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Day 55 to 56– January 24th to 25th: Quy Nhon

This morning I was shocked to attention by the world’s worst coffee. I never thought there was such a thing until now! Thank God the hotel is nice.

A pretty nice beach at Quy Nhon.

I was running out of some things, namely sunscreen and deodorant, stuff I really needed. The fact that I was buying sunscreen actually cheered me up and reminded me that sunny days were ahead.

The esplanade at Quy Nhon is a great place to relax and get some exercise.
The coffee sucked, but the pool was nice.

There was a Big C a few blocks over from our hotel, it’s a big supermarket chain, and they have everything. I got the sunscreen and deodorant in a chemist just outside the Big C; all I needed now was some more instant coffee, the 3 in 1 variety, you add hot water. Most of these small hotels had a kettle but little else. All I needed was the coffee. I took one look at the queues in Big C; they were huge, so I instantly walked out. There was no way known I was going to line up for hours in there for just some instant coffee!

Hot Pot. Some good food for a change!

I also needed some more cash, and there’s always an atm at Big C. There was, but it was broken – it just wasn’t my day. Thank God the sun was out!

Later on, we took a Grab bike each and went down the coast to Bai Xep, a small fishing community with a couple of small resorts nestled in amongst the village. I knew I would have to negotiate some pretty big hills getting out of Quy Nhon, and this was a great opportunity for me to see just how big they were.

This fellow out at Bia Xep knew how to operate a coracle.

They were big! Not just big, but long, winding ones. I had decided our next stop would be in Tuy Hòa in Phú Yên Province, roughly 100kms away, my longest day by far. These big hills ran around a series of headlands that finished about 35kms away, a testing time to begin a long day. I was a little bit worried, to be honest.

Life’s A Beach Hostel at Bia Xep.

After lunch at the Big Tree Bistro, we ventured next door to Life’s A Beach, a small backpacker-type resort with a bar and restaurant as well. Here we met the owner, Steve, an Englishman, and had a good chat about life up here, the problems of foreign ownership in Vietnam, and the ever-present task of dealing with the police looking for bribes.

Coracles are ready to go at Bia Xep.
You can hang loose at Life’s A Beach at Bia Xep. Just ask for Steve!

Steve organized a taxi to pick us up, as getting a Grab bike out here is near impossible. We got dropped off at the Unique Craft Beer taphouse and met Hoang, the owner there. He’s a really nice bloke and deals with a lot of the guys we know back in Saigon to get his beers delivered. The place was pretty quiet, but it was still pretty early.

Unique Craft Beer Taphouse back in Quy Nhon. Great range of beers!

The next morning I slept in while Sharyn had breakfast upstairs. I couldn’t face the coffee again, and there wasn’t much on offer for breakfast anyway. I eventually got up and went around to a bakery up the road while Sharyn worked on her computer.

You’ll be well fed at the Quy Nhon Sports Bar right on the beach. Tell Docker we sent you!

I bought some pastries for tomorrow’s ride, and later on, we headed back to Docker’s bar for a couple of beers and an early night. I didn’t want to play up at all; I was still feeling a little apprehensive about tomorrow’s ride over the mountains.

Time to head south again: Working on the Highway. The Longest Day