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Author Topic: Vietnam on a Russian Minsk  (Read 9660 times)

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Offline Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: Vietnam on a Russian Minsk
« Reply #60 on: March 29, 2012, 01:55:56 pm »
Great stuff this is.

 8)
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Offline Grondpad ™

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Re: Vietnam on a Russian Minsk
« Reply #61 on: March 29, 2012, 02:07:05 pm »
 :drif: can wait for more!
 

Offline eSKaPe

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Re: Vietnam on a Russian Minsk
« Reply #62 on: March 29, 2012, 02:28:14 pm »
Well done for going there and JUST DOING IT - and a great RR
 

Offline Would I?

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Re: Vietnam on a Russian Minsk
« Reply #63 on: March 29, 2012, 07:38:35 pm »
Really enjoying this RR.  :biggrin:
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Offline Klomper (RIP)

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Re: Vietnam on a Russian Minsk
« Reply #64 on: March 29, 2012, 07:43:31 pm »
Kom nou Gary, eks lus!!!  :mwink:
 

Offline Bosparra

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Re: Vietnam on a Russian Minsk
« Reply #65 on: March 31, 2012, 01:17:25 pm »
Ons soek nog!
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Offline Carrol

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Re: Vietnam on a Russian Minsk
« Reply #67 on: April 02, 2012, 03:06:02 pm »
Great report. Great adventure. Wonderful!
 
 

Offline Klomper (RIP)

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Re: Vietnam on a Russian Minsk
« Reply #68 on: April 02, 2012, 10:00:34 pm »
Sal die naweek weer skryf  :ricky:

Farkit maar jy vat jou tyd ne!!!  :mwink:
 

Offline Gasman

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Re: Vietnam on a Russian Minsk
« Reply #69 on: April 02, 2012, 10:05:36 pm »
Sal die naweek weer skryf  :ricky:

Farkit maar jy vat jou tyd ne!!!  :mwink:

eks actually besig om te skryf, hang nog so 30min aan dan kom nog 'n bietjie. Hoe was jolly?

Offline Gasman

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Re: Vietnam on a Russian Minsk
« Reply #70 on: April 02, 2012, 10:27:21 pm »
Day 6:
We woke up to some nice weather, which was a change that we really welcomed seeing as we have been soaking wet and cold for the last two days. We had a quick morning tee with our German speaking friend and his mate before he confirmed the direction that we should head into for the last time.



We decided to get some pho along the way somewhere and head out. Around 9am we rode through this little village and decided to stop at the only place that was open for some food. And pho is what we ordered again as that is the safest bet. Two dogs were tied up against a couple of pillars next to us and we could immediately see that they were rather hungry as well.  When our pho arrived I was sceptical and a bit confused as I haven’t had a mushroom in any of my previous meals. Turned out it was the kidney of some creature. After Camp had a quick investigation of the rest of the meat we decided to throw it to the dogs while the owner wasn’t looking. Strangely enough the dogs even refused to eat it after a couple of bites. Camp wasn’t happy with this bloke as he also ripped us off when we asked for the bill.



 Time for a quick stop and to empty our own tanks. There’s a lot of construction going on in Vietnam which is a real good sign. Seeing as it was Tet there weren’t any trucks or busses on the roads, which was a blessing as we later realized. While bridges are being build, the locals make their own little road in the meantime or use the one that the trucks use.





We were heading towards Na Hang, hoping to reach it by around lunch time as our final destination for the day was Ba Be lake. Every now and then we pulled over to take in more of the landscape, have yet another look at the map and relax a bit.



The road up until now wasn’t too great and we were not making good time. Our spirits were lifted tremendously when we arrived at this road sign as the quality of the roads got seriously better. We knew we were actually about to make our first goal on time for the entire trip thus far, so we decided to relax a bit more and take our time.







You will still be riding through complete jungle and a “deserted” part of Vietnam, just to be greeted by a huge construction around the next corner. The Vietnamese are seriously into building dams to generate hydro electricity, which is amazing to see.





We reached Na Hang and decided to skip lunch and push on so that we can spend more time at our final destination for the day devouring a couple of beers hopefully. Here you can see one of the techniques that they use to catch fish in the background. I’m just not sure exactly what the technique is, but assume that the fish get caught inside the floating bamboo structure.



The majority of the people around these lakes are fishermen, if they aren’t farmers. This guy must have some good balance.



Time to cruise on. I can already taste that beer...



(Day 6 to be continued...)

Offline landieman

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Re: Vietnam on a Russian Minsk
« Reply #71 on: April 02, 2012, 10:38:11 pm »
nice one.enjoying this R/R :thumleft:
don't worry about things you can't change,change the things you can.
 

Offline TheAnt

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Re: Vietnam on a Russian Minsk
« Reply #72 on: April 03, 2012, 09:23:30 am »
Very good RR! What a interisting country Vietnam! Must add this to the bucket list  :thumleft:
 

Offline N[]vA

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Re: Vietnam on a Russian Minsk
« Reply #73 on: April 04, 2012, 03:24:53 am »
awesome stuff  :thumleft:

That Phu with the "mushroom" is the one im not a fan of, mostly all raw beef and other bits, kidneys, lungs (tastes a lot like liver) and stomach lining

nom nom nom  :eek7:

If you want a real mind fuck try the fermented shrimp sauce or the pickled duck fetus  :sign18: :sign18:
So much of win it hurts! ^.^


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Offline landieman

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Re: Vietnam on a Russian Minsk
« Reply #74 on: April 04, 2012, 05:26:47 am »
 :puke_r:
don't worry about things you can't change,change the things you can.
 

Offline punisher

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Re: Vietnam on a Russian Minsk
« Reply #75 on: April 04, 2012, 03:23:59 pm »
great  stuff ........... you are a lucky shyte   man  :thumleft:
just wanna have fun , and ride ... and ....... ride
 

Offline Bosparra

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Re: Vietnam on a Russian Minsk
« Reply #76 on: April 04, 2012, 03:30:58 pm »
Must be a trip of a lifetime... :thumleft:
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Offline Operator

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Re: Vietnam on a Russian Minsk
« Reply #77 on: April 04, 2012, 03:39:30 pm »
< Subcribed >  :thumleft:
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 03:42:31 pm by Operator »
 

Offline Gasman

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Re: Vietnam on a Russian Minsk
« Reply #78 on: April 04, 2012, 05:41:54 pm »
Day 6 (Continued):
Just to pick up from where we left off... We got through Na Hang and decided to push on without stopping for food or drink. Now this is where we seriously had trouble with figuring out on the map where we were and had to make use of getting directions from locals, which turned out to be more of an opinion than a fact. We got about 3 different directions for every 5 people that we asked how to get to Ba Be Lake. We decided to take the road that looked like it was sort of a main road... The road only really lasted for about 5km and became seriously eroded after that.

We came across two local soccer teams playing it out on an old rice paddy, so we stopped to show our support. It wasn’t difficult to spot the village idiot who kept on kicking the ball as hard as he could in any direction every time he got close to the ball. This ended up 90% of the time with the ball bouncing off the field down onto the next rice paddy and the next and then next... This would be fixed by sending one of the kids down the hill/valley to go and fetch the ball again.



After about 10min we decided to get going as we had no idea how far we still had to go for the day and the road looked like it was closed just ahead. We didn’t pay much attention to the boulders that were placed across the road and thought these guys might have put it there to avoid the spectators getting run over.

We kept going for about 20min as the road just got worse and was greeted by a nice little mud slide around the next corner, blocking the whole road. I told Camp that we just need to get over this mud slide and the road will appear again in about 50m or so. Only time would tell and we decided that I should tackle it first. (check out the video below)

http://s1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa336/Core88/Vietnam/?action=view&current=Vietnam291.mp4
 
This is me very impressed with the power of the Minks’ first gear!



When we got to the top we could see the road emerging but thought it would probably happen around the next corner or so. Camp taking the lead for a while.



We were now having serious fun and had no idea where the hell on our map we were.





10min became 45min and 45min became an hour, but the road was still not emerging as I was expecting it to. I thought that this must be one hell of a mud slide... We came across some construction vehicles every now and then, but there was no one in sight as it was Tet.



After travelling for about 1h30min on this road we realised that we were badly lost and had no idea if this road will actually lead somewhere. But we have come too far to turn around as we would definitely only arrive back at Na Hang after dark, so we pushed on. The Jeep track didn’t last long and we found ourselves on a single track heading through the mountains. We had a good laugh when I showed Camp the shirt I had on for the day. Ironic...?



Camp taking the lead again for a while and enjoying the scenery at the top







The further we went, the worse the single track became and it turned out that we were actually on a Sheppard’s path going through the mountains somewhere North-ish in Vietnam. Spot Camp coming down this hill. The road started to get very slippery and it dawned on us that we need to be extra careful as it won’t be easy to get out of a mess here.



At times there would be a shear drop next to you of a couple of hundred metres and on your left a steep cliff face. Now we were really on an adventure!! I tried to block the idea out of my mind that so much can go wrong any second now, but it crept into the back of my mind every now and then. Strange the tricks that you mind start playing on you when you are tired and hungry...



We were tired as hell, hungry and thirsty but we kept telling each other that it could be MUCH worse and burst out laughing about it every time. This was amazing and we were soaking up every bit of it. I started looking out for abandoned huts along the way as a plan B just in case the sun would set upon us. The previous night Camp finished our last Oreo cookie after I warned him that it might just come in handy. He assured me that we can get more at the next town we drive through. So if this really got bad we would have to share some wine gums for dinner tonight without any Oreos...

It’s ironic that you never have time to stop and take pictures when the road gets really tough and dangerous and after a trip like this you are always disappointed that you didn’t take more pictures, especially of those gnarly moments.

After just over 3 hours of riding “over this little mud slide” we came across a gravel road again and some people sitting next to it under some makeshift shelter. This was a good sign as we can just turn back and sleep there for the night if we had to I thought. Cruising on the road came to a dead end at a river and I bursted out laughing thinking we couldn’t have been driving half the day just to end up at a dead end... Luckily there were some other people too.



We heard a noise coming from the river and saw a guy pulling up with his boat/canoe... this was about to get interesting.



We asked everyone for directions to Ba Be Lake and they looked at us if we were crazy. The guy with the boat was prepared to take us to Ba Be Lake for a huge sum of money and realized that he was hammered on rice wine. After 5min of trying to figure out our options the drunk skipper told us that Ba Be Lake is 2 hours down this river with his boat. We had about 25min of sunlight left and asked what was up river and how far it was per boat. He mentioned a name that I have seen on the map before and mentioned that it was 20min per boat. DONE!! We loaded the bikes on the boat that was very shaky and off we were. He had to balance us and the bikes properly as the boat was rather shaky and we weren’t keen to go down in the middle of nowhere. Off we went with this drunk bloke into the unknown yet again. (check out the video)

http://s1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa336/Core88/Vietnam/?action=view&current=Vietnam317.mp4

I got really excited as I have always wanted to have to put my bike onto a boat to cross it somewhere and carry on further on the other side.  And what better place as here and now!



I don’t know why but the words of a stereotypical American war veteran kept running through my mind... “You won’t know man, you weren’t there!!!!”









We approached this cave and I was wondering what exactly this guy was doing...



Cruising right into this cave you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face and we started using the flash of the camera to check out the roof of the cave which was probably about 30m above us.



We were in this cave for quite some time before we saw some light at the end of what we now realised was a tunnel through the mountain range.









Looking back at our tunnel



We only had a few minutes of sunlight left but weren’t really in any hurry as we still didn’t really have a clue where we were heading.



The skipper banked the boat and helped us unload the bikes. By now it was pitch black. We were very thankful though and “paid the ferryman”. He pointed us in a direction on a footpath, got back onto his boat and disappeared into the darkness.



There weren’t any little lights in the distance suggesting that there is some sort of civilization nearby (or on the horizon). The footpath took us through a water buffalo passage made from bamboo to keep them out of the rice paddies on either side of us. I was now under the impression that we were about to sleep in the rice paddies tonight but didn’t mention anything to Camp.



The footpath took a turn and was now running along a river bed. It wasn’t easy manoeuvring the bikes on a path that was about 30cm wide at times with a bamboo fence on the one side and a 2 metre drop into the river on the other. I couldn’t see Camp’s headlight behind me after a while and thought he must have slipped off into the river or something. There was no way that I could park the bike here and go back to check on him, so had to push on until the road became wider. When I got to Camp he was busy removing his mirror as it got stuck in the bamboo while driving and almost threw him off into the river. Luckily everything was fine, but mistakes are only seconds away if you are so tired that you can’t think straight anymore.

With the mirror off we were on our way again and started seeing some lights in the distance. Our spirits rose through the roof and we started pushing hard again. All of a sudden we were on a tar road which we couldn’t really believe. Some ladies next to the road pointed us in a direction and off we were. After 6km we came to a crossing and had 3 directions to choose from. I was so tired that I told Camp to just pick one and see where we end up. So tired that I didn’t even see all the lights that were right in front of us.



This was a back packers and I couldn’t believe our luck!! The first back packers I have seen in Vietnam and in the middle of nowhere! It almost felt dodgy, like the story of Hansie en Griekie... We pulled in and the owner sorted us out with a room for the night. He could actually speak English which made things a lot easier.



We asked the guy to bring as everything on the menu and a couple of beers. It must have been one of the nicest beers that I have ever tasted in my life and most probably ever will!! The food was amazing (honger is die beste chef) and we unpacked the bikes for the night.



After a nice cold shower we had a couple more beers and some coffee before we hit the sack. What a day!! It is stuff like this that just strengthens an already solid bond between two best mates.

The walls were so thin that I have no idea how the two Danish girls next door got any sleep with us farting and snoring the whole night. Some Vietnamese mattresses for the night just to keep us from falling into a deep sleep.



After the last couple of days struggling with our tourist map we got a new one from the owner of the back packers that should be able to help us out for the next day or two.

Offline pops

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Re: Vietnam on a Russian Minsk
« Reply #79 on: April 04, 2012, 07:35:03 pm »
awsome , brilliant , fantastic ect. ect. Thank you and keep it coming. :thumleft:
stupid , there aint no cure