08 December 2013

Countdown Stopped; Launch Delayed... Because I LAUNCHED

Mid-afternoon Saturday (add 15 hours to PST, 12 to EST to get time here) I was taking a scenic ride through HCMC and was, for the first time ever while riding, wearing only a t-shirt, shorts, and my favorite Keen sandals. Thank goodness my toes were covered, because I was going about 25-30 kph (15-18 mph) when a family of three on a moped cut in front of me... then stopped dead in my path. They were less than 50 feet away, so I dumped the bike rather than hit them. As about six locals rushed over to lend me a hand, including turning off the bike, up-righting the bike, picking up keys (more on that later), and checking to make sure I was okay, the offending moped took off.

Once I collected my wits (at least as many as I had that day) I did an assessment… two road-rashed knees, as well as my right elbow, hand, and foot were the first things I noticed. I took off my helmet, and didn't notice any marks. With six other points of contact, I somehow managed to keep my head off the ground. If you're keeping track, you may have noticed that I only was the five points of contact. The sixth was brought to my attention when one of the locals handed me three keys that had been on a new keychain attached to my belt loop. I looked around and found a semicircle fragment of the keychainall that was left. Apparently, the rest of the key ring was ground down in the slide. I'm going to keep it as a souvenir, because the road rash will eventually heal…
I considered including a photo of the rash on the elbow, and then thought better of it. 

You're welcome.

The good news is, that with a little bit of repair the bike will be back in excellent running condition; I guess it's even more important that with the exception of a few 2 in.² patches, I am whole... And they will disappear, though I may end up with a new scar or three :-)

Today (Sunday) was supposed to be the beginning of the motorcycle portion of my trip. With the need for repairs to the bike and the couple days it will take for everything to scab up, I now plan to leave Tuesday morning. In case you're wondering, I'm not riding the bike again until it's fully repaired.

The day started out a lot better. I sat with Cong and my Reise maps of Việt Nam before breakfast and he helped me map out my real world route and time frame. It's gonna take quite a bit longer than I thought to get to Laos (pronounced Lao on this continent)...

Path will be: HCMC to La Gi (home of G)Mui NeDalat—Buôn Ma Thôut—Pleiku—Hoi An—Đa Nẵng—Dong Ha—Kỳ AnhThanh Hôa—Hà Nôi.

Without layover days (Hoi An/Ha Long Bay/Hà Nôi/Sa Pa) that's three weeks! If only I were traveling with a translator <smile>. I'm working on it...

In only one week here, I've already stopped askingfor the most partwhat is in the food put in front of me—and I know I've ingested beef or beef broth at least twice. After 39 years without beef, pork, or chicken, that's quite an admission. The good news is that there is no factory farming here, so the slaughter is probably more humane. I'm less than thrilled about this change in diet, but it could be a LOT worse. Who knows? In three weeks I'll surely be closer to an omnivore than I have been since 1974!

1 comment:

  1. Hey John
    We're following your journey and glad to hear from you
    but not glad to hear about your recent baptism... glad it's not THAT'S out of the way!!
    Safe journey! Bob P