24.07.2012 42 °C
During my travels I would like to think that already I have delved myself into many aspects of the traveller’s life. I mean looking back on the trip I have done so much, I have climbed mountains and swim in seas, explored forts and found spirituality in temples, followed pilgrimages and watched a hundred splendid sunrises give birth to a hundred new days. But I am now in Nha Trang and a new aspect to the traveller’s is now starting on the horizon. Now I am by the sea and I have entered the party town of Vietnam. I think the way to describe the wonders of this town is to start with the lounge area of the backpackers, a military hospital for the soldiers of the drink, laying wounded from the previous nights battle recovering for another siege of the night life in the evening or ready to ship out to another town. The beach on the other hand is a long sandy beach with crystal clear water. On arrival we decide that the heat and travel has taken its toll and it is a day for book, sun and surf, so we put on a trunks and head for the beach ready for a hard day of R&R. A word of advise though, this is also the day that I gave ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ to Annie for her to read–a brilliant book that everyone should read. The only problem is that this well written book brought her to tears on several occasions and apparently girls will watch “the Notebook” and happy cry but not so happily on the beach, you have been warned!
The next day was when I got back on track to my travelling routine. After a fun night out with a group that seemed stupidly big for the fact that it only really started with three of us, I wake up and head out at 8am to go and see what this town this has offer except beach, bar crawls and road works (oh yeah forgot to say “man there are a lot of road works!”. I am surprised by how easy it is to get away from the westernised centre and before I know it I was standing next to a 26ft Buddha looking over Nha Trang taking in the splendor of the town and the tranquility of the area and all of this while struggling for air because it is 10.30am and it is already 42˚C and I have climbed what feels like a mountain. It is strange as I sat up there watching the prayers and the monks and I started wondering out of the hundreds of backpackers that come through this town, how many people come to this quiet point a short walk from the centre, but then again this town is for drinking for tourist and anyway I wouldn’t have my peaceful spot if it was overrun with people in vests and flip flops. I really enjoyed my day by myself and when I got back to the hostel about 4pm I felt less guilty when it meant going out that night.
My regular readers are probably asking the question by now “Joe you haven’t been on a motorbike for ages, is everything alright?” and the answer to that is yes I am perfectly fine actually great and today I am back in the saddle, with Annie on my back and we head to the hills. First stop Po Nagar Cham Towers a collection of the Buddhist temples, I would like to admit that the reason I went to this temple was to further my knowledge and education of the Buddhist religion or to experience the ritual of pray in a different part of the world, or to see the splendor of the temples, this is all true but sadly not the main reason. The main reason came the previous day when deciding what to do the next day and my good friend Josh turns to me and says I went to a temple that looks like a penis, done! Later that day in a small village about 5-6 miles outside of Nha Trang we come to another temple and go and have a look, next before we know it we are being attacked by the tiny dog and unsure what to do we turn and run. I ask the question, how do you stop and an attacking dog and when has a dog that small ever attacking anyone? So I can cross of the party town from the list of experiences and leave for Dalat happy in the knowledge that I had fun, made more friends, survived another animal attacking and saw a temple that looked like a penis in the childish minds of the travelling 20 somethings!