We had to get back to Buon Ma Thout, but on the way we stopped to watch the locals producing brick stones. With the appropriate machine the material turned quickly into bricks. I wish we had one of these during a volunteer stint in Peru where we had build bricks by hand. Life would have been much easier…
After that short stop we were back in Buon Ma Thuat, and surprise surprised we stopped for an early morning coffee in a café next to the minority museum – though I didn’t have any energy to visit the museum.
We then drove out of the town via one of the typical massively wide roads, and only briefly stopped to get a Banh Mi for breakfast. Once again – simple street but amazing flavour. I could have had easily one more of it…
At one point we just stopped at a little stall next to the main road, where you could buy fresh wild boar meat. I think you could only get it fresher if you would kill it. No need to go to a shop – just drive along the road and buy whatever you find. Nice way to do food shopping. I am sure that would never be allowed in Germany!!!
The next section of the journey was following the old infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail. Not that you could see any signs of it (i.e. old tanks etc.), but the scenery was still nice. We once again started to ascend up a hill that offered some great view. To continue with our habit of regular stops we took a break to have a nice cold – no, not a ice coffee – but a freshly pressed sugar cane juice. With ice it is a very nice drink. I surely enjoyed it, while seeing the life passing by on the little road.
After the break the mountainous scenery continued, passing some farms with cashew nuts tree, two wedding parties, a big oven for stone bricks, and of course one or two cafe’s. The whole day was not about seeing something specific – it was about the scenery.
We also had only a light lunch in a café next to one of the highways. I enjoyed that place once again just because the hammock. The food contained mainly fruit, but that was very refreshing as it was quite hot.
Unfortunately later that afternoon we came to a stretch were the road condition was very bad. In some parts the road only consisted of dark stones – I have seen better dirt roads. That was bad because it was a) a bumpy ride, b) it was very dusty, and c) we had to drive very slowly.
We got a break from the bumpy ride by having just another coffee break (it seems Bao made sure we stopped places where I could find a hammock), situated next to a forest. The location must have inspired the owner for the bathroom – I was just pointed to some of the trees not too close to the café. Well – the saying nature calls was very appropriate here!!!
We also had another stop at a little town, where Bao showed me some houses with rather large pepper farms. There were quite a few in that region – just to make sure it was not just coffee, rice, sugar and rubber. It would have been boring anyway.
We continued our bumpy ride on the main road that was always separated by road construction and some sections of dirt road, but at least the scenery was not bad – though in some places you didn’t see any plantations, but just some rivers and hectare of green grass, and I was able to actually see Laos in the far distance.
And while the sun started to go down we had one last drink break in a little shop next to the road. It was hard to believe that this little shop had such a stunning surrounding of hills and fields. The sky turning red because of the sun added to this peaceful atmosphere.
The downside was of course that it was dark before we arrived in the little town of Chu Se – located south of Pleiku. I was actually glad when we arrived at the hotel (which was a standard hotel, nothing special). It was a very long day on the motorbike, partial on some dirt roads – which is not the best condition for your bum. While the scenery was nice, I think it was maybe my least favourite day – this one was mainly a route to get from A to B. Though, I wouldn’t say it was a bad day – just a very exhausting one.
After a short break and a chance to freshen up Bao invited me for dinner in a local food place near the hotel. Here we had a nice hotpot to share, and it was a nice relaxing evening with good food. It really helps if you get along with your driver, and this was the case with Bao. Talking to him was never boring, as he liked to explain a lot about the area, culture, or just about life. Hence I was never bored. After dinner I had an early night to get some rest.