We hired a Honda Dream scooter today which was so weak compared to the larger bikes I’ve hired on this trip. Needless to say, with me and motorbikes, there had to be something go wrong! Coconut (see previous post) who hired the bike assured me there was enough gas to get to the gas station. Needless to say there wasn’t, so I had to push until we found one of the local petrol sellers. Lukcily this was only 100 yards away, and the bike was filled up from a glass bottle full of petrol, not quite the same quality of gas as from the proper station, but there’s no way I was pushing for another one or two kilometres.
Our destination was the amazing white and red sanddunes, 30km out of town, and a walk along the Fairy Stream to find a waterfall near the source. The Fairy Stream was a classic example of having to weigh in the ‘Lonely Planet’ factor when travelling long term. Yes, if you were here for two weeks as a normal holiday, go and see it, but the waterfall at the end was pathetic, it was just an enjoyable walk along a riverbed through some weird eroded sanddunes.
Luckily, in my usual style I managed to befriend a couple of local kids who spoke no English, but were happy to accompany us, laughing and playing around all the way, jumping in the water fully clothed, and loving me lifting them off the ground with one arm. They picked flowers for us, tickled us, and generally just had a laugh around a couple of white folk. Unfortunately, their mood changed dramatically near the end when they asked for cash and we refused. Even the balloons I gavce them were too hard to inflate, so they were a little dejected to say the least.
We then headed for another 20km along a beautiful beach road, fighting the onshore wind with the poxy little bike……and failed to find the correct entrance to the amazing sanddunes. We then came back and failed to find the correct entrance to the red sanddunes, and the red canyon, which is meant to give fine sunset views. Most people didn’t speak English in the area, but despite these being the only attractions in the area, any hand gestures on which way to go gets you conflicting advice in terms of direction and direction! And not one signpost in sight.
We sacked it off and headed back to town, passing the hoards of poeple heading out to find it for sunset. The only good thing was that it looked like it was going to be a crap sunset. When we got back to Mui Ne there were at least 25 kitesurfers out, around ten windsurfers, and at least the same amount again onshore. I hadn’t ever thought about sports outside snowboarding that people spend season away, but this place is definitely one of those for kitesurfing, and at this time of year it’s inundated with them.
Today was the first day I felt a bit ill on the whole trip. Luckily it was just like a bad cold, but I felt really weak and rundown. I decided it was time to have no alcohol for a day, today being one of only three post Raleigh days like it. The rest I’ve been on overnight bus journeys ;->