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Que Sera, Sera...

Day 3: Di Linh to Mui Ne

View Doyle and Dan's Adventure on doyledan's travel map.

We needed to be up early in order to make it to Mui Ne in time for the afternoon bus that Bin and Lan needed to get back for their next trip. Despite the fun the night before we somehow managed to be up at 7am and ready to go. A breakfast of omelette and baguette sorted us out.


The plantations in the area we were now in had changed from coffee to tea and as far as the eye could see were tea plants. Bin showed us how to pick the tea leaves by just nipping the first three off the end of the stems. He explained that it is only possible to take the very new leaves at the top as the stems get too thick further down so it is harder to pick.


We would be continuing our journey along the mountain pass which did not fail to deliver on amazing views.


Whilst travelling through the national park and stopped to take a little walk into the jungle. Bin told us more about how people had lived and survived in the jungle during the war even though it was very dangerous. We spotted one plant with massive thorns on the leaves, let alone all the poisonous snakes that live there!


As people were hiding in the jungle the Americans used herbicides and defoliants known as Agent Orange to try to force people out of the jungle foliage and also to destroy the crops the local people depended on, but by having knowledge of root plants such as Tapioca they were able to survive in the jungle. He told us that even today babies are being born with deformities as a result of the chemical weapons used by the Americans.

By another minority village we stopped at another great view. The people in this area used to live in the jungle but we were told that now they are supported by the government in this village with electricity and a school, whilst relying on crops such as corn for their income. Again they have their own language and Bin told us how they are very poor people living on not a lot.


We continued on the mountain pass and as we went round the hairpin bends it was fun to look behind and see Dan and Sam on their bikes coming round the corners before I disappeared around the next one. At one section we stopped to take a video of the guys as they went down and I think this section may have been used by the Top Gear guys when they did their bike trip in Vietnam.


Leaving the jungle behind after turning down the kind invitation to share lunch with some road workers that were cooking by the side of the road we came to a cotton farm. Now I knew cotton came from plants but had not seen it before and was amazed it it essentially is balls of cotton on a plant! Amazing!


Some sights on the road...and yes the ducks are alive!


As we were descending from the central highlands all morning the change in temperature made it very warm being on the bikes and this meant that Dans bike continued to have problems with overheating so there were several times we had to wait for it to cool down. We took in the bright greens of the rice paddies and pinks of the dragon fruits that were the agriculture in this area.


We could tell we were getting closer to Mui Ne as we started to see sand on the road and across the landscape, so different from the landscapes we had seen before so we knew we were getting closer to the sea and and the sand dunes it is famous for.


This is where Dans bike finally conked out in the heat fortunately not far out of Mui Ne so we had to stop our tour a bit early as Bin shuttled us into town with our bags before having to help Lan with the other bike. We were meant to go to the red sand dunes but it would not be possible and so Bin gave us some money back so we could get ourselves to the dunes later, which Dan will tell you about in the Moi Ne blog.

These things happen and it all adds to the feeling of adventure :) We had an awesome time on this trip and it definitely has been a huge highlight of our time in Vietnam!

Massive thanks to Mr Bin and Mr Lan for your expert driving, great knowledge and sense of fun and adventure! Also thanks to Sam for joining us on this part of our journey and stepping up to take the rice wine shots for the team. OW!!


Safe travels to you all


Posted by doyledan 19:32 Archived in Vietnam

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