Friend, brother, lover, mother (ok the last one isnt true)
hold tight, due to the fact that i havent done this for awhile this is going to be a long one!
when i last wrote i was in hoi an and badly sunburnt(it turns out that i gave myself 3rd degree burns), since then alot has happened. firstly the bus down from hoi an was as usual eventful to say the least.
we were last to be picked up so had the choice of the last 2 seats, me being the gentleman that i am i let lucy pick first and as a result i ended up sitting next to a smelly old man, bad enough you think but....it turns out that the bloke had been travelling down the country and hadnt stopped in hoi an (in a sense just going straight through to nha trang) the person who sat next to him for the previous part of the journey had gotten off in hoi an, however it turns out he was missing certain items of his belongings - namely his wallet and money belt and passport, which after much searching were all found in the old guys bag! a petty thief! the bus driver refused to throw him off the bus so i was left sitting next to him for the next 14 hours, as you can imagine i didnt get much sleep.
got into nha trang at about 8 in the morning and set about doing the usual thing of finding somewhere to crash out for awhile. again found the cheapest twin room at $5 in a small hotel. lucy wanted to go and book her diving for the next day so i went along to see how much a course would be. i always thought thailand would be the cheapest place to learn but i managed to get it for $150 for a four day course. so the next day i sat in a classroom watching videos and answering questions relating to scuba diving.
the fun didnt really start till lunchtime the following day when we got to go into the water for the first time. the pool we used to complete the tasks was disgusting and had far to many bits and pieces in it to make it an enjoyable 4 hours. so i was disappointed to say the least, however the next day when we got out onto the open water and did some proper diving it was everything i had imagined it would be - the colours and shapes of the coral and the numerous fish made it hard to take it all in. so i had 2 dives that day going down to 12 metres and the following day 2 more dives going down to 18 metres all of which i really enjoyed and loved every second of them. each dive lasts about an hour but the time just disappears when you are chasing fish around or swimming through caves in crystal clear, warm waters. i could go on and wax lyrical about the diving for ages but i will stop myself there and move on.
the hotel we were staying in, turned out appeared to be somewhat of a safehouse. an aussie guy was living there under the protection of the family as he owed money for drugs and various things. it explained there strange attitudes and the bizzare questions they constantly asked.
the next day we intended to catch the bus down to Mui Ne, however we managed to miss the bus first time around. after a few frantic phone calls a bike came and picked us up and took us to where the bus was waiting. fair enough you think but my driver didnt have a hand on his left side, just a stump and his right hand had fingers which looked alot like toes (i assumed it was a birth defect as a result of the war) i has amazed that he could ride a bike let alone with me and all my gear on the back.
so we made the bus, getting the last 2 seats again and had another 5 hours on the bus. its funny how when your travelling a 5 hour trip almost becomes easy and routine, whereas back home if someone said a trip involved a 5 hour bus journey i would laugh at them and not do it.
arrived in Mui Ne and found a bungalow right on the sea front with a nice little beach. on the hole there wasnt alot to do there apart from the sandboarding which we planned to do the next day so we set about having a few drinks and relaxing in the hammocks overlooking the water.
the next morning we caught a motorcycle taxi to the sand dunes and i proceeded to throw myself down large dunes on a plastic board. really good fun and brought out the kid in me thats for sure. its like sledging but without the cold, although i prefer snow to sand. that night we went to the 'hot rock cafe' for a few drinks and some food but it wasnt that good and we ended up back at the hotel pretty early. so i decided to go and sit on the beach and look up at the stars and think about nothing, just letting my mind wander to random things. when i went back to the room i was greeted by a cockroach, two moths, 3 geckos and numerous ants and flys - after abit of a killing spree i fell alseep straight away.
yesterday we caught a bus down to saigon (or hcmc, if you prefer). for some reason i felt really bad and managed to sleep for pretty much all of the trip. when we got here, i just couldnt stand up and felt exhusted so lucy found us a hotel and i promptly fell alseep from 6.30 last night till 9.30 this morning. i feel better now but still not 100%.
the general plan is to visit 2 or 3 war sites of interest tomorrow and then i think i will leave the next day for cambodia. i dont like planning but i think i will stay there for about 2 weeks as there isnt masses to do and the time could be spent better elsewhere. i think lucy is leaving tomorrow for cambodia which is a shame really as we both said that it would have been nice to leave vietnam as we entered, together.
have met alot of people who have done or are doing some sort of teaching aboard, in order to travel and earn some money at the same time. it looks fairly easy to got into and might take as little as a month to convert my degree. its not something i have considered doing before but the possibilities appear endless - china, japan, thailand, jakarta, central and south america etc.
lucy and i have made up numerous stories along vietnam tos top us getting hassled, especially lucy. turned into a game of sorts which includes changing are names, nationality, time away and are relationship - so far i ahve been friend, boyfriend, brother and husband. the game stopped recently when lucy took it one step to far by saying that we both supported arsenal and hated liverpool with a passion. theres a line and she crossed it