To the Delta - A Four Ferry Day - This Time Tomorrow - CycleBlaze

December 19, 2016

To the Delta - A Four Ferry Day

Hiep Phuoc to Tan An

Hiep Phuoc to Tan An 54 miles

December 19, 2016

To the Delta - A Four Ferry Day

I was ready to leave our strange room in the morning, glad to have survived. We were excited about entering the Mekong River Delta area to see what it was like.

We went straight through the big square industrial zone. About halfway through I glanced over and saw a foreigner racing along on some fast bike dodging motorbikes and looking quite irritated. Maybe all the latex he was wearing was getting to him. He certainly didn’t look happy. I felt happy, however, because I was alive.

Industrial zone where all our clothing comes from.
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We stopped fairly quickly to have some noodle soup. One never knows how the soup will be but this time it was some of the best soup of the trip I thought. It was pork noodle soup which we don’t often see. I try to not eat beef anywhere but here the most common noodle soup is beef noodle. Chicken is extremely rare.

The road wound this way and that through the small town of Phuroc Khanh to a large ferry. We were still southeast of Saigon and the river we were crossing had fast hydrofoils from the town of Vung Tau on the coast to Saigon. It was a big river but not actually part of the Mekong River. The ferry was fast and cheap and delivered us to the very mellow town of Phu Xuan. It was so mellow we just sat down and had some coffee. I figured that since Phu Xuan sits on a road that goes directly to Saigon not far away that everyone commutes. It was pretty nice and quiet while we were sitting there but I bet it gets crazy at rush hour.

First ferry was the biggest.
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Even the banana seller took a break to have coffee. He left his banana cart in the street and actually made three sales while taking his coffee break. It was probably his routine everyday.

Banana seller taking a coffee break.
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"You said this lottery ticket would be a winner."
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Then began a series of small roads a dozen bridges and three more ferries as we made our way toward Tan An. Some of the rivers we crossed were tidally affected, others not. We once again encountered the type of palm that grows in clumps in water. Rice was everywhere and ready to be harvested. The countryside was lush and beautiful just as one might expect in a place called a river delta.

Second ferry.
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Rice ready to be cut.
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So many bridges.
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Third ferry
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What a grand driveway to be lined with Royal Palms.
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Dog on a shrine.
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Buddhist house.
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Rice production increase would be significant if all the graves were removed from rice paddies.
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Double steeple - double good luck on top.
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Fourth ferry
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Big black rain clouds passed on one side of us and then in front of us a mile or so and then on the other side of us. It was simply a matter of time before we got hit. Their numbers were increasing as it got later in the day and our luck was wearing thin. It looked like we were not going to make it to Tan An without getting drenched but we didn’t want to get drenched. We didn’t want to dig out all our rain gear. So, we pulled into a shop that sold cold drinks to wait out the biggest blackest cloud to pass.

The woman there had us try a coconut flavored yogurt drink that was great. We devoured a package of moon cake like discs. And we had two more 7-UPs for good measure. But the cloud slipped past without rain. We couldn’t wait any longer because we were also on a collision course with darkness and we didn’t want to dig out our lights.

Only a few blocks from the guest house we settled at the rain finally caught us. We ducked under an awning in the middle of town and dug out our rain gear. The hardest part is getting the custom made waterproof bag (made by Andrea) over my day pack. We had no idea how long the rain would last so we had to get all set. Plus, it was raining hard. We were soaked when we pulled into the Nha Nghi. How many times have we done this now? We are hoping for less rain in the Delta.

lovebruce

Lobby of our Nha Nghi.
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Today's ride: 54 miles (87 km)
Total: 1,105 miles (1,778 km)

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