This blog is for all of you people back in Europe that are currently still experiencing snow and temperatures below zero, or something of the likes. I am going to tell you this story, because I want to make you feel better. And if I don’t tell you these stories myself, someone else will on my behalf. We all know that story told by another person are always more colorful than they actually were. Sometimes that is better, but in this case I am opting for as little embarrassment as possible… Brace yourselves!
I have already told you about how I covered myself in orange mud (if you think I didn’t you have obviously got some updating to do). That was actually the least bad. The day before we had been out canyoning in the city of Dalat. It was so kool and it included something they call a slide. It is basically a waterfall that is smooth and takes you real quick from start to finish. This went horribly wrong. Everybody hated it. The most popular comment being: ‘This is not fun.’ I hurt my left knee quite badly. It swole up and I limped, but the next day it was as if nothing had happened until I decided to check out the orange mud. I fell on the same knee. My foot was actually stuck under my scooter and I was struggling to get up. Two perfectly straight scratches on my knee were the result, same on my foot. After sitting on a scooter all day and having struggled through the jungle not being able to worry about it, I was fine but for my flesh wounds.
Even before that though, when we were still in Ho Chi Minh City, and we had just bought two of our four bikes, I got off from the back and burned my calf. Not just any regular burn, but one that became a pretty nasty blister. This didn’t just happen to me, the boys one way or another all ended up having the same burn
That same evening, my brother’s phone got stolen. He got into fight trying to prevent others getting robbed, too. When Roy saw this, he naturally came to his rescue. He got peppersprayed. The upside to this unappealing situation was that the boys they went and helped out were so thankful they bought them beers for the rest of the night. The pepperspray must not have been very good, because after some careful washing and 30 minutes all had returned to normal.
No such luck for me. The following night, my purse was ripped from my body and the bad guys got away with my camera, phone and a LOT of money. No one came to my rescue. As expected even the police could care less. After three days of waiting to get my police report back for the insurance, we gave up and left Ho Chi Minh.
When we got to Hoi An, we had a fun night of drinking and meeting people. We might have had a bit tool much to drinmk as the boys’ memory had to be filled up with my stories, like how they got into the room since the gate was closed at the time they came back. So I happily explained them that they had probably taken the same route I had, namely throwing one leg over the fence in one giant’s step. That is when I laid eyes on my leg: all bruised and covered in blood – I somehow manage to get stuck and my leg’s entire right side was black and blue.
Eventually, we got close to Hanoi – our final destination. We decided to make two long days to have time to go do the Sa Pa trail and go boating in Ha Long bay. We almost made it! But about 90k from Hanoi (after having driven nearly 750k effortlessly), my bike broke down and the garage had to keep ir overnight to fix it. When we were finally on our way again the next day just before lunch, we were feeling optimistic. We would definitely make Hanoi for lunch.
We jinxed it ofcourse, by thinking that. Soon enough Roy’s bike decided to give in too… It took them the whole afternoon to fix it. In the mean time, I went to the pump to get gas. And I fell again on loose stones. I have a horrible wound on my right foot and elbow, and minor ones on both my hands and my right leg. Finally, my left side had healed and now I hurt myself so bad I can hardly walk!
We spent the day playing cards in front of the garage.
We did make it to Hanoi that day, however, be it after dark! But not before Arlon had yet another flat tyre just 13k from our final destination. We also lost each other in Hanoi’s crazy traffic. We had decided on a place to stay already so during a little spill of luck we all found our way and lived happily ever after.
We have just finished the Sa Pa trail without any getting injured. No one even as much as slipped or fell! Maybe it is because we are almost leaving. Maybe it is because the south of Vietnam is bad news. Maybe it is because we weren’t careful enough (or should I say I wasn’t careful enough?) Maybe it was just plain stupidity.
Whatever it was, I hope you feel better back home in the snow knowing that travelling is not always a walk in the park either. I did this for you.