Along for the Ride

Along for the Ride

The most important trait for any traveler is adaptability, thinkCHUA wrote a whole article on this very subject, but it cannot be stressed enough.  To enjoy a trip, especially of this proportion you must be along for the ride.  I would say we are experts in going along for the ride, you know just going with the flow.  That’s exactly what we’ve been doing for the last few days and plan to do to throughout this trip.

Sunday, we left Ho Chi Minh City on a bus to the Mekong Delta, our destination was Vinh Long.  We knew it was about three hours out and we made it clear to the attendant on the bus what our destination was in hopes he would help us get off at the right stop.  When we arrived at the bus station in Vinh Long we attempted to get off the bus and both the attendant and driver sent us back to our seats.  We assumed we were headed to a different bus station in Vinh Long, but just minutes later we were out of the city headed to our next destination.  Matt and I looked at each other and then just shrugged, we were along for the ride.

When we arrived in Can Tho, our new destination, since our bus driver determined we didn’t really want to go to Vinh Long we were surrounded by taxi drivers offering us a ride.  Finally a security guard stepped in and told us to get into a small mini-bus nearby and told us “no money.”  We had no idea where this free taxi went, but we were along for the ride.

Once we arrived in downtown Can Tho in the midst of the tourist district we were approached by a hotel tout.  We followed the tout to Hotel 31B, having no idea what the cost of the room would be or if the location would be desirable.  At the hotel we were taken up to the top floor, shown an immaculately clean room with a stunning view of the Mekong Delta, when we asked how much she said $10, we happily took it.  A great find all because we were along for the ride.

The amazing view of the Mekong Delta from our hotel room that was only $10 a night

Moments after we had closed the door to our room and done a little celebration dance excited by our good luck we heard a knock at the door.  In came Ms. Ha, whom was selling the exact Mekong Delta boat tour we were looking for.  English speaking guide all day tour to two floating markets and stops where you choose, since it’s a private tour.  Impressed by her English and organized sales pitch, read Ms. Ha’s school of marketing, we booked a tour.  The next morning we boarded a boat on the Mekong Delta and went along for the ride to Cai Rung Market, a rice paper making operation, a short hike in one of the Mekong’s many canals and a place that raised snakes and made snake wine.

The following day we boarded a bus back to Ho Chi Minh City, bought an open ticket all the way up to Hanoi with five stops along the way.  Our first stop was Mui Ne village.  Once we arrived in Mui Ne it was dark and being that we didn’t have  a hotel chosen we started walking.  Realizing it was a farther walk than we had thought we each hopped on the back of two locals motorcycles and went along for the ride.

We woke up the next morning and set out to explore Mui Ne in the day light, we had breakfast down the road and the owner offered to rent us a motorbike.  We took her up on the offer and I got on the back to go along for the ride as Matt drove to the sand dunes, fishing village and to Phan Thiet.  In downtown Phan Thiet the bike starting shaking, so we pulled over realizing we had a flat tire, read about getting it fixed here.  We sought out the help of locals that took us down a back alley to a motorcycle repair shop.  Having no idea how long it would take to get it fixed or how much it would cost we were just  along for the ride.

Matt receiving instructions on how to operate our rented motorbike.

Once our motorcycle was operational again we headed back to Mui Ne making stops at the Cham ruins, a small fish market and finally the Fairy stream.  The Fairy Stream is a long stream with rock formations on one side that run from bright red to white and make for an amazing view.  As we started down the fairy stream we saw an advertisement to ride an ostrich, definitely the most random thing we have come across thus far.  But if I have learned anything from this trip so far, when presented with the opportunity to ride an ostrich for only a dollar, you go along for the ride.

The Fairy Stream, one of our many stops as I was along for the ride on the Chua motorbike tour.

Along for the ride on the back of an ostrich!

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Comments

» dad :
Jan 8, 2011

sometimes, it is very hard to read your stuff while i am shaking my head to the left and and then to the right in disbelief; while chanting rhythmically “no, their not going to do that, they did what, what are they thinking, are they thinking?”…….actually traveling vicariously and or in your words, “going along for the ride” is quite exhillerating……be safe, love you……dad

LOCAVORista Reply:

Dad, thanks for coming along for the ride. Actually the ostrich was quite friendly, he didn’t even try to take a chunk out of my leg as I rode around on his back.

» Michelle Mussell :
Jan 9, 2011

Erica and Matt – you came up on my newsfeed through facebook and I saw the link to your website and immediately put it in my google reader. What an amazing adventure you are on! Thanks for letting all of us “non-adventurous” folk come along for the ride vicariously through your journey :) Good luck and be safe! -Michelle (Maiwurm)

LOCAVORista Reply:

Michelle, thanks for the comment, glad you found us via facebook and are following on your google reader! It sounds like you are also embarking on quite a life changing journey as well with “Lloyd,” definitely keep in touch.

» Donna :
Jan 9, 2011

Ah you put the comments back … bless you! I love keeping up with what all your friends and family are saying to you on your journey! The ostrich ride looks like fun … can’t wait to see what else you’ll try as you move through the different locales there. You two are my morning newspaper! Tchüss!! Donna

LOCAVORista Reply:

Donna, comments back by popular demand! We are happy to oblige our regular readers, enjoy.

» Mom A :
Jan 10, 2011

I’d go along for that ride!
Ostriches aren’t know for being friendly, glad you found an obliging one.

LOCAVORista Reply:

Mom, I knew they weren’t friendly, but for only $1 I couldn’t resist and that’s why the trainer walks with you. The ostrich did take off into a bit of a trot as we rounded the bend and I can tell you they wouldn’t be comfortable to ride for a long journey.

» Shan :
Jan 11, 2011

AH! I’m so excited to keep up with you guys through your incredible website. I can’t help but have a huge smile on my face while reading your entries. Now I’m thinking that I must come visit and go on one of your adventures!

Hippie love and daises forever,
-Shannon

LOCAVORista Reply:

Shannon, so good to hear from you. I constantly think of our European backpacking adventure each time I put my backpack on. You are definitely invited to join us at anytime! Sending lots of hippie love your way.

» Tara Jenkins :
Jan 11, 2011

Great article, Erica! We proudly display the picture of you and your ostrich friend on the Parks & Rec white board. :)

-Tara Jenkins

LOCAVORista Reply:

Tara, thanks for the comment. Glad to hear that you are following and enjoying our adventures, I will continue to keep you updated on any other strange animals I ride :)

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

About the Author

LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.

About the Author
LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.
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