Saturday, September 18, 2010

Road trip section 7: Buon Ma Thuot to Kon Tum

We awoke early, around 5.30am, in preparation for our longest stint on the road. Our poor little bike had to carry the both of us and all our luggage (which actually is not that much) around 230km. We grabbed a few things to eat on the way from the local market and stopped at a cafe for our morning coffee. The Vietnamese coffee is damn strong. The coffee in Buon Ma Thuot is even stronger. One coffee and I was buzzing like a pill-popper at a rave. Now fully awake, we hit the road by 6.30am.

It didn't take long to realise the weather was not going to favour us. Firstly, it was cold. The chill of the wind cut through our clothes. Not long after it started to rain. Not heavy rain, but that annoying spitting rain. The rain decided to fall in a most uncomfortable angle; right into my face. A word of warning; a speeding rain droplet in the eyeball is quite unpleasant. Once this has been repeated a few times it can get frustrating. I was forced, at times, to squint to lessen the chance of another hit. I also tried driving with one eye, alternating every few seconds, but soon realised this was neither practical or safe.

Celine and I stopped on the side of the road to put on our cheap raincoats. To their credit they stopped most of the rain and acted as a great little wind barrier. We kept the raincoats on virtually the whole way to Kon Tum, which took us most of the day. A wet, windy and cold day was not what we wanted for our epic road journey but it had to happen sooner or later; being the rainy season and all.

The trip has gone great and we made our 230km to Kon Tum, arriving tired and weary but in good spirits. The road was generally in good condition (highway 14) and the landscape was not as stunning as the previous couple of days. That was good in a way because we could put our foot down and concentrate on riding. We passed a number of rubber plantations which reminded me of the French film Indonchine.
After a few stops along the way in Buon Ho, Iang Bang (tiny) and Pleiku for lunch we made a final dash for Kon Tom. We stopped for a final drinks break in a small cafe where we chatted to some very friendly locals, before zooming along the last 20km. After a long day we both needed a few hours to rest.

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