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December 17th 2012
Published: December 17th 2012
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We were heading for Dalat next, about 650km south of Hoi An in the mountains. We planned a three day trip mostly along the Ho Chi Minh Road first stopping in Kon Tum which was a 286km drive. We knew this was going to be a long day but it turned out to be extremely slow because we were riding through some pretty steep mountains and twisting roads – which was lovely scenery but ended up having to ride in the dark for two hours which is pretty scary in Vietnam. Half an hour into riding in the dark we had a break down – the electrics had been dodgy in the bike from the first day and this was the first time we had to use the lights. We managed to get going again but with no lights – not sure what was more scary – driving in Vietnam with the lights on or off! Arrived safe and sound to Kon Tum and booked into the first decent looking hotel we could find.

We had planned to leave early the next day as we had another long day on the road – 280km to Lak Lake and stay in a guesthouse overlooking the lake. We were up and ready to go at 7am but Mighty May wasnt playing ball and wouldn’t start at all. We eventually got leaving at 9am and thought this would still be easy peasy to make it to Lak Lake before dark– but the road surface was ridiculous for the full distance. Our first drama of the day - Martin got a puncture on a big pot hole within the first hour. Our second drama happened when wed stopped for some beer around 3.30 and Julia noticed the keys had fallen out of the ignition (probably due to one of the big pot holes). Now shed no way of turning her bike off or putting petrol in, at this point we were 80kms away from Buon Ma Thout (BMT) which was the next big city, hoping shed enough petrol to make it. Luckily she did and we arrived there before dark. She got new keys and got booked into a hotel. We had a look around BMT which was a nicer city then what wed expected and had dinner and a few well deserved beers to help numb the pain in our poor sore derrieres.

Next morning set off for Dalat which was 200kms and planned to stop for lunch at Lak Lake. It really was such a lovely drive – the sun was shining, beautiful countryside, the roads were good – this was going to be a good day! We stopped at Lak Lake for an early lunch and Martin used the swimming pool while we relaxed and soaked up some rays. Set off for the last 150kms to Dalat thinking wed be there by 3.30 – WWROONNGGGG! We had to go through mountains again which was beautiful but slow going and about 20kms outside Dalat it started to get dark – uhh ohhh we were going to have to turn the lights on again. We made it to 3kms from our hotel and broke down again. Phil had to push poor wee Mighty May the last 3km to the hotel. I found this hilarious but Phil didn’t see the funny side of it lol. So within 24 hours Martin had fallen off his bike and had a flat tyre, Julia lost her keys, we couldn’t get the bike started and broke down twice and wed all got bad sunburn – the joys of being a biker!

As it was becoming tradition at every new place we visited – Phil spends most of the first day at the mechanics. The mechanic in Dalat didn’t offer a plastic chair or refreshments – not a good customer experience. On the plus side – we got the bike fixed yippeeee! We did a bit of sightseeing around Dalat – had lunch at the lake and went to the ‘Crazy House’ which is a house with loads of mad rooms and staircases. It actually turned out to be so much fun. Unfortunately that’s all we done in Dalat – our Visas were running out and we had to move on.

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