has travelled Asia!!

Diễn Châu, Đông Hà, Lao Bảo

Getting out of Hanoi was a first issue because the outskirts are kind of endless. I finally found the 1A, the big highway down till Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). The next issue was to avoid buses as every single of them would stop to pick me up; and there is loads of them on this route. It didn’t take too long till an Ambulance (!), nearly provoking an accident. These guys also wanted money, as nearly everybody here but when I refused they wouldn’t leave but sit in there car, obviously undecided. They asked me again and I agreed to give them some gas allowance, 50.000 Dong (2 Euro) for 300 km. We reached Dien Chau only in the evening and the guys even brought me to a hotel despite all my efforts to explain them I wanna camp. Buts that’s impossible regarding the lack of a mutual language and the ignorance of what camping is. I was somewhat screwed, it was already dark but I found a spot to put up my tent anyway. The next day I got up very early, first of all I didn’t really know where I was and what the owner would think of me camping there; secondly I wanted to start in time to arrive earlier. Anyway I explored Dien Chau a little bit and then I tried to walk outside the city. Again this appeared to be much more difficult as expected. The 1A is more or less populated anywhere, I didn’t really saw a place there two houses where more than one kilometer from each other, especially not near cities. People everywhere were really happy to see me, even coming out of there houses, watching me, mostly smiling and waving inter alia women and children. Some even followed me, others wanted to help me but explaining hitching is as difficult as explaining camping and these people wouldn’t even speak English at all… And it doesn’t make hitching easier when there are people around, talking insistently to you and stopping the buses… Another reason to walk ‘outside’ the cities…

Eventually a truck stopped and I climbed in. It was only when I wanted to put my backpack in the back that I noticed there was another one sleeping there.Once more we didn’t share a language, but when can always introduce one selves, giving name, home country, age, family status and such things. And then there is plenty of time to be stunned of the landscapes, to think, sleep and smoke. When we reached the Pacific (oh yes, I made it to the PACIFIC!!) I thought about getting off and put my tent up right there but I considered it to long and missed that chance… I could also have gone as far as Ho Chi Minh City, that’s where the guys headed to. When we reached Dong Ha it was only six thirty but already dark and again I just set up my somewhere. Getting to the border city Lao Bao meant leaving the 1A and it was much more difficult to hitch here. I ended up in some kind of bus but at least I was driven directly to the border (after delivering loads of pots).

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