From Cuc Phuong to Mai Chau. 13th Jan.

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Not an illness, lunch for locals. Still alive.


If you don’t like baby eels, how about cow’s stomach or clotted blood? Yum, yum.


Foggy, cold, wet. Could be England.

One of best breakfasts with warm crusty bread that wasn’t sweet, stuffed with an omelette.  Fairly flat cycling through the villages, stopping at a local market, selling a bit of everything. Well, bits of a cow that usually get put back into the animal food chain.  The Vietnamese taste buds favour the extremes of sweetness with very sour.  Paul not a fan of their tiny bitter apples.  Vietnamese ladies will drink vinegar believing it will keep them slim.  Another bowl of ba pho (beef and noodle soup) for lunch at a local restaurant.  The flavour enhanced by slipping in a chilli or two – very hot!

Cycling through the minority villages of the Muong.  Stopped for a roadside snack: suck on some sugar cane and munch on a chunk of sweet corn baked on their roadside fire.  Pretty wet by this point from heavy drizzle cycling along part of the Ho Chi Minh trail.

Treated to a terrific downhill heading towards our ecolodge.  Big excitement with bus losing brakes and powering down the hill screaming past Paul, smashing through the roadside barrier and dropping into mountainside drainage ditch. Phew.

Approach to Mai Chau Eco-lodge is through the Thai minority villages in Mai Chau, very pretty with well tended vegetable gardens and houses on stilts.  Very excited to see all the facilities offered here, a bar (yea) great room with non-flouroescent light bulbs and clean sheets.  Even a choice of tea.

Big treat.





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