Sunday 3rd December
Miles: 50 Climbing: 682ft
Today was a tough day. It started well, it was great to wake up in my bamboo shack and watch the day wake up from my hammock before a great breakfast.
I was sad to leave such an amazing place but I couldn’t have a rest day so early into the trip so I got on my bike and headed off.
The ride was tough especially towards the end because I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast. I was far away from tourist areas and so I was struggling with the language barrier and the food. I had no idea what to order or how to order it. With so many unappetising things on some menus here I was a little worried about what I might end up with if I got it wrong. I’d seen a whole roast dog being prepared for carving the previous day.
I arrived in Sam Son, supposedly a nice beach resort, tired and hungry and went off in search of the hotel I’d booked that morning. I followed the road far away from the beach until it became a dirt track lined by run down shacks. I decided that even if this was the right place for my hotel I certainly didn’t want to stay here, there were rats running across the road and it didn’t feel very safe. I headed back towards the beach and eventually found my hotel a couple of miles from where it should be.
It was a nice enough hotel but it didn’t feel very nice. I appeared to be the only guest in a 6 floor hotel and to save money they had turned most of the lights off. I was also separated from my bike for the first time (something I would become used to). Luckily they had a secure underground parking lot, but I wasn’t too happy that they wouldn’t let me take my bike to my room.
As soon as I had checked in I went off in search of food. It turned out to be a lot harder that I thought. Most of the town was deserted, looking like it had closed down for the “winter” or it was still being built. In the few areas that were open was was being stared at and talked about in a way that made my feel very uncomfortable. Finally, unable to carry on due to hunger I went to a tiny little street food stall, pointed at the bread rolls and collapsed into a children’s plastic chair (most cheaper restaurant and food stalls use children’s furniture which must make me look ridiculous). The lady cooking my sandwich tried to ask me some questions but it didn’t go very well and eventually I was provided with a sandwich. There were mostly just 2 things on it. One appeared to be a fried hotdog sausage but I could not identify the other thing I I’m not sure I wanted to either. I ate it all, even the unidentifiable filling which was really hard to chew, and asked for 2 more to take away. I then ate the other 2 (after discarding the unidentifiable filling) on the beach whilst looking at the local fishing boats. They were woven boats, little more than a floating basket.