Sunday was the day we left Phong Nha. Beth and I met by Phuoc, the leader of the bikers, and our two drivers. Mine was called Chung.
Right away I noticed that I felt comfortable enough to take pictures with Chung driving. But the first stop was not far away. We picked up Veronica and Jo and had a coffee ourselves at the Riverside Cafe. Beth had asked for a stop here to try the supposedly best coffee. And I can tell you it was fabulous. Three kinds of different beans and a hint of chocolate. The white stuff at the bottom is condensed milk so I didn’t stir it. The last couple of drops were too sweet then from the milk.
About five minutes into our tour Beth driver noticed that his front tyre had too little air. So we all stopped and waited, while he turned around and fixed the bike.
After this involuntary break of 20 minutes we were on the road again. The road actually being the Ho Chi Minh Trail through the national park. And I noticed that except the motor nothing on this bike worked.
But that didn’t matter, I had the fullest confidence in my driver and also in Phuoc’s ability about organizing the whole trip. And I was right, these three days were fabulous.
We stopped every 30-40 minutes to drink some water that Phuoc had stored in his saddle bags with enough to ice to keep it refreshing, including some lychee. The road was very scenic and just driving through the park was a pleasure. After the first kilometers I knew I had made a very good decision in coming with these women.
The small whitish band in the back is a sandy beach.
We stopped somewhere on the road for lunch and a short while later we were off again.
And then the rain was upon us but for this eventuality they were prepared. I first thought there was really no need for all this rain gear, but about two minutes after we got dressed it started to rain cats and dogs.
So dressed like the smurfs (except for Beth’s driver who forgot his rain gear and looked like a drowned rat) we arrived in Khe Sanh, a place with a lot of history for the Vietnamese.
But before we got to this part we checked into our hotel for the night; I shared my room with Beth and I couldn’t have asked for a more considerate roommate.
We met and went for dinner just two doors down from our hotel. Phuoc had called ahead and ordered their specialty, chicken in sticky rice. As you can see the whole chicken is covered in the sticky rice. As far as I know the chicken is pre-cooked/roasted, then covered with the rice and then deep-fried again. I think the chicken might have appreciated another 5 minutes in the oven, but the sticky rice was perfect. And you had to dip it in a salt – pepper mix which was with lime juice. So good, you can’t imagine!
And this is how our table looked afterwards.
I am still sad that I couldn’t finish the rice. So good! Yours, Pollybert