Drying Out Our Sandals - This Time Tomorrow - CycleBlaze

December 14, 2016

Drying Out Our Sandals

Rest days at Mui Ne Beach

Mui Ne Beach December 13-14

Dear little friends,

We woke up in the Hung Nguyen guesthouse to rain pouring down like no tomorrow. One of the gravest disappointments I’d had the day before when we got settled into our beautiful spacious room was that there was no hot water, which was no fun since I was somewhat chilled after being wet all day. This was the first time in Vietnam there was no hot water, they had a solar heating tank on the roof which is sufficient for most of the year but not when it’s been gray and wet for weeks. The guesthouse manager drew a picture of the sun and made a “whatcha gonna do?” gesture, and he was right. Shiver, I guess.

Bruce responded to the rain by going out onto the balcony and filming it. I responded by snuggling under my clean white comforter and clean white sheets and chatting with people far, far away. People far, far away were posting photos of their cozy living rooms with glowing fireplaces and Christmas trees and dogs relaxing on velour cushions. I am not unhappy that I am missing all that, just cognizant that our bicycle trip had really hit a bunch of unexpectedly bad weather no matter how we tried to outrun it. Beach or no beach, sometimes you just have to hole up and wait it out.

Ignoring the rain and chatting with my kids.
Heart 0 Comment 0
I look at this kind of decor and think, "Why?"
Heart 0 Comment 0
The ceilings in Vietnam are often surprisingly complicated.
Heart 0 Comment 0

There was no peace for the wicked however, and soon Bruce was ready to go to the market and buy fruit. This is the holy mission wherever we stop, to buy papayas and bananas and mangoes and oranges. To buy little boxes of milk to pour over said fruit and a small amount of our rapidly depleting store of muesli. We have been carrying this muesli since Hanoi. Truth.

Another truth was that I wasn’t very enthused about going to the market. Because, you know, it was raining.

“It’s slowing down, it’s practically stopped,” said He-Who-Also-Lies-About-Uphills. “It’s just a little ways away.” He also is distance estimation challenged and I have taken to mapping things out on Google in order to have more reasonable guesses, plus prove him wrong, yay.

Out we slogged. Currents of warm brown water ran down the street and every passing vehicle created a surge or splash. The Russians were out too, in their clear ponchos, prowling the restaurants and booze shops. The market was quite a ways away, Mui Ne is very spread out and we were staying near the eastern edge of it. We found our fruit, our milk, some peanuts, and met an American who lives in Mui Ne and said the weather was appalling and that America not worth returning to since the election.

Flower delivery man, Mui Ne.
Heart 1 Comment 0
We thought this sign was interesting given that in hundreds of miles of coastline we have yet to see a single seagull.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
We got the things.
Heart 0 Comment 0

One thing I had spied in Mui Ne were Walls ice cream freezers in nearly every bodega. We had only seen some strange off-brand ice cream all over the country so this was a blast from the past. Those who followed our last trip journal may recall our habit of eating Black and White Cornettos after a day of riding, so of course we had to investigate the freezers. We stopped and had a Cornetto apiece and enjoyed them very much and thought anticipatory thoughts of Thailand.

The Holy Grail of Cornettos: The Black and White.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Things are looking up.
Heart 0 Comment 0

The next day we had the odd apparition of sunlight making spots on the curtains. Outside was a wall of pure humidity and heat, but a little breeze made me throw caution to the winds and put my sandals out on the balcony to dry. Then we had the mad idea to clean our bikes of accumulated sand, dirt, filth, road tar, and chain grease. They have rust on places I didn’t even know could get rusty, such as quick-release levers. This trip has been hell on the bikes and they are showing it. It doesn’t help that we simply have not been allowed to park them in our rooms at any point in Vietnam and give them the old butt wand cleanoff they deserve.

See those weird squares on the wall? No, the other ones. Those are sunshine.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Bruce's saddle drying. The shells had to stay behind.
Heart 0 Comment 0

As I labored away under what had become a scorching, drying, blessed sun, an older Frenchman came up and started chatting with me. He, too, said the weather was abominable and that usually it was great in Mui Ne. We covered world politics and such, as one does. The cassette coughed up lots of black horrible gunk. The toothbrush I filched from the bathroom (all hotels in Vietnam provide cheap toothbrushes) was finished off. The chain sucked up its lube. Things were not perfect but they were better. I did have one brake lever that was messed up though.

Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0

It seemed fitting that perhaps while staying at a place called Mui Ne BEACH that we should actually set foot on said beach. We walked through a coconut grove and found a fisherman’s coracle storage and piles of shells and then some sand. The tide was high, the beach has eroded at this end of Mui Ne, and the water was runoff brown. There were a few tourists out trying to wind surf but I wasn’t about to set even a toe in that ocean. Sorry, Vietnam. I hear your beaches are great. It just didn’t work out for us this time.

Shells on Mui Ne Beach.
Heart 0 Comment 0

The forecast advised us to take this window of dry and jump through it. Mui Ne was a good place to rest and dry out, eat some food, and have a little touch of western life. My saddle was dry, my sandals were sort of dry, the bikes cleaned, and it was time to bug out of there.

The first of many manger scenes. We were baffled by the settings until we realized they were meant to represent caves.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Our guesthouse in Mui Ne. It was a nice place but go when it's sunny so you can have a hot water shower.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Rate this entry's writing Heart 0
Comment on this entry Comment 0