Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Day 1 saw us riding through Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, a mountainous, winding road through forest and jungle with amazing views the whole way.  A ride of around 250km, we were on the bikes for a few hours as the tight corners and steep hills, with our luggage, meant an average speed of only around 50kmh.  We finally pulled into Khe Sanh in the early afternoon and quickly found a cold beer or 2 to wash down a hard day on the bikes. 
After checking into Khanh Phoung Hotel, newly built and apparently the best choice in town, it was time to start the fun task of finding dinner!  We were directed just up the road from the hotel, out the front and turn left, maybe 40 meters away.  With basically no English and no menu, Pete started what would become a funny trend. 

He pretty much just says ‘what have ya got, give us a look’ and marches into the kitchen to look around! It was very funny, if you had met Pete, he just has this look and sound like he’s angry, we started calling him ‘Angry Pete’, but he’s far from it, just a nice guy with a funny demeanour.
When all else fails, you just get them to kill a chicken and that’s exactly what we did, but only after spending 5 minutes trying to explain that we wanted it bbq’d not boiled as they seem to do so often.  We were sorted, now there was nothing left to do but have a few beers while we waited for Fluffy the chicken to meet his grizzly doom.  Poor Fluffy!
The girls here were great though and came out to sit and chat (sort of) with us, then a table of Vietnamese guy’s came in that could all speak perfect English and the chaos ensued.  It was a great night of chatting, drinks and a delicious Fluffy, just one of those random nights of fun that happen if you get out there and let it.  

During the course of the afternoon though we had been in touch with a Swedish girl, Nea, from Phong Nha who wanted to join us.  Being in no rush we said we would wait in Khe Sanh 1 more night for her to arrive.
So the next day we just went exploring on the bikes, we actually ended up at the Laos border and went through some security checkpoint apparently as people in uniforms started yelling at us to turn around and go back!  Oops.  Then it was out to the Khe Sanh Marine Base where we checked out all the anti American propaganda…  I mean all the interesting material on display!  Not a whole lot to see really, but it kept Pete off the beers a little longer!
My poor scooter loaded up
This is the type of scenery we endured all day!
Khe Sanh
Friendly locals
Our mean machines...  Pete struggled to keep up with me on his 400.....    
The remains of fluffy...    he sure was tasty!
Look for this hotel