Sunday 25 March 2012: 6 am, Salt pans 1/2 way twixt Nha Trang & Da N
Unsurprisingly, today started just a nanosecond after midnight yesterday. Surprising, we were still up and attem at that unearthly hour, trying to get onto the Nha Trang to Da Nang night sleeper (hard). Surprising as we have been fairly early bedders this trip.
We settled in to our 6 berth compartment with the other 4 occupants already tucked up for the night - some grumblings from the dark, but we soon got ourselves comfortable, that being a relative term, and turned in.
Woke at 4 am for a C.O.N . and finally rose at 6 am to meet & greet our fellow travellers. Not an easy task with our lack of Vietnamese and their lack of English. Still, with the help of Google Translate, and a trip round my final employer's website, we developed a level of understanding of who we were which can only be described as fragile.
From 06:30, for the remainder of the our part of the journey, a series of food trolleys trundled up & down the corridor. I breakfasted on rice porridge with shredded roast chicken (?) garnished with chopped spring onions and Kep pepper. Sue declined all available sustenance and settled for the typical cup of incredibly sweet coffee. Milk here is generally of the condensed variety.
This train, and several others every day between HCMC and Hanoi is named "The reunification express", for fairly obvious reasons. The express bit is sort of misleading as it takes 3 days / nights, with passengers constantly changing as the Kms trundle by. The railroad is single track so there are frequent stops to let the opposite direction trains pass.
Anyway, we arrived at Da Nang exactly on time @ 10:28, and took a $20 taxi the 1 hour ride back south to Hoi An.
Had some lunch and headed for the beach just as the weather broke. Wind got up and waves were building to surfable heights as we arrived. I took the plunge and absolutely thoroughly enjoyed myself for 10 - 15 minutes - just like being at Gullane on a bad day.
Getting bikes from the hotel tomorrow, weather permitting, to explore the old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which at first glance looks good.
Lurve to all,