A Week In Vietnam Night 2

My walk had taken me as far as the Saigon River and it was well into the night before I found myself heading back to the street where I thought the hotel was……..

My walk had taken me as far as the Saigon River and it was well into the night before I found myself heading back to the street where I thought the hotel was.

It was only then that I realised I had no clue as to where the hotel actually was or even what it looked like…………….

I tried using the GPS on the phone but as soon as I reached one end of the street it would tell me I needed to be at the other.  After the third trip along the street, trying to avoid emptying my wallet for all the girls selling souvenirs, I finally stopped and asked a group of  them if they could help me find it.

Linh, Dung & Tinh
These three ladies, Linh, Dung and Tinh, along with Russia, were there to help find my lost hotel

That was when my stay in Vietnam became an adventure to remember.  These girls, Dung,  Linh, Tinh and Russia, turned the search for my hotel into a quest and between us we hustled up and down the street having a blast.  Although they couldn’t understand me, nor I them, we seemed to reach a level of communication that got us by.  I was almost disappointed when we finally found the front door, hidden away and looking like any old shop front as if desperate to remain hidden from the maddening crowd.

Even at this late hour Kim was still on duty waiting to make sure all her guests were tucked away for the night.

From Russia with Love
Russia was one of the girls who help in the quest to find the Hong Han Hotel

I decided that, if I was to buy any souvenirs, I would only buy from these girls who had helped me out finding my hotel.  I saw lot of them on the street over the next days and learned a little about their way of life.  I learned that when sales were poor, they compensated by not eating and so, as I cruised the street checking out, first one, then another coffee shop, I would invite them in for a sandwich or drink should they pass by.

Huong
Hue’s sister Huong
Hue
Always ready with a smile and a wink Hue ,like all the other girls, carries a heavy tray of souvenirs always hoping that she will be “Lucky” and make a sale

 

 

The group grew to include Hue and her sister Huong and spending time with these girls taught me so much about what it means to live and work on the streets of a city such as this.  I realised that I live a privileged existence: like being inside a plastic bubble, where there is always a safety net to catch those of us who might fall.  For the locals born of this city, life is a continuous battle for survival. Yet despite all of this, the people here were always friendly and ready with a quick smile. It is a way of life very different from that which I have grown up in but one that I felt had a reality that will remain with me. These girls made my holiday all the richer for knowing them.  .

 

 

 

I gained their friendship and, I think, respect, for one night I was sitting in the middle of the street on the pavement chatting to them when another new girl arrived.  I had not seen this new comer before but she had a very young toddler with her even though the hour was late.

Hue And Me
Hue and I taking a moment to relax on my last night in Saigon

She  appeared to be having trouble with her phone, so I offered her mine to use.  She promptly put her toddler on my lap and in that instant the atmosphere became quite tense.  Hue, who was sitting behind me moved up very close and I felt a hand at the zip of my trouser pockets.  I was all at once disappointed, for I had felt that we had built a friendship that was better than being pick-pocketed.  Then I realised that the zipper was being closed and Hue then patted down my other pockets to make sure they were closed.
It turned out that the new comer used her child to pick the pockets of the unwary and Hue had moved in to protect me from becoming a victim.  Such a small thing but it meant so much to me.  It earned her a dinner out in a restaurant.

By the end of my time, the girls had asked if they could have a number so that they could keep in contact.

They have continued contact with me, even after I returned home to Australia, and often ask when I will return.  One day soon I hope, for there is still so much to do and see there

Hidden Village

Hidden away on the shores of Lake Cootharaba on Noosa’a North Shore is a quaint little village called Boreen Point…

Having escaped from the shackles of work, if only for a day, I headed north to check out a little village on Lake Cootharaba, which forms part of the Noosa River System. As I had to pass close to Noosaville I decided to call in and pick up a coffee from my favourite coffee spot in Noosa, Old Salt Coffee.  Coffee here is always best standard and served by the very lovely, Rhian. Today was to be no different and I spent a few minutes chatting about how things were going.

Jetty 17 And Old Salt CoffeeOld Salt is tucked in at the end of Jetty 17 right on the river and you will find a brew every day until shortly after midday but never on a Wednesday.  That day is Rhian’s recovery day which she tells me is reserved for such serious things as sleeping in.

Boat HireBehind Old Salt is Jetty 17 Boat Hire where you can arrange to hire a pontoon boat or Kayak or even a Hydrobike.  New owners Matt and Bar are only too happy to help you enjoy your day on the river at Noosaville.  Easy to find just look for the Orange Shed with all the boats and kayaks outside.

You can check them out at https://www.facebook.com/Noosa-kayak-and-Boat-Hire-Jetty-17-106084929584613/…

Remember to treat yourself to a coffee from Rhian while you are there.

While I was there I grabbed a packet of Old Salt Blend beans for home use.

The river was busy today with the winter sun doing its best to pretend to be summer. It is a veritable playground both on the water and along the walkways on the edgeNoosa River Playground

Heading up through Tewantin, I was of a mind to call in at the Marina Markets but parking was impossible to find as these markets are very popular of a Sunday morning, so I decided to give them a miss today.

Just north of Tewantin the road turns off to Boreen Point. It carves a path through stands of native bush and runs alongside forestry plantations.  Here and there One catches a glimpse of a property hidden from the road by the bush.  One gets the impression that behind this facade of bushland is a thriving community and indeed there is much evidence of stables and horse fencing.

Beach Village StreetDriving into Boreen Point has the feeling of stepping back in time.  The road has no foot path and the houses are of an era more in keeping with holiday homes.  Down near the lake there are quite a few that have clearly been renovated and sport trendy corrugated iron cladding or large glass frontages.Beach House

The road takes you down to the beach front where it was club day for the local watch club.  By the number of craft pulled up on the beach or out on the lake, I would say that this is a strong club with an active membership.  I had to drive well passed the town centre to find a park but eventually managed a nice shaded spot. The road here was quite narrow and as there were no footpaths I shared it with passing cars as I headed back to the one store in town to get a feed.Boreen Pt Store

They were doing a great trade and I had to fill in fifteen minutes while I waited for my order.  I spent the time pleasantly watching the world go by, amazed at how busy it was. They had run out of bread and so I compromised my toasted sandwich with a toasted wrap. I believe I was all the better for it as the food was really good and I may just be asking for my Ham, Cheese and Tomato toasties to be made with flat bread in the future

Sail Boats On The ShoreWith time on my hand’s I wandered about the village and along the lake shore.  The lake itself is a really a bulge in the river about 10 kilometres long and five wide.  It is fairly shallow, with an average depth of only a couple of metres, if that.  Deep enough to sail boat and catch a fish.Pelican Jetty

This is a great little village to take a picnic lunch to and enjoy the drive in the country.  The old world charm of the village takes you back a pace and life seems very easy here.Boreen Pt Bay

As I returned down the coast I stopped in at the Coolum Beach Hotel to quench my thirst.  I had heard that Nadia Colbourn was entertaining and so I thought to catch her performance. She has a great voice and a relaxed style that is easy on the ears so I spent a while soaking up the atmosphere.  Feeling

Interlude programming
Setting up some sound for the interlude

 

 

 

Soon after I arrived, Nadia went to a break and I had a bit of a chat with her.  She is, as a person, just as she is as a singer, down to earth and easy to talk to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IntrospectiveAfter the break she was joined by Justin who accompanied her on Guitar.  They have an easy way about them that helps one to relax and just enjoy the music. If you ever get the chance take some time to her Nadia at one of the many gigs she has around the coastBonny & Clyde

As always, time passes and soon enough it was time to head home to sort through the days photos and write the journal.  Noosa has some great little hide-a-ways that are worth exploring when you visit here.  There is a huge variety of entertainment, both day and night and of course there is alway the river systems to explore….. remember Jetty 17 when you are looking to play on the river