done with the f---ing trip”. I didn’t say anything and just let him cool off; after 30 minutes we talked about what happened. He didn’t want to ride the bike, so I rode the bike into town. The bike was in bad shape: broken headlight, bent fender and handlebar and front end out of alignment.




I couldn’t ride faster then 45 km/hr with the bike, so the 27 km’s to town seemed like an eternity. We arrived in Buon Ma Thuot at 5:30 PM and dropped of the bike at a repair shop. The mechanic said it will be done tomorrow by 11 AM.

Mechanic's kid



We found a hotel, relaxed and had dinner. At dinner we talked about being more careful


Comrade Art is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 09:05 PM   #66
ping
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Oddometer: 184
interesting report. I like your photos.
ping is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 11:36 PM   #67
zandesiro
In rust we trust....
 
zandesiro's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Polygyros, Greece...
Oddometer: 786
Thumb Awesome trip...

I'm in....!!!
__________________
.
.
3mountainsadventure
zandesiro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2012, 01:49 PM   #68
Comrade Art OP
Working stiff
 
Comrade Art's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Oregon
Oddometer: 455
Day 8: Buon Ma Thuot to Kien Duc


When we woke up the next day, Mike was very stiff and sore. Our plan was to visit some waterfalls and ethnic villages around Buon Ma Thuot (pronounced ‘boon me tote’; also spelled as Ban Me Thuot) but the accident ruined our plans. The province is home to 44 ethnic groups, including some who have migrated here from the north.

My breakfast every morning in Vietnam consisted of a hot bowl of Pho but I wanted to change things up. I ate a Hura, a strawberry flavored layer cake, that is the equivalent of an American Twinkie; very tasty and easy to digest!





We picked up the bike from the mechanic and hit the road by 12 PM. The mechanic replaced the headlight housing, straightened the handlebars/brake lever and aligned the front end for $960,000 Dong (about $50 US dollars).

Comrade Art is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2012, 01:51 PM   #69
Comrade Art OP
Working stiff
 
Comrade Art's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Oregon
Oddometer: 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrphotoman View Post
Great report, this may be our next trip!
Go for it, you won't be disappointed!
Comrade Art is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2012, 01:52 PM   #70
Comrade Art OP
Working stiff
 
Comrade Art's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Oregon
Oddometer: 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by ping View Post
interesting report. I like your photos.
Thanks
Comrade Art is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2012, 03:11 PM   #71
Comrade Art OP
Working stiff
 
Comrade Art's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Oregon
Oddometer: 455
Day 8: Buon Ma Thuot to Kien Duc

The bikes ran great, riding was easy paced but the heat was intense. We took a break at a roadside cafe in Dak Mil.



Vietnamese version of Cheetos.




Approximately four million civilians (or 10% of the Vietnamese population) were injured or killed during the Vietnam War. Given those grim statistics, you would think the Vietnamese hate/dislike Americans but that is not the case. Everywhere we went the Vietnamese were friendly, curious and hospitable. I never got that “die American pig” look or comment. The owner of the cafe in Dak Mil wanted his son to take a picture with the American.



Comrade Art is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2012, 11:12 PM   #72
Comrade Art OP
Working stiff
 
Comrade Art's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Oregon
Oddometer: 455
Day 8: Buon Ma Thuot to Kien Duc


As we left Dak Mil, the rain started. Gently at first, just a few small drops at a time but it turned into a torrential downpour in just a few minutes. We stopped by a roadside cafe and waited under a thatched enclosure for the rain to stop. We waited 90 minutes for the rain to subside.




While watching the rain come down I thought of the misery the American soldier had to endure in Vietnam: having to walk with 70-80 pounds strapped on the back, a helmet, flak jacket, weapon, grenades, extra ammo, an entrenching tool, food, water, and first aid pack. The incredible strain of trying to carry and balance while climbing up a hill; dealing with crawling, stinging, biting insects and boot sucking mud that added ten pounds to each foot with every step.





It was close to 5 PM when the rain stopped. We pushed further south and stopped for the night in Kien Duc. We stayed at the May Hong Hotel and ended the night with a warm meal.

Hotel parking


Two brothers helping their mom in the kitchen


333-Ba ba ba, learning to count with the leading beer in the south


Comrade Art is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2012, 11:39 PM   #73
Comrade Art OP
Working stiff
 
Comrade Art's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Oregon
Oddometer: 455
Day 9: Kien Duc to Saigon


Left Kien Duc at 6 AM. The road conditions were bad: lots of potholes, construction and paved road would abruptly end and turn to dirt for several kilometers.






The communist bureaucracy has worked hard to preserve the image of Bac Ho (‘Uncle Ho’). His image dominates contemporary Vietnam more than three decades after his death.



Kid selling lottery tickets at a gas station in Dong Xoai


Comrade Art is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2012, 10:06 PM   #74
Comrade Art OP
Working stiff
 
Comrade Art's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Oregon
Oddometer: 455
Day 9: Kien Duc to Saigon


We stopped in Dong Xoai for a quick break and gas. The road from Dong Xoai to Saigon was a fast, modern four lane highway. Once we started to approach the outskirts of Saigon, the traffic turned insane: almost everyone rides scooters that jam the streets.




We arrived in Saigon at noon. Saigon lacks the cool green parks and gemlike lakes of Hanoi. The per capita income in Saigon is twice the national average. As one local mentioned, “the North dominates politics while the South drives the economy.” The city served as the capital of the Republic of Vietnam from 1956 until 1975, when it fell to advancing North Vietnamese forces and was renamed Ho Chi Minh City by the Hanoi government.

Earlier in the trip we met the Phan family at Phong Nha Cave. They own a restaurant in Saigon and told us to look them up when we arrived. We made it to their restaurant, where we were treated like family. Mike called Cuong’s contact person and as I previously mentioned, it took Cuong’s man one hour to meet us, looked over the bikes and handed me an envelope with my entire cash deposit. That was a bitter sweet moment; we made it safely to Saigon but the ride was officially over.


End of the line


We said our goodbyes to Cuong’s man and the Phan family and took a 45 minute taxi ride to Mike’s grandparents village.



Comrade Art is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2012, 10:47 PM   #75
Comrade Art OP
Working stiff
 
Comrade Art's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Oregon
Oddometer: 455
Day 9: Saigon to Can Giuoc

Mike’s grandparents live in Can Giuoc which is south of Saigon.



The local jackfruit distributor



Neighborhood kids stopped by to see the Americans


This kid’s name was “Bean”; ate all the Chiclets I gave him.



Mike’s grandfather is half French and is 92 years of age. He worked for the French and later for the Americans as a translator. After the war he spent several years in a reeducation camp (South Vietnamese men, from former officers in the armed forces, to religious leaders to employees of the Americans or the old government, were rounded up in camps to “learn about the ways of the new government”).


Grandmother


Neighbor with an interesting tattoo on his chest.






"No hurries, no worries"

Comrade Art is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 07:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014