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Day 61 to 62– January 30th to 31st: Nha Trang
We used the next day in Nha Trang as an administrivia day, catching up with our mums on Skype and updating the diary while Sharyn did some more work online.
We had brunch at the cafe/restaurant in the lobby and enlisted the aid of the waitress in arranging transport for Sharyn to get to the next place in a couple of days’ time. We had booked a bungalow just below Cam Ranh, which was well off the main highway and out on a peninsula. Fortunately, the owner spoke a little English and offered to pick her up at the bus stop on the highway.
For dinner, we ventured out to the only other place advertising craft beer that was nearby. The Livin BBQ restaurant turned out to be very expensive (by our standards, anyway), and the young waiter would not leave us alone, badgering us about the food. So he was pretty disappointed when we got up and left after two beers.
We made our way back to the Jelly Brew Pub and had a light dinner there instead. It was way more our style!
The next day was Sunday. So we headed over to the Cheers Sports Bar for a traditional Sunday roast lunch. It was awesome. We haven’t had a roast lunch in years. It’s owned by Adrian, an Englishman who knows exactly what the ex-pats want judging by the clientele, who were all ex-pats! The meal was huge and delicious. I could barely walk back to the apartment.
After a long rest in the room, we chose to visit the Louisiane Brewing Company for dinner. It was a bit of a walk to get to it, but it was all along the beachfront, which is very pretty. Set around a square swimming pool right on the beach and surrounded by swaying coconut palms, The Louisiane also brews its own beers, a rather expensive pair of dark and light beers. Fortunately for us, they had a buy 2 get one free promotion.
We sat by the pool as it got darker, the colorful lights making great reflections on the water. It was a popular place with the well-heeled locals, serving up steak and seafood dishes. We, however, opted for a large pizza to share, minimizing our bill somewhat.
Day 63– February 1st: Nha Trang to Cam Ranh Bay: 71kms
I managed to get away by 8 am with a couple of pieces of leftover pizza with me for lunch. It was busy going through town, but the traffic thinned out considerably when I crossed over a bridge onto the DT6571, and everyone else headed to the nearby highway.
Passing several resorts, the ocean road headed out around another peninsula, so up and down it was again. It wasn’t too bad, though, as I was ably assisted by a healthy tailwind once more. If I only had one piece of advice to give to anyone contemplating cycling the H2H, it’d be to do it north to south. I’ve never had so many tailwinds!
As I rolled down off the peninsula, I crossed onto a long, white sand spit that lies parallel to the coast. Once again, it seems sand equates to resorts here, and there were a host of unfinished ones scattered along the spit, just waiting for Covid to cease and desist.
Toward the middle of the long spit were the local airport for Cam Ranh and an access bridge that serviced the mainland. I crossed over the bridge and found myself back out on the highway. It seems that most of Cam Ranh is dedicated to fish farming, with the whole of the waterfront lined with fish pens. The town itself was a bit shabby and stunk like rotting fish. I might just have entered fish sauce country, a Vietnamese favorite and an acquired taste that I still haven’t mastered.
Cam Lợi, the next town down, was much nicer, with tree-lined streets and well-tended round-a-bouts at its intersections. I chose to stop here and eat my pizza under the shade of a large tree and take a rest from the harsh sun.
I had to do another 20 km or so to reach Ap Gio Ta, the turn-off to the bungalows, about 5kms around the peninsula. As I crossed the highway onto the smaller road, I heard a shout to my left. It was Sharyn sitting in the shade of a small, open-sided local restaurant. I turned back and put the bike up against the wall, took a seat next to her, and ordered water. The owner seemed a bit reluctant to have us there and kept his distance. Apparently, Sharyn had gotten off the bus at the intersection, and a few of the women from the neighboring restaurants had waved her away. It seems people are still petrified of Covid and have little knowledge of how it spreads.
After ten minutes or so, a couple of scooters from the bungalows arrived to take Sharyn and her luggage. I set off behind them and began to negotiate the headland hills. Along the way, I passed grain spread out over the road. As intrusive as this practice is, it is a great way of getting your grain de-husked, as the passing cars do it for you!!
The Thanh Nhi Homestay consists of a small number of bungalows perched precariously on the side of a steep, rocky hill that overlooks Cam Ranh Bay. Our bungalow had a double bed mattress on the floor and an adjacent ensuite with a giant rock protruding into it, forming the outside wall. It was basic but quaint and had some character, at least. It also had a small balcony we could sit out on and admire the view.
With nothing to do or nowhere to go, we enjoyed a late lunch on the balcony and then descended to the open-air dining area for dinner. There were a couple of other guests, but I think they didn’t want to risk getting too close to us.
Back in our bungalow, after dinner and a couple of beers, we were joined by a small green frog on our floor. He didn’t seem fazed by our presence at all. I moved him to the bathroom and shut the door. I don’t think either of us wanted a surprise visitor in the middle of the night.
Next up: I’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain...