Eric and I arrived in Quy Nhon, Vietnam on New Year’s Eve at about 4:00 pm. hot, tired and dusty. We’d been cycling hard for five days (over 400 km) to get to a larger town where we thought we might find some New Year’s Eve excitement – i.e. possibly some pizza, parties and people who speak English. We scored on 1 out of 3 but, as it turns out, we were too tired to care about the rest.
Quy Nhon is a lovely town located near a long, lovely, fine-sand beach. The town has wide boulevards, mature trees, and a good mix of hotels and restaurants, especially seafood. What it doesn’t have is a large foreign tourism industry. In other words, the Vietnamese come here for weddings, honeymoons, and family vacations. Tourists head to other places like Hue’ and Hoi An. Aside from Karaoke joints there is not much going on here.
So, last night’s New Year’s celebration was very low-key: a pre-dinner beer, seafood noodles and beef hotpot with beer, and another beer with some Canadian motorcycle travelers at the table next to ours. I don’t know why I was thinking we would be in any shape to party even if we were in a city that “partied”. We were in bed by 10:00 pm which is actually a fairly typical New Year’s Eve routine..good intentions of being the “life of the party” but zoning out hours before the Time’s Square Ball drops.
This morning both of us woke up feeling very exhausted. Our legs ached. (How can that still happen after 4500 kilometers?), our eyes felt heavy and the Vietnamese coffee did not (never does) really give us the kick of caffeine (Does it even have caffeine?) that we so needed.
We both agreed that our bodies needed a rest from cycling, and route planning, and hotel selecting, and sightseeing. We both agreed that we should even stay an extra day – no cycling, no planning, just rest.
After reading Dave Barry’s “A Year in Review 2014” (thanks, Ellen) from the comfort of the 70th different hotel bed in the past 90 days, I felt ready to breath some fresh air.
A walk on the beach with a slight breeze at our back and gentle waves lapping at our bare feet was the kind of R&R that appealed to us both.
Then we found a brand new shopping mall with a movie theater. “Paddington” (I’d never heard of it but a quick search on Rotten Tomatoes and Imdb confirmed that it would be an OK choice) was showing in English with subtitles so we bought the movie package (2 tickets, 2 Cokes and a large popcorn) and supplemented with a personal pizza and a bag of gummy bears because “hey, we earned it with the past week’s ride.”
We loved the movie – the explorer stuff tied in nicely with two recent reads The Lady and the Panda and Into Africa about explorers finding specimens for natural history museums. And, we sat next to a lovely Vietnamese teacher and her nephew who want to show us around town tomorrow – yeah, no planning.
A final stop at a Big C, the local supermarket to purchase laundry soap, wine and chocolate- three things that kind of sum up our non-riding days – made for a relaxing start to 2015. The wine helps, too.
Happy New Year 2015!