Monday 19 March 2012: Almost a sunset over Mui Ne fishing fleet
Up at 6:30, Breakfasted by 7:30, On the beach by 8:15, Off the beach 15:30, then the fun began. We started walking towards Mui Ne, 16 km, expecting to catch a bus. A moto taxi stopped and offered to take is there for 50k Dong ($2.5). Well, much to the surprise of one of us, the other readily agreed, and off we set, all 3 of us on a Yamaha scooter - no helmets. All went well until our driver got a call on his mobile - bit iffy, 3 on a bike being steered with only one hand, but we carried on regardless, perhaps too scared to utter a word, or at least a whole one! About 2/3rds of the way there, as the developed resort area petered out, we stopped and I was handed the mobile. I could not make out what the female voice was saying so brick wall there. Eventually we understood that from here, only one pillion rider, with helmet, so off Sue went smiling happily, I think. After about 10 minutes, Geoff Duke returned to pick me up and re-unite me with her ladyship. Adventure 1 over.
We then sussed out our way down through the "town" of Mui Ne towards the sea where, from afar, we had seen lots of fishing boats. Another mini adventure as we invaded the local's domain, down alternating filthy and pristine alleyways, past boxwood slums nestling cheek by jowl with beautifully maintained mini art nouveau dwellings. Most peculiar. All accompanied by a strange malodour.
We emerged onto the beach which was strewn with rubbish and corracles. Again, strange, although we had earlier spotted one working off the beach at our hotel. Took a few photos of the huge fleet at anchor and beached, then set off in a homeward direction along the shore line. Mistake, source of aforementioned stench - latrines of the open variety.
Exit stage right, away from these facilities, back to the main road, tout suite. We merged with the crowds as schools disgorged their charges. Somewhat like the Mumbai slums, the families here send their kids to school immaculately dressed, in uniform. Regretable, the passing of that tradition from many Local Authority schools in UK.
A wee lass of about 8 years walked along with us, silent at first, then out came to questions, each clearly constructed and reasonably searching. A joy. We stopped on the elevated sea wall, from where this photo was taken, to have a couple of beers, and were instantly accosted by a young lad about the same age, flogging carved shells and the like. Bright as a button, and quite the salesman. If you ever see me wearing a large tooth, of indefinable origin, on a thong around my neck, you will understand why when I tell you "Henry" was working to raise money so he could go to school. No state system, at least not for all.
Caught a bus back, dined and retired.