Road to Saigon 2018

4 February - 2 March 2018


FEBRUARY 26, 2018

Ban Lung to Quy Nhon

Good morning Vietnam

In the 5.00am pre-dawn blackness most of us thought back to the Sofitel of only 24 hours ago with its magnificent breakfast buffet of croissants, eggs, pancakes or cereals. Today, tucking into our plates of rice and steamed vegetables along with fruit and coffee with condensed milk. What a difference a day makes.

From the hotel it was an easy 69km drive to the border with Vietnam where the paper trail ran very smoothly and allowed the crews to press on the Main Time Control for the day at Huy Phuong Ca Phe. This small cafe was soon taken over by the rally and served up an excellent coffee, for which Vietnam is famous.

Sadly, Christian and Beatrice Collenberg’s Range Rover only made it as far as the border post. Despite the best efforts of the sweeps and their helpers last night, an issue with the distributor means that it’s not firing on all cylinders and will now be trucked directly to Saigon. The crew are making alternative arrangements to get themselves to the finish.

Once the rest of the Rally had checked out from the Time Control it then set a course through dozens of towns, small and large, along roads lined with countless red flags and filled with the usual throng of two wheelers.

A Time Control in Kon Tum, set in a cafe with sweet biscuits and strong drip coffee, preceded the day’s Regularity at Vi Ko Long which saw us turn away from the busy highways and straight onto the pages of National Geographic, with empty roads and terraced paddy fields at an altitude of almost 1100 m.

Lush coffee plantations added to the picture perfect scene and once the rally reached the next Time Control in the now famous Bistro 315 in K’Bang, the general agreement was that this had been a very good section indeed.

By now thoughts had turned to getting to the seaside and the night halt in Quy Nhon and the Avani Resort and Spa which extended an excellent welcome to us. We’ll be here for two nights as tomorrow is our final rest day and, from what we see, it’s going to be a good one.

Syd Stelvio



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