Baskets that float
Our next destination was Mui Ne - a strip of beach that has become the place in Vietnam for kitesurfing. On our way to Mui Ne our large bus had several "near-miss" encounter with on coming traffic. It took us some time to realize that this is a normal occurance on vietnams streets. It takes trust and time to get used to...one month was not quite enough. I was delighted about Mui Ne, because it was an actual beach and we had decided to give ourselves as much time as we needed to decompress. Our bus dropped us on the main road and again two moto drivers were anxiously waiting to take us to our hotel. We checked and made ourselves confortable. The restaurant downstairs had excellent food and the pool at the edge of the sea offered a nice break from the humid weather. We had not seen the sea since leaving Koh Tao, almost 2 months ago.
Before jumping onto a board and flying with the wind, we decided to rent a scooter and do our obligatory motobike exploration. As I sat on the back of our bike, I started to think about all the islands we have visited in the last 8 months and how many we explored on this very popular form of transportation. Without a map and uninterested in directions, we set out to find the sand dunes and see our first coastal phenomena – the basket boat.
They are adorable - the sweetest sight being the lone fisherman who is paddling back to his boat. They could be found stranded on land (or as we saw later that night, recycled into a bar swing) or floating and attached to a larger fishing vessel.
After the sand dunes in Natal, Brazil, these here in Mui Ne were far less interesting. I did indulge the small local boy who was selling sled rides for a few dollars and with one push I was on my way down the dune. Patrick watched from up top and let me be the one to get sand up the nose. When we clearly did not want any more rides, or local friend quickly disappeared, in search of the next tourist looking for a thrill. For me, the rest of the afternoon was spent a few meters from the sea, while Patrick took a refresher kite boarding class.
20 - 27. March
Waiting for wind
For eight days, we have been living at the Wind Champ Resort, anxiously hoping for wind, every morning. Diligently, Patrick is up and ready to untangle strings and prepare his kite for a day on the water. As Patrick practices, I lounge in the sun or film the action on the water. On Sunday, when there was no wind, we indulged in watching the Formula 1 races from Malaysia at the sports bar of the neighboring Coco Resort. We mostly eat lunches at Mango, the Vietnamese restaurant right on the beach or at Wax, the beach lounge at the Wind Champ Resort. Patrick shares a beer at sunset with Felix and Sabina, the German couple, who are here in Mui Ne as instructors – the people responsible for getting him back in the water. Perhaps our playground is not more than 0.5km in either direction of our room. Cocktail hour is usually at Wax, with mojito happy hour and a game or two of pool. Twice we splurge on a fantastic pizza dinner at the Italian eatery Good Morning Vietnam, once at the French establishment Chez Christophe. Somewhere in between is a massage and aloe vera treatment to soothe sun kissed skin. We meet a lovely man from the UK named David, who may end up on our couch someday when he comes to check out if kitesurfing in SF is as awesome as Patrick makes it out to be. Our last dinner is at Moon, where we share Vietnamese fondue and prepare ourselves to again get on the road.