Photo by Dave Christenson
By Raan Parton
We left the harbor village of Mui Ne early this morning and headed toward a small coastal fishing village in order to watch the morning catch. After barely avoiding a head-on collision with a group of cattle, we made it to the beach. There, we witnessed the local industry come alive as native fisherman were shuttling baskets of fresh fish back and forth while negotiating prices.
Having the opportunity to ride our bikes on the beach was a surreal experience. This was due to two factors: first, the nostalgia that was generated by the Vietnam beaches which vividly reminded us of our Santa Barbara stomping grounds; secondly, reflecting on our hometown neighbor, Renny Yater, who is the renowned shaper of the surfboard which was used in the war film Apocalypse Now (1979). In our mind, the film is a classic American touch-point to what is the past. Now, fast-forwarding to 2010, we hope to share in Vietnam’s attractive future of travel and commerce.
At the tideline, we met Surge, a Russian who is currently living in Mui Ne. It turns out that Mui Ne is a massive Russian tourist destination; Surge happened to love our Minsk motorcycle. After talking with him for a few minutes, he agreed to lend us a surfboard. Someone should have pinched me while I was enjoying the 75-degree water and a couple of unforgettable ankle-slappers.
After enjoying a memorable shred we faced the dreadful 7-hour commute westbound to Ho Chi Minh City. The ride was exhausting because the road we chose also serves as a major vein for commercial transport. After a long trip, we arrived safely in the city and immediately collapsed after another long day for the record book.