Prau to Kham Duc - repairs and early mornings


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Asia » Vietnam » Central Highlands » Gia Lai » Plei Phung
November 26th 2012
Published: November 28th 2012
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Early morning - agianEarly morning - agianEarly morning - agian

we soon learned that outside any big tourist city in Vietnam, the day starts around 5
Our journey south had a purpose, our aim was to get to a town large enough to process our visa extensions in a short amount of time, so we could continue driving around Vietnam. However, since the application can sometimes take a long time, we didn't want to be stuck for several days somwhere we didn't want to be. We were shooting for Mui Ne, but had DaLat as an option. From Prau, we intended to drive to Kham Duc (130 km), but when the road turned hairy again and Sadie's bike was smoking heavily, leaking oil and refused to start, we began wondering if we would have to change our plans.

The first mechanic we found scared us into thinking we might have to stay for two days while we fixed the bike, and when the bar enxt door turned into th eloudest karaoke joint in the universe, adn the sun was beating down, we were feeling like the motorcycle thing was not such a great idea. But in typical Vietname style, 2 days turned into 30 minutes (the cultue is so centered around not losing face, that people often say things are extremely difficult and take a very
first visit to the mechanicfirst visit to the mechanicfirst visit to the mechanic

the first stop of the day, tightening chains and topping up oil
long time in order to be sure that they will be able to deliver and not have to say something cannot be done, especially to a foreigner) and we were soon on our way again.

When we got to Kham Duc (another, slighlty larger, mountain boarder town), we managed to secure what seemed to be the very last bed in town, and headed to the town's fancy hotel for dinner (the luxury of having a menu in English was too much to pass up), where the Vietnamese military had booked all the rooms.

Awoken again at 5 am by more commuist loudspeakers encouraging to exercise (and a choreographed fan dance in the courtyard accross the street), we finally understood when the acceptable time to exercise is, stuffed ourselves at breakfast (ordering two of the same dish when being two people often gets us four of everything) and got on the road again, this time to Kon Tum.

Even if we must say so ourselves, we have gotten really good at spotting the best roadside places for everything, including: food, coffee (most places do good food OR good coffee, not both), bathrooms (always hard to judge, as it
second visit to the mechanincsecond visit to the mechanincsecond visit to the mechaninc

The many local mechanics, or Rua Xe here in Vietnam, would receive many visits from us
is not something anyone invests any money in, since you cannot display it in your living room as a status symbol), and by-the-roadside-pee-stops-where-Sadie-can-both-be-hidden-from-view-and-not-attacked-by-a-snake.

Repairs so far: 2

Average cost of 1 liter of gasoline: 1 USD

Average speed we drive at: 25 km/h

Police controls avoided because they don't want to try and speak English: 2

Nights without air conditioning: getting up there...


Additional photos below
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first problemfirst problem
first problem

this little part had to much heat and pressure and gave in
second problemsecond problem
second problem

the same was the problem here
first assistantfirst assistant
first assistant

The mechanics son proved that he was all about taking over his fathers business


8th December 2012

the road
really you guys, the shots and the words, the stories and the humor...this blog is great. i love the details, ie first visit to the mechanic, second visit to the mechanic, first problem, second problem!!! it would be nice to see your faces once in a while though...just a glimpse?

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