Our Mojo…Lost, then found again

Distance today: 64km
Total distance to date: 443km
Temperature (max): Don’t know—Humid. Really humid.
View the stats on Strava

We moaned. We groaned. We questioned our sanity and why we are here. We fantasized hopping on a flight to Thailand. The battle with big rigs on the highway combined with three nights in a row in a hotel-wasteland and the relentless search for some good solid food other than Pho, zapped us. Our mojo was gone. Enthusiasm depleted. There was an ocean literally in front of the hotel but we couldn’t see it for the foggy mist—or the construction torn road, the decaying relics of an amusement park, and dilapidated utility buildings. We consoled ourselves in a restaurant where we, along with four ratty rats, were the only patrons. We woke up in the morning with two options on the table—hop a flight to Saigon at the regional airport just 6 km away or continue our travels southward as planned. We needed a win.

We came here to see it all. We will not bail. With resolve and hope, we decided to roll on hoping for a sign from the universe that it was the right choice.

The road was bliss. Beautiful road surface, big wide lane to ride, zigzag, wibble-wobble on bikes at will with barely any vehicles. Frequently we had the entire road to ourselves. We found glorious frosty cold ice-cream, we saw lush green mountains—and when we rolled into town we stopped at the first hotel we happened upon and it was gorgeous! No searching. It just opened three months ago, and is manicured with lush tropical gardens—all for a measly $25. They are preparing for what appears to be a wedding party this evening. We will sit outside on lovely little cafe chairs watching the festivities with the interest of a small child.

PS. As we watch guests arrive for the celebration, situated in the far corner of the courtyard, little groups of young girls have discovered “the foreigners” and approach us very tentatively to look and to shyly say hello. They disappear only to re-emerge with a few more friends for some Show‘n Tell. It warms our hearts.

About the food
We are open minded and understand that in some countries you will see dog and cat meat on the menu. We withhold judgement but have memorized the words (thịt cho and thịt mèo) and take care to avoid them. But when we ride by an outdoor BBQ at the side of the street and there’s thịt cho rotating around a rotisserie it’s really hard (impossible) to unsee—no sign was necessary to identify it. We have also seen toads and eel at the markets, and have heard that pigeon is also a thing. We could really go for some pizza….


Is this a thing at home? Can you buy padded-bum shorts?

Posted in Uncategorized, Vietnam 2024.


  1. Loving your honest telling-it-like-it-is. That’s travel eh, the highs and lows, and what creates the lasting memories, the best stories to tell…

    • That’s right Nadia—the un-pretty experiences are what makes us appreciate the golden moments.

  2. You’re right about that. Glad you hung in! I’m already missing your blog when you get home!

  3. Sounds like the decision to preserve was a winner! You are both so hardy and brave. I probably would have got on a plane and said to heck with this! lol Hope the rest of the journey has more happy endings like this one. Love the narrative and photos!

    • We are really happy we made that choice….we would never know what lay in-between had we aborted and we would always wonder.

  4. Stay strong Anita and Randy and thank you for sharing the good, the bad and the ugly not to mention the oh so beautiful! Do you see many pick-up trucks – probably not needed by all accounts, judging by the amount of stuff carried around on bicycles!

    • There seem to be a lot of SUVs, but not so many pickups. We see a lot of impressive ingenuity with attaching utility trailers and racks to motorcycles. Plus, families of 4 ride on those motorcycles!

  5. Fill up on ice cream, over and over again…. Congrats on persevering! The memories are priceless as well as the experience.

  6. Your descriptions go straight to the heart. I really felt for you and am totally inspired by your perseverance.
    Yes, those padded bum shorts are robably available here and much less dangerous than the Botox treatments! 🤪

  7. Sounds like you guys are in the thick of it….intensity fortifies memories….and you guys are making a ton…
    Cheers !

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