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Dec 29, 2013

Hoi An to Đà Nẵng... a whopping 68 km!

It's time to jump in the not-so-way-back machine and get caught up...

Saturday morning (the 21st and Day 13) I headed to Đà Nẵng to meet Thu, an on-line friend who'd offered to show me her city.

As I sadly departed Hoi An, and for no apparent reason, the Garmin GPS that had helped me navigate so well (relatively well) suddenly displayed the white screen of death. I pulled over and did some quick troubleshooting of the factory-sealed unit and determined that if I removed the $100 SE Asia maps SD card that had seen a total of 7 days' use, the unit turned on just fine. Great! If a GPS with maps of North America were of any fucking use in Việt Nam, I was all set.

Fortunately, the next couple days would be relatively simple re navigation and I had time to come up with a Plan B.

Finding the friend's recommended hotel in Đà Nẵng (Cộng Đoàn Thanh Binh Hotel) was relatively easy, so I arrived with a minimum of emotional trauma ;-)

Click here for a link to the day's route.

My friend Thu (pron. 'Su') and I met for lunch (Bà Thôi, 96-98 Lê Dinh Duơng was good) and a bit of market wandering. I like having fresh fruit in the room, so I picked up the usual: little bananas, nectarines, an a couple apples (not Washington State apples, unfortunately). We also window-shopped dozens and dozens of windowless stalls.

I ended up staying a day to see a bit more. I also bought one of my very few non-memory souvenirs:


Black Vietnamese sandals made from used truck tires. The maker (artisan) had to search a while to find a size 48, and then charged me a very reasonable US$5 for the pair. At our first attempt, another vendor asked $10, and Thu walked me right out and into the next stall... who was quite grateful for the sale.

Since I'd seen the Marbel Mountains

and a couple pretty cool bridges the previous afternoon on the way into town, we spent a good part of the day wandering... which I've come to enjoy, greatly; soaking up the feel and the sights, sounds, and smells (!) of a place.

Tomorrow, the Hai Van Pass (see previous post about "Top Gear") and Hué.


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