Friday, June 24, 2011

Mui Neh, Vietnam

Next we began our journey up the coast of Vietnam. Bus, train, motorcycle, ATV and a fair bit of walking helped us make it all the way from Hi Chi Minh to Sapa. I feel that my Vietnam adventure was pretty much a non-stop out of my comfort zone adventure. I did so many things the I never thought I would have the courage to do but with the help of my friends I pushed my way through the blood, sweat and tears and had a really great time.
Mui Ne- This is known as a place for great beaches but frankly after being spoiled by Thailand the beaches here seemed pretty craptastic. We did find a nice free pool to chill at and they also served delicious food so we pretty much camped out there all day. That night we found a bar called Discoteque complete with bumpin bass,beanbag chairs and cheap buckets-o-liquor. We ended up having a rousing game of truth or dare with a couple of other female backpackers and it got pretty rowdy. Irish dancing, strip tease on a picnic table and well...let’s just say you wouldn’t want to drink out of any of the buckets there any time soon. We like to push the few boundaries we have left.
Mui Ne is also known for their sand dunes so we went to check those out with a less than enthusiastic tour guide in an old military Jeep. On the way we got to see a floating village and some men making fishing nets by hand which was pretty neat. It still amazes me how primitive some of the tools used to sustain life in South East Asia are (more on that in another post).
A fisherman making a net 
Laura always wants to kick it up a notch and decided to ride an ostrich which I have to believe should be illegal. That thing looked so terrible with his saddle and missing feathers but it did provide us with a really funny few minutes as it ran her around the ring.
Laura was terrified when the ostrich took off running
When we got to the sand dunes we rented sled to go sand sledding however about another 50 ft down the path we quickly ditched the plastic carpets for 4 wheelers. Now I’m not sure if you are aware but "adventure sports" have terrified me since I was a small child and “Big Bill” Sherman would drive us around his parents lawn at what felt like warp speeds. It was basically Willy Nelson’s doppelganger rocking a cut off sweatsuit (yes pants and shirt)  with a bandana tied around his braided mane Rambo style yelling over the engine in his raspy voice “Don’t let go Casserole” laughing while I was trying not to piss myself. I was not an adventurous kid who liked to be thrilled and the fear I had as a child came flooding back to me as I started at the mountain sized sand dunes in front of me. With encouragement from Lizzy I sucked up my fear and got on. I moved very slowly at first and after I felt more comfortable I picked up speed and was whizzing around the dunes.
Rocking my 4 wheeler
I almost cried when I got stuck at the peak of a dune and was convinced that I was going to start sliding down the hill with this machine on top of me. I mean I do have a tendency to catatraphize things just a wee bit however it was really freaking scary. Lizzy came to my rescue and helped me through and I made what can only be described as like a 16 point turn on the top of this narrow peak and then ploughed my way back down the hill. Out of my comfort zone task # 1.
Liz, me and Laura at the top of a dune

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