Hoi An

18 10 2009

Saturday 17/10/09

Rain, rain and more rain – just like home apparently .– only warmer, much warmer. We went on our first group guided tour today and now we know why we are doing our own thing. It was an interesting day despite the weather but we are glad that we don’t have to do it again tomorrow. My Son Being herded onto buses, boats and around historic sites is ok in small doses but could become a bit overwhelming we suspect.BusCham temple ruins

The bus was an experience: If you read ‘Jasmin’s pedestrian nightmare’ yesterday you will get an idea of our bus trip. The driver obviously believed he had absolute priority road use and just stood on the horn the whole way up a road the width we would expect in a secondary country road. You know, the sort that is wide enough to pass oncoming traffic but only with caution. Our driver must have attended an offensive driving school. He certainly has no idea what defensive driving is or if he does he must imagine it’s for all the other drivers on the road. BoatThe road was busy, wet and the edges soft from the rain but that did not daunt him in the least. On one occasion we passed a truck carrying bricks, a 4 wheel drive and some pushbikes all at the same time, 4 abreast! Maree kept elbowing me and telling me not to look, but I could not drag my eyes away, it was a sort of morbid fascination as we continually stared down certain death. All of this in a Chinese built bus that had more red lights flashing on the dash board than a carnival entrance. Locals hate Chinese made vehicles, the first day in HCMC our driver told us that, “Chinese motorbikes only last 2 years Vietnamese 4 years and Japanese very good bikes.” As our driver today hopped out the door for the second time to fix something, the tour guide informed us that this bus was only 2 years old but it was Chinese and no good. (For those mechanically minded, I think the problem was something to do with the brakes. Every time the driver got out I could see a huge red warning light on the dash board that simply said STOP! After a few minutes he would return and the light would go out for a while. I think he was releasing pressure from the power brake system.) It was a huge relief to head back by boat!

Hon Quap

Hon Quap (Cats Tooth mountain)

Asleep on the job

Asleep on the job

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