Saturday, November 10, 2007

Rainy Season Is Over...Yeah Right!!

Thien An Hotel

N 11 57' 10.5"
E 108 25' 56.0"

Elev: 1486m

11567km from Home

(GPS Readings)

This morning in Dalat is a little bit sunny, though still the clouds are around. The mountains are a nice change from the coastline. The humidity has dropped today, and the temperature is around 20 right now just before 8am, which is pretty typical around here due to the elevation.

Yesterday we travelled from Hoi An in a regular type bus, which left an hour late and got here at least 2 hours late. I'm not sure why we left late but I do know why we took longer than expected to get here.

The weather was definitely monsoon if not typhoon conditions (well maybe not that windy), with it practically impossible to see it was raining so hard. One of those days that you say "just when you thought it couldn't rain harder,...". It also came and went though, at times almost stopping. The road and villages we passed through were flooded in a number of places and not just along the coast to Nha Trang. After Nha Trang (which looks like a very nice beach town), we eventually turned inland toward the Central Highlands and Dalat. After another hour or more of flat land we began to climb upward on a very twisty and often quite steep road, not a Tour de France kind of road, more of a Giro D'Italia in the Dolomites style. We could frequently see the road below us, and I do mean below.

Torrents of red-brown muddy water crashed down the hillsides in what might be gentle brooks in dryer seasons. River banks, what river banks? The hills were also steep enough that the bus spent a good amount of the climb in second and even first gear.

For entertainment today we have decided to taka a minibus tour aorund the area. After yesterdays weather we did not really expect to be able to see very much on our own by walking, and things are stretched out here. Renting a moto also does not seem like it would be a lot of fun if we get that weather back today.

Around this area are some nice waterfalls and other sites like silk farms and small villages a bit further afield, so the guided bus thing will be nice anyway.

We are spending more here than any other hotel yet and the tour adds to our costs. The hotel room last night was $20, though tonight we will move to a $15 one on the next floor up. The hotel is very nice and only recently built. In Canada it would be a $200-300 room we guess, so we are not complaining.

Breakfast was included, and it was outstanding. Mangoes, pineapple, pomegranate, bread, cheese, eggs, coffee, milk and on and on.

Gotta go now our tour will be here soon!

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