Step through motorbikes are fun.
Today we dangled a big carrot for the girls to do their homework. Motorbikes.
The girls then got through some homework with more efficiency this morning. So we then picked up two bikes at lunch time for $5USD each for an entire day.
I was sceptical about allowing Summer to ride a motorbike, as her driving skills on the pushbike have been less than impressive. She has ridden into the back of me who had spring on the back, this led to tears from Spring, into the back of a South American Tourist at the markets and then over a Japanese tourist foot on the bridge over to An Hoi Islet. But hopefully automatic step through scooters should be OK?
We did a few trial runs around the hotel and once Summer got her confidence up we were off. Not quite like a bikie gang but it was cool navigating the traffic like the locals do.
We then decided to go to An Bang Beach, apparently a top 10 beach in the world. It is only 4 KM from our hotel. My bike was nearly out of petrol so we had to fill up on the way. This was quite an experience. The old servo attendant put a little bit in for me, then a little in for his mate and then a little in for Summer and the western tourist pays the lot.
Summer was not having a bar of this and we only parted with $80000VND instead of his insisted price of 100,000, roughly 3 litres each scooter. We then proceeded to the beach and when we arrived down the main section we were ushered into pushbike, motorbike scooter parking bays. Now I wasn’t having a bar of this as I had read about this scam on trip advisor. So we rode up to the end and then a siren goes off with a sign no parking but I can see all the local bikes about 10 meters in front of me really a scam, Summer had stopped a way back because it is quite hectic when you first go up the street so I turned around and we had lunch at a little café on the corner.
The deal here is, if you by a bottle of water you can park there all day. We then watched as we waited for lunch a lot of tourists get ushered into the parking bays. After a nice lunch we then went up to the beach.
It is a nice beach, I will say that the local café influence is a bit much for me, I really disliked the constant pestering for money or to have a drink to sit on the deck chairs. It really annoyed me to a point I just wanted to go. If you walk just 50 metres up the beach in either direction you could pull up your own section of sand and have the beach to yourself.
Anyway we had a swim and it was very relaxing. We got back to the scooters and went for another ride toward Da Nang.
We knew this was 30km ride so we stopped approx. 10km up the road. We then decided to turn around and head for Cua Dai beach.
Funny, we rode right past Cua Dia as it just looked like An Bang and went to the end of the road. We ended up at a local village, grabbed a drink and then rode into Hoi An. This was heaps of fun as we crossed the bridge to Cam Nam Island. Somewhere we had never been before. We rode through some local villages and checked out the 5 shrines at the end of the road. We then we rode back into town and got a little lost in the local area. It was there that I ran out of petrol as my fuel gauge was not working and my beast just blew raw fuel out the exhaust the whole time.
The girls both jumped on with Summer and I pushed my bike. I asked a local for some assistance, ‘no problem’ he said, petrol just up here. I pushed the bike about 50 metres to a house with what I thought were water bottles for sale out the front but then a little kid poured me some fuel out of a 1 litre water bottle. His mother then came out and assisted with another litre and all good, $58,000 VND later and funny enough my fuel gauge started working after that stop, don’t know if it was the PULP or regular.
We continued to ride around town like mad and decided to stop for dinner. This is where Summers day of riding went south. She had a little altercation with a car, she is OK as is Spring, it was at extremely low speed (walking speed). The car just decided to turn right really sharp into her path at an intersection, we were just about to take off at the intersection. To her defence it was not her fault. The guy apologised and we rode off. Had a nice feed in town and returned to the hotel in one piece. A really fun day had by all.
Half day of scooter fun.
We still had the scooters again for the morning. We decided to ride to An Bang beach again. This was good got to fuel the bikes up and just asked for the $60000 dong between the 2 bikes. This worked heaps better as the gauge was set prior to fuel being pumped.
Rode to the beach and this time just stopped at the café got a bottle of water and walked up to the beach. We grabbed a chair on the sand and had a wonderful swim. Spent a couple of hours down the beach and then returned to our stuff on the deck chair. The lady was expecting us to have a drink on our return even though this was not relayed on to us prior to taking the chair as we thought they were not part of her café, had a few words and then just walked off, ‘you buy drink’ she said, no I not thirsty.
I don’t know what got into me I just didn’t want a bar of it. Maybe it is the aggressive approach from the lady that got up my nose. Anyway we all walked off and the lady followed us all the way up the street until we went into the bike area. We then went for a shower at the same place we showered at yesterday except today was $20000 VND for shower water. Don’t know if it was local looking after each other and a bit of pay back. Any way had our showers and got out of dodge.
I feel this place will be spoilt by this sort of aggressive money grab approach if it has not been already, Summer just thinks I am being tight. Anyway we rode into town across the bridge to a nice spot away from the river on An Hoi island. We grabbed a few drinks and then just watched the world go by. It was very relaxing and very hot. We then had to return the scooters as our day hire was over. Returned the scooters grabbed a feed at the local café and then returned to the hotel for the girls to get some school work done. We lucked out with the weather as it was a scorcher so the girls sat inside and got some homework done.
Today was a truly lazy Sunday. The days of the week are starting to be a blur and we have been more focused on the dates so when we realised it was Sunday and we thought let’s just relax. The girls went down for a swim in the pool and Summer and I just sat by the pool looked over the internet for our next places to go, flights, accommodation and to just put together some thoughts for the next few months ahead.
One thing left outstanding from Hanoi was Autumns new laptop. We had to get the rest of the down loads and updates done at the FPT in Dha Nang. We thought it best if we hired a driver for tomorrow morning to take us in as we really had no idea were the FPT store would be located. We arranged this with hotel staff and then went to our local area for some lunch returned to the room for the girls to do a little bit of school work and then rode into town for dinner. A really lazy Sunday.