Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Up early, before 6, so as to fit in a run, have breakfast and make the 8.35 train comfortably. The only thing that didn’t work was my attempt to take a course record on a Strava segment – I relied on memory, raced North at speed then jogged South, and the segment runs south. Gah! A slower time than on the same route yesterday, for that segment.
And on logging in to check, I picked up notification that I’d lost a segment record from Gran Canaria. The irony. A day had made a big difference to the feel of the hostel, though. Arriving on Sunday the place seemed full of rude and inconsiderate fools, not least the four Israelis sharing my room, who took a phone call, walked in and out from the balcony chatting and spread their belongings over the floor before leaving a mess in their wake. I had minor revenge in not pointing out they’d left a moped helmet behind.
The next day, only two people arrived and once they’d unpacked and headed out, there was barely evidence they’d even been there – one had left a few things in order on the bed, the other though had squared everything away in segments within his locker drawer, leaving the bed clear. I was done and paid by 7.40. It’s recommended that you are at the station at least 30 minutes before the train to ‘check in’ though actually you just wait till they unlock the door to the platform. And half my trains have been half an hour or so late, so no real rush. Even so, super nice Mari roused a friend from the computers in reception for him to give me a lift to the station and I had to politely but firmly refuse a couple of times before they believed I was going to walk it, carefully marking the route on a map for me. Even though I came from there. And have a map. Super nice. Like a breath of fresh air.
7.5 hours to Saigon, then I check into a studio – a blast of frivolity for the end of the trip and to mitigate the busy city. Plenty of hilly terrain to travel through immediately outside Nha Trang, and bright sunshine to accompany the whole thing.