As we wake up after a good and long night of sleep we hear the continuous sound of drops of water falling on the balcony. When we later check at the reception the information of out weather apps is confirmed, rain no stop all weekend. Over breakfast we comfort ourselves with the idea that so far it hasn’t rained nonstop and after packing our backs we go to pick up our scooter. Our big backpacks will be brought to Hoi An which allows us to travel light and make sure we can keep our luggage dry as we ride to Da Nang.
We get a map, two helmets, a scooter and a poncho for Marlies, I will rely on my rain jacket. Our route is planned with the help of the guide and includes the Hoi Van pass, Marble Caves and Elephant Springs and will take us down the coast. We get installed and are on our way, as we roll out the street we become one of the 35 million scooters that are on the roads of Vietnam. The traffic in Hue is a lot less busy than in Hanoi which is perfect for getting used to Vietnamese riding, brakes and lights are the least of our concern as long as the horn works we’ll be perfectly safe. After a few test horns we get onto the main street to get out of the city.
The rain makes sure my shorts are soaked after the first kilometer but we are smiling all the way, nothing beats seeing, feeling, hearing and smelling the country while riding amongst the locals. After a stop for gas we continue our journey and the rain actually stops and with a temperature of above 25 it doesn’t take before we are entirely dried up. We take a short detour and ride on a small road in between the rice fields. As we get further away from the city the roads become more narrow and more bumpy and we start to pass numerous temple like structures. As we stop to check the map we learn that we are passing through graveyard city, all the temple like structures are tombs. Most are build by locals with money from relatives who have fled Vietnam after the war but still want to be buried in their hometown.
As we pass through taking in the tombs and being smiled and waved at by the locals we enjoy the warm and dry weather. This is interrupted by another shower of rain which is fortunately followed by another dry that dries our clothes once again. As we leave the rice fields behind we start to enter the mountains with lush and various vegetation which is the result of a lot of rain. The drops get bigger and come with plenty when we decide to stop at a small cafe where we prepare ourselves for another few hours in the rain. As we continue to ride towards the Hoi Van pass the rain gets heavier and heavier, making my contacts float in my eyes and the drops hurt on impact with my face. With one hand protecting my eyes I scream “adventure!” and hear Marlies giggle behind me. Beyond soaking wet we reach the Hoi Van pass and ride all the way up to find the summit covered in a thick layer of clouds, we smile and are treated to spectacular views on the way down.
When we reach Da Nang I navigate through the cities rush hour traffic like a local and park at a cafe with wifi where we have hot tea and book a room at a nearby hotel. We check in, spend considerable time in the shower to warm ourselves and enjoy instant noodles before we have a tasteful Korean meal in the city. Tomorrow we have a dry window of a couple of hours to get to Hoi An according to the weather app.
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