General, Travel

Toppling Hell’s Angels

I am starting to get used to waking up early with an alarm. And I am starting to get used to wanting to get up early to make the most of my day. Not that the latter applied today, we were up early to get on a 4hr bus journey to Hue. Hue may as well be Pluto I know that little about it. Jade and I are trying to save money where we can at the moment, so when we saw bread rolls and cold meats at breakfast, we decided we would ‘acquire’ lunch from the breakfast buffet. May as well make the most out of the included meals when you can. Dad would have been proud.

We stopped at a lovely location at the summit of a windy, coastal road. We could see for miles, the views were spectacular. It was a shame about the constant hassling from everyone. There was a very cute puppy that I am sure they’d have sold if you showed too much interest. Even so, we got some nice pictures.

When we arrived in Hue, we didn’t expect that much from a hotel that was down a back alley up a side street. Once in our room, that changed, as we saw we had a balcony. Considering what I said here about the poor views Jade and I have had, this was a significant improvement, and has easily worked its way to the top view of the tour so far, hopefully HaLong Bay will change that. The view from the balcony is still of roofs and streets, but the balcony makes it better. We decided to make the most of it, and did a load of hand washing and hung it out to dry on the balcony. If the air-con and wifi worked a little better it would be my favourite hotel. There are also a lot of sports channels, it’s a shame they will be showing all the premier league matches except the ones featuring Liverpool and Stoke, our teams. Oh well, it’s nice to watch live football either way.

After lolling around in our room and eating our acquired lunch, we met everyone in the lobby ready for a motorbike tour of Hue. There are over 36 million motorbikes in Vietnam, over a third of the size of the population, so it really is the best way to see Vietnam. We boarded the bikes we were assigned, and our drivers rode off with military precision. It was wonderful, I realised why I loved motorbikes. The feeling was great, and the views of the area were spectacular. We stopped off first at a local village and saw some local communal houses and fishing contraptions, before riding to the second location – the royal tombs of Hue.

I don’t know what I was expecting, but the tombs were quite disappointing. I don’t know if it is because the Motorbike riding was so good that I didn’t want to be off the bike, or whether I have been spoilt by the architecture I have already seen, but the place was a tad naff in comparison. The third stop, by comparison, was up an off-road dirt track and afforded the most spectacular views of a lake and the forest along the Laos border. This stop, and the next one where we got to make an incense stick for free, were the best by far. That said, the sunset views from that last one were impressive.

They way back was much busier, and a crash seemed inevitable. Sure enough, a man walked in front of Patty’s bike, the driving breaking suddenly, causing a shunt behind, which left Jade and her driver on the floor. I panicked at first, but once I saw she was OK and getting back on the bike, I started laughing. First Lara and her puncture, then Jade and her crash – she had said her driver was trying to kill her!

Once Jade’s knee and elbow was cleaned and sorted, we headed out to a local place for tea. and decided on a plan of action for tomorrow. We saw the imperial citadel on the motorbike tour, so we thought we deserved a lie-in, especially when there is another sleeper train tomorrow night. We also picked up some snacks on the way home to watch the football with tonight, and for the train tomorrow – they had proper chocolate. We’re going to attempt to download Strictly before we get on the train so we have something to do for at least a while on the train.

It has been nice to watch some football live on the TV, just a shame it’s not Liverpool (even with how they are currently playing.) An early night and a lie-in is needed!

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