Hai Van Pass and Da Nang

Before we get on to today’s events Dad, 

I need to fill you in on last night’s escapades. After writing last night, I noticed a strange rash form on my arm. Didn’t think much of it until 20 minutes later when I noticed it on my legs. After a through check, I was covered all over in some strange rash. The only parts spared were my face and neck. I had no idea what on earth it was. So I did what every sensible person would do. I had a Skype consultation with Dr. Mum. She was confused as well. The only thing different was the vegetarian meal cooked by nuns I had that lunchtime. After dosing myself on antihistamines and a Luke warm shower, the rash slowly started to go down. 

I have therefore decided I am allergic to vegetarianism! – or Tofu. One of the two. Tofu was the only food I remember eating that I have not eaten before. 

Anyway I woke up.this morning and it was as good as gone. I did wake up feeling lethargic though, and a bit out of sorts. 

But there was no time to worry about that, I had a bus to catch. I had booked a bus transfer to Da Nang which went via the Hai Van Pass. Well a 12 seater bus had 12 passengers, plus a guide, driver and 12 people’s luggage. To say it was cramped would be an understatement. I know you would not have dreamed of getting on a bus, but a car for one person was crazy money. I know you would have paid it, but I am on a bit of a budget here. 

We first stopped at a Tam Giang Lagoon for a quick photo and then onto Lang Co Beach for another photo. From.there we drove along the Hai Van Pass. It was breathtaking. However the weather started to change the higher up we got. It became far more over cast and dark. By the time we got to the peak, the cloud had rolled in, and we were in the centre of it. Taking photos was a futile task. It was disappointing to not have a clear view, but never mind. You would only say it was not as good as your view anyway I suppose. 

The bus dropped me off at my hotel, and I attempted to check in. The hotel.had no reference of my booking and asked to see the confirmation. I showed them. They were still confused. I then showed them an email. The manager scurried off. She came back eventually and said ok. I am guessing they gave up trying to find it. She then explained that they had no double rooms left, so I would have to have a twin room. Sigh. Whatever, as long as I have a bed, I’m only here for two nights. 

By the time we sorted all this out, I was hungry. It was well past lunchtime and I had been up since 6. I dumped my case in my room and ventured out. Only to be stopped at reception. I was told I had a phone call. Now I was the one confused. It was the hotel I had just checked out of. Now confusion turned to panic – what did I leave behind?! Turns out that the tour I booked for tomorrow has been cancelled. They did not realise I was a single traveller. How they missed it I don’t know! Now my next challenge, how do I get a refund on it. I had to pay for the tour in cash, they would not take card. The woman on the phone explained they would transfer the money to my current hotel, but I paid for it in USA dollars and they would have to refund me in vietnamese Dong. Wonderful. I have not checked the exchange rate, but I am placing bets the numbers do not fit exactly so one of us will be put of pocket. I am also guessing that person will be me. 

By now I was very hungry and annoyed. I soon established every bar around me served nothing but coffee, and the restaurants were crazy expensive for lunch. I would have to walk over the dragon bridge. It was not a long way, but hot, hungry and tired made it more tricky. After crossing the river i came across a cafe which served food. By now I didn’t care about the price and was starting to feel feint. As I sat someone opposite had a chocolate chip and oreo milkshake. Sold! 

As I was sitting there staring at the river, the waiter comes up to me and explains it is international Women’s day. He says compliments of the manager, he would like to offer me a rose. Flowers and a milkshake, my mood lifted pretty quickly, especially when they bought out my lunch. 

The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering around Da Nang. At a pretty slow speed too, the milkshake weighed me down. 

Da Nang is a strange place, I am not sure what to make of it. It is a big city, with some modern high rises going up and billboards everywhere. But walking around it is missing something. It doesn’t have the ‘woah’ of Ho Chi Minh City’ or the ‘ooooh’ of Hue. Da Nang at the minute is more of a ‘hmmmm’. It may be that I am tired, or sluggish. I have another day of exploring tomorrow, especially now as I don’t have a tour, maybe I will get a better feel for the place. I do like the view from my hotel window though, i am overlooking the river.

Talk about a crazy day.

Night dad x


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