A different kind of travelogue. As an avid young traveller I often wondered what would it would be like when I got older, gathered commitments, created children and accrued debt. This is what it's like.
Plans Change. You have to adapt. There was a huge public holiday on in Vietnam over the last few days. It was not only the 40th anniversary of the end of the American War but also a celebration of the Hung Kings Festival. Throw in a Full moon and of you go. I was surprised to find any kind of royalty being a major event in Vietnam. It just goes to show how little I understood about the place before I came. Surely the best thing about travel (when done well) is the disembowelment of preconceptions. The Hung Kings Festival Public Holiday was only introduced in 2007 by the “Communist” government. To quote one of the best Americans; “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Braid, wholesome, charitable views of man and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime” Mark Twain in “The Innocents Abroad”. I should probably go and visit the “states” again to remind myself of the great things about that country and keep my own prejudices in check. As a counter weight I should point out that Irish people aren’t that friendly. We were in Dalat. Dalat is a strange and beautiful place. It was almost completely spared from the conflict due, at least in part, to an agreement between the North and South Vietnamese. (There goes another preconception.) We were also stranded there due to every form of transport being fully booked on the occasion of the aforementioned holidays. This meant that my plans to get to the far northern areas of Vietnam were squished. We wouldn’t have time. That meant that I wouldn’t get to camp out in the forests with my son Cormac. The little mountain town was packed. Accommodation options, which are legion, were all full. We were staying in a renovated French colonial Villa and it was booked out too. We had to move out of our room as it was booked by someone else. They did try to help us though. With two nights left before our bus departure we squeezed into a smaller room with beds for 3. I was happy enough though as I got to spend some time in my hammock. It was a curious Hill Station suburban camp.
Plans Change. You have to adapt.