To recap from the post below, we met a fellow in Dalat and agreed to travel with him as our guide on a 5-day journey to Hoi An. This post covers day 2 of our journey.

Day 2
We felt the 3am wake-up call of the roosters below us was a bit uncalled for considering the families in the longhouses around us didn’t quiet down until well past 1am. We drifted in and out of sleep during the intermittent crowing until the sun rose. After packing our belongings, we headed to the local restaurant for a round of French baguettes and coffee before hitting the road.

During breakfast, we watched as several tourists took their turn riding elephants. Although this is a minority village, they have caught on quick to the tourist trade. Unfortunately, all of the tourist trappings makes it somewhat of a hokey rather than authentic experience.

We cruised through countryside on our way to Buon Ma Thout. This area is the largest producer of coffee, and we passed our fair share of coffee plantations. I was looking forward to staying in Buon Ma Thout because it is said to be the best town for Vietnamese coffee. When we hit the town, we stopped for a coffee break and relished the chocolaty flavor of the coffee. It should be noted that Mr. Quang pretty much sustains himself on coffee and cigarettes. Although it was lunch time, we didn’t eat anything, not even a morsel. And anyone that knows me, knows that is a bad idea. I can go from hungry to hangry in a matter of minutes. Luckily, the caffeine temporarily subsided my hunger pains.

After our coffee break, we headed up the mountain to visit some waterfalls. Upon reaching the first waterfall, we saw some kayakers fixing to go over them. They considered their options for several minutes. Eventually, one of them got up the nerve and went over the falls. His friends photographed and videotaped him as he went over. When he finally popped up, he was without half of his paddle, but otherwise unhurt. We saw him as he headed to their awaiting van and gave him a high five. Apparently, he had bungled his first attempt and wanted to get a good one on film. He seemed fairly pleased with his second attempt.

We visited other falls in the area. Even though it was unbearably hot out, we spent 3 hours hiking around the falls. Returning to Mr. Quang, we were tired and thirsty. We ordered water from the refreshment stand, but the owner didn’t seem to want to sell it to us. First she said it wasn’t cold and we responded that’s ok. Next, she replied she didn’t have ice and we said again “that’s ok, two waters please”. She then proceeded to walk back to her tv and sit down. Hangry started to set in. Chris must have sensed my frustration because he valiantly stepped in and asked her again for water to which she responded her back hurt. What her back pain had to do with her inability to hand us two waters plainly in sight was beyond us, but in the end we got the water.

Getting dangerously close to full-blown hangry (we were now going on 7 hours since our last meal of a French baguette), I asked Mr. Quang if we could stop for a snack before returning all the way to Buon Ma Thout. The main city was at least an hour away, and I knew I couldn’t make it. He understood we needed to get something to eat, but as we passed restaurant after restaurant clearly heading all the way back to town I began planning an independent stop. Hangry set in as I cursed our guide for not stopping. I was in near hysterics and told Chris he was going to stop within the next 5 minutes, guide or no guide. Luckily fate heard my calls, and our motorbike ran out of gas. Most people might be concerned about being stranded on the side of the road without gas, but I made a beeline for the local snack shop. Happily munching on crackers, we waited until our guide noticed we weren’t behind him. Upon returning, he siphoned enough gas from his motorcycle to ours in order for us to make it to the next gas station only 1km away. He saw our crackers and motioning to his stomach he said something to the gist of “Vietnamese, no food”. Yes, clearly Mr. Quang doesn’t need food. We learned to carry fruit with us from that point forward as our lunch.

Later that night, we ate at a make-it-yourself spring roll joint. Rolling fresh spring rolls with rice noodles, pork, wild greens, cucumber, banana, and won ton strips, Mr. Q taught us the art of a good roll. He complimented Chris on his great rolling skills, but I never quite got the hang of it. They both kept laughing at my attempts. Chris also won the affection of the owner’s young daughter. She showed him pictures of her family and chatted away in Vietnamese. Toward the end of the night though, Chris momentarily stopped paying attention to her and was met with all the fury of a four-year-old scorned. She threw an empty beer can at him, and I couldn’t help but laugh. I knew exactly how she felt; I wish I could throw a beer can at him too sometimes.

We were warned that the next day would be our longest day, so we headed to bed early. We were happy to be in the confines of a quiet hotel without the worry of being awakened at 3am by roosters.

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