Thursday, October 27, 2016

I will never ever forget it!

Scooter road trip in Vietnam .

I stayed a few weeks with my youngest son in Hanoi. It is my second time, last year, same time. Sleeping on a mattress that could as well have been a plank.

Before I came, he promised me a road trip on his Honda scooter. We planned a trip to Cat Ba island in Halong Bay. When I heard 4-5 hours on the bike plus a few extra on ferries and waiting, sanity prevailed and we decided on the bus. 

The morning breaks and he casually says that it is a pity we are not going by bike because we would  have no transport on Cat Ba. I looked up and thought, oh well, I told people back home I am going on a road trip, so let's do it! In a mad scramble we pack the bare necessities but with my camera bag it fills a big backpack that he has to hold between his arms in front of him. In the first hour "I can not possibly do this" and "This is a huge disaster" went around and around my head.

The traffic is crazy and I see an accident meant to happen in front of me every 2 minutes. He asks me to please take my hands off his middle since he is sweating. I am supposed to place them on my knees! Instead I grip the back of the seat with both hands and ended up with extremely stiff arms the next day! The sun is blazingly hot and I am not sitting comfortably. Fortunately I realise after an hour when the traffic becomes less is that the blanket I am sitting on (to cushion my poor behind a little bit) is folded under me, hence the uncomfortable seating!

It gets better, and after 130 km of relentless sun and about 4 hours we reach Hai Pong, where we wait for the ferry.

Remember you can click on the photographs to see them better.

Loading the ferry...

Me, on the ferry, not caring about anything but rest...

There are passengers that must be more uncomfortable than me... They were climbing on top of one another, and looked very hot and thirsty!

Then 6km and then over the island Cat Hái (6km) and then another ferry...
My son kept quiet about the last trip to our destination, 26 km! But it was beautiful scenery. Both of us were exhausted when we reached our destination:

Our cabin for the night, VERY small, but with a beautiful bathroom!!!

This was tough, 172 km on a scooter on Vietnam's roads! We decided that I would take the bus back, but the two of us made a wonderful memory, and it was not finished yet, we then had to get ready for Typhoon Sarika!