Road to Saigon 2018

4 February - 2 March 2018


FEBRUARY 28, 2018

Quy Nhon to Nha Trang

The last lap

There was a late start today at 9.00am better to allow the crews to adjust to normal life after such a relaxing rest day, wash the sand from between their toes and pack away their beach gear.

Almost right from the off we were plunged headlong into rural Vietnam with the First Passage Control on an unmade road at Xuan Son Bac after only 45km. The rice paddies and terraced fields through which we drove were dotted with wooden houses and a couple of belching tapioca and sugar cane processing facilities. Cheerful workers sporting the traditional conical Nón Lá toiled knee deep in the wet green plots but found time to look up and wave as we rolled on by.

There was time for another industrial strength drip coffee (cà phê đá) with sweetened condensed milk at the Time Control at Tamarind Junction before the Regularity started at Cung San soon after. Six kilometres of narrow, steep and broken concrete led past the Da Rang River dam and through even more dense and airless cane fields.

Anyone who’d worked up an appetite over the morning found a few snacks at the Time Control at M Drak and a welcome regular style coffee or tea from the boiler at Bistro 315, although Alan Beardshaw had other things on his mind, as his exhaust mountings had broken off over the course of the morning. A couple of sweaty sweeps lay under the Tiger as a crowd of curious locals looked on.

The next section, to the Passage Control at Mon, was punctuated by the need to dodge around a succession of massive lumbering lorries loaded to the hilt with all manner of agricultural produce.

A main road soon appeared though and whisked us into the beating heart of downtown Nha Trang alongside fishing villages and harbours filled with gaily coloured boats.

Our night halt is at the excellent Intercontinental Hotel where the bar served a commendable pre dinner beef satay, superb french fries and ice cold Tiger beer to those who arrived early. The evening’s dinner meanwhile rewarded those who’d resisted these easy pickings and saved their appetite with the first tiramisu of the rally.

As far as the results go, Graham and Marina Goodwin still hold onto top spot in the Vintageant category with Andrew Webster and Ian Robertson in second, following David and Karen Ayre’s retirement.

The Classics category remains totally unchanged. Marco Halter and Claudia Englehardt are still leading from Gerry Crown and Matt Bryson in second, David Gainer and Kerry Finn are third.

Syd Stelvio



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