Day 75

Woke up to clear skies and blazing sunshine! Forget Saigon… I’m staying here another day!

Me and Natalia sat by the pool all morning. Fanny joined us around lunch time just before the bus was going to arrive and pick her up.

We said our goodbye’s and possibly we’ll meet up in Saigon.

In the afternoon we went and spent an hour on the beach out the back of our resort and got an idea of how long the whole beach front was.

We wanted to see the sunset from Sankara and decided to walk to it via the beach, thinking it would take us at least two hours.

We’d done about an hour before Natalia got soaked by a large wave crashing on one of the sea walls! All of her clothes were soaked and she wanted to get a change of clothes. We weren’t that far from Pogo which was about half way and decided to get a taxi the rest of the way to make sure we made it.

The beach behind Sankara was filled with Kite Surfers and we watched those for a while before walking to Wax bar for a drink.

We went to our favourite restaurant again for dinner and then headed for Sankara for drinks afterwards.

We had a relaxing evening and got back to the hotel for midnight as we wanted to get up early and get some more sun in if the day is going to be nice. We’re off at 12:30 so want to get a bit in before the bus turns up.

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Day 74

Today was the day we were going to see the renowned dune’s of Mui Ne.

Our tour started at 14:00 so we had a late breakfast and chilled for an hour before heading over to the tour office.

The tour began with a walk along fairy stream. We hadn’t walk far before we were offered the chance to ride an Ostrich! We all had ago and our two young guide’s took us further up the stream and showed us the array of coloured sands that lined the stream running through it. Each side of the stream were walls of sand at least 15m high and ranging from red sand all the way through to white/grey sand. We were only allowed up so high as the other side of the top still had unexploded bombs from the Vietnam War.

As we walked further along the two kids taking us along the stream gave us a four leaf clover each and for me it was the first time I’d ever seen one. I soon realised they grew here in abundance and they were everywhere!

The further we got along the more the landscape varied with strange columns of sand appearing out of the ground. We reached the end after a thirty minute walk and found a small waterfall that was the source of the stream.

The next stop on the tour was a photo opportunity at a fishing village further along the coast.

We then headed to White Dunes straight after. The whole place was amazing. I didn’t expect the place to be as big and there was even small around the foot of one the main slopes.

As you enter the Dunes you pick up a plastic sledge and begin your walk towards which ever peak you fancy most. Me and Fanny choose one which looked unscathed and pretty steep taking photo’s along the way we soon realised the steepness was going to give us some top speeds!

I decided to hit it first and racked up some raw speed! Needless to say I had to bail at the end as it was going to be the safest way for me to stop!

The girls then had a go of one of the surrounding slopes and both made it quite far.

I gave the steep slope one more go to see if I could ride out the final piece. Not a good idea!

I managed to ride past the where I bailed but hit a small jump which sent me flying through the air and on to the base of my spine for a nasty landing! I was ruined after that…
We’d already run over twenty minutes late and made it back to our driver to hit the next leg the Red Canyon. It wasn’t as impressive as we’d anticipated but still was worth a quick walk around and a few photo’s.

We were fast running out of time and needed to make the red dunes before sundown. Pulling up we had just enough light to get some decent photographs before we were left in the dark.

We had shower’s when we got back to the apartment and got ready to head to the booking office where we had to confirm our seats on the open bus out of Mui Ne the following day. This meant a trip to the centre, where we got dropped off on arrival. Seeing as we were in that part of town we went to the same restaurant we had our first meal at in Mui Ne.

After dinner and numerous drinks we decided to find Sankara and Wax bar, two of the other bars we’d heard about. Sankara was five minutes away and we hit that first.

The place was nothing like we imagined! It would be more fitting in some luxury destination not something you’d expect a typical backpackers trail. Saying that the drinks reflected the price of the furnishings being at least double what you’d pay anywhere else, still though compared to home it was reasonable.

The girls loved it and we stayed there for a few hours making the most of such a quality beach front bar. We settled the bill and went a further five minutes down the road to Wax which was less opulent but more lively atmosphere with a mix of locals and travellers.

We ended our night here chatting on the beach and reflecting on our time in Mui Ne.

Before I went to sleep I was fortunate enough to receive my first Chilean massage! – D Though the smell of the Tiger Balm will stick with me forever!

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Day 73

Got up with relative ease considering the night I had before, I’m not sure the same can be said for Canto!

Either way we made the bus with good time and got our preferred back seats. The ride was quite boring as Natalia passed out and I couldn’t manage anything more than a light doze.

Finished one book and stared out the window the rest of the time.

Got to Mui Ne and Fanny was there waiting for us as we got off the bus. We had lunch together and she’s going to get a room with us where ever we decide to stay.

We all met up for dinner at 19:00 and on the way to the restaurant Fanny found us a travel agent to get us to the Sand Dunes and give us a tour for $7.

After dinner we decided to get a taxi to Pogo and suss it out. It was a lot quieter than we expected, however we there quite early and hanged around for a few hours but nothing really changed. The bar was more of a chill out place and was still good but we wanted something a bit more lively and headed to El Vagabundo.

Tonight was Salsa night and there was more of a buzz about the place as more and more people kept filtering through. We got speaking to one guy named Anthony who was from Manchester who told us this was the place where everyone came for their last drinks.

Anthony was one of those characters you meet whilst travelling. Free spirited, fed up of life at home and willing to pitch up anywhere and start a new life. We spent most of the evening talking to him and watching him try to hit on Natalia and Fanny with no success!

We left around 02:00 and when me and Natalia got back we decided to do our face pack’s Amelie had gave us! We both looked like extra’s out of a horror movie!

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Day 72

We didn’t surface until around midday and food was the first thing on our minds!

We stumbled across a bakery which looked class but when we got handed the menu we soon changed our minds! You had pretty much every animal from Eel’s to Weasel’s! We settled for a simple noodle and beef dish and shared that as we’d lost our appetite by then. Next to us sat three older guys who were taking care of some business over a few beers. As I was leaving they invited me over for a customary cheers and we shared a beer with them.

Forgetting it was Saturday I foolishly thought the banks would be open as I wanted to change some more money seeing as I wouldn’t be receiving my top up until next week.

The rest of the day was spent translating the Spanish documents. The first section took longer than expected but at least part of it’s done.

We went for dinner as soon as we’d finished that and had some nice tuna and steamed rice. Before we hit the town we headed home to get most of our stuff packed as we were off first thing in the morning to Mui Ne.

We hit the Green Apple first and had a few drinks there and bumped in to Zazou (French guy from Halong Bay trip) and met Fanny who is also from France. She recognised me from Hoi An or some other Hostel we’d stayed in. She was heading to Mui Ne tomorrow as well so no doubt we’ll see her again.

Me and Nati’ only made it to one more bar where we played Jenga for drinks! The games were short and it wasn’t long before Natalia was finished and begging to head home! Got royally treated in there as Zazou and me started working the bar staff and got them to bring us free shot’s every other time we asked!

They even hooked me up a free sex on the beach on top of two Mojito’s! No wonder everyone was so rattled!

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Day 71

Today was going to be a day of relaxation as we were going to the mud baths.

The guy at the hotel offered to arrange the tickets for us and quoted us 200,000 D. Thankfully we gave it some thought and headed to the bank as I needed to change some money. Whilst I was in the bank Natalia gathered some information about the cost’s of going to the mud baths and found out we could get it cheaper and with a taxi thrown for free!

Rather than go through our hotel we booked through the travel agent and headed up there strqaight away.

The whole day was class neither of us had been as relaxed as we were when we came out of the massage at the end of the day. The whole procedure was as follows, mud bath, mineral bath, waterfall and finally steam room and massage.

We decided to grab some food after the massage as we had been there pretty much all day. I went for the safe chicken, lemongrass and chilli whilst Natalia opted for what I called the pollo (pronounced puyo) soup! It looked like someone had coughed up everything they had on their chest and spat it in the bowl! It was in fact chicken and asparagus soup, but as soon as I mentioned it Natalia couldn’t escape the thought of what she might be eating!

Within five minutes of us arriving back at the hotel the whole thing was thrown up again!

That evening me and Natalia went back to the Blue Gecko and played a few games of pool against this couple ( Dwayne and Bea) and done the same route past Green Apple on towards a new part of town where we found a cool little bar where we met this Vietnamese girl who told us about the Sailor Club.

We waited until she finished her shift and headed down there with her and her friend Gregory. Sailor Bar was class! It was something you might find in the South of France and had it’s own beach area at the back of the club.

Ended up getting quite rattled and me and Natalia stumbled home managing to find a class food stall on the way.

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Day 70

Today we decided to head to the Vinpearl!

Got our tickets from our hotel and grabbed a motorbike to the cable car which takes you to the Island.

The Island is a mix between theme park, waterpark and amusements/arcade.

The theme park rides were pretty much all closed whilst we were there, as were most of the slides but we made the most of the one’s which were open.

Wasn’t long before we’d done most of the flume’s and went to go and find the arcade’s. This for me was the best part as all of them were free! We started with a two player on the Rambo gun game and made it through the first three chapters before getting bored! I think Natalia was more frustrated with getting rated awful compared to my impressive rating’s!

We then moved on to the basketball game which again I smashed in over 123 compared to Natalia’s meagre 20!

I left Natalia to it whilst I went on to the punching machine and broke the record three times!

Me and Natalia then went down stairs and hit the Street Fighter machine’s. We had a few goes on this and then Natalia went to watch show which was on outside, I then went over a few more games and then realised we’d almost spent 4 hours on the arcades alone!

It was getting dark and we decided to head back to grab some food.

We headed to the same area we went to the previous night and found a nice restaurant which gave us two superb plates of food. After leaving there we headed down the street and got an offer we couldn’t refuse… Free mojito with any drink we buy if we went to Blue Gecko Bar!

The bar was small but had a good atmosphere and we ended up playing pool with against each other and eventually the locals for a good few hours. I got on a run and ended up staying on the table for atleast three or four games. By this point we decided to head to another bar and stumbled across Green Apple a bar which Richy had mentioned to me.

It was here we met an Norwegian/Iranian girl Mona and the Shizer girls again! We had a few drinks with them before the bar was closed. Frustrated we wanted a place to continue the party and we headed to the place we’d all seen called “Nightclub”!

Everyone was outside when we arrived but they still let us inside when we walked to the door. Once inside we soon figured out why so many people were on the street the whole place had been trashed! There must have been a massive fight as everything, chairs tables glasses and whatever else you could imagine was on the floor!

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Day 69

We arrived in Nha Trang just before 07:00 and Natalia fell straight asleep once we got our room sorted. I stayed up sorting my diary etc. and eventually fell asleep a few horus later and we both woke up just after 13:00.

Nha Trang’s weather was no better than what we’d been having further up the coast.

The hotel we got dropped off at was reasonably priced and we decided to take it as it wasn’t far from the beach nor the main part of town. We took a stroll along the beach and figured out where the Vinpearl Theme Park was.

We found somewhere to eat for the evening and went on the search for somewhere to have a drink too. Natalia found a bar which had a live band and we settled for a few drinks there to start, however as soon as the band finished we left to find somewhere else.

The only joy we had after that seeing as we’d left the map at home! We strolled aimlessly for a while before we found a nightclub called Rocky. It looked class from the outside yet once we got inside we soon realised we were in the cheesiest techno/trance club in town! It was full of Vietnamese, which isn’t a bad thing but the music was so loud trying to order a drink with someone that doesn’t understand you when the music’s off let alone at 130db’s!

We stayed for one before we tried to find somewhere else but to no avail…

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