This is the second of my retrospective blogs, so let’s see if I can catch up to present day. It’s not good to be living in the past, or at least that’s what all these trippy hippy travellers keep telling me. Jokes, I’m definitely the trippy hip at this point.
About a month ago we rocked into Dong Hoi (still Vietnam) with a Dutch guy we had met on the road, who was cycling round the world. His name was the Flying Dutchman and he lived off a staple diet of french bread and world records. Over the next couple of days we explored the stunning caves in the area, namely Paradise Cave and Dark Cave.
Paradise was staggering, a collection of huge concert hall sized ‘rooms’. The caves were always complete silent apart from the water drips and hushed tourist voices. I must say, I could spend all day chilling in a cave. There’s something incredibly relaxing about them, like a sensory deprivation chamber, but with more bats and freaky spiders.
Next up was the Dark Cave, which was pitched as an adventure to set Lara Croft’s pulse racing. First up we zip lined over a lake to the mouth of the cave, which we swam in to all together. The cave’s pitch black, and with our tiny headlamps on we looked like a solemn procession of druids. After climbing rocks and swimming through pools, we got to a narrow tunnel which the guide encouraged us to go down. As we got deeper, the walls started to turn to warm gooey mud and come off in our hands and we were sinking into the floor. Suddenly we found ourselves in a larger room with a swimming pool of warm mud. It had the exact texture of melted chocolate. holy shit. We spent the next half hour swimming and jumping around in the mud, having mud fights and watching Keal make a huge mud cock sculpture on one of the walls. Hilarious.
All too soon we were back on the road again down south. We detoured to hit up some of the tunnels built in the Vietnam war to avoid American bombing. An entire village of 60 families had moved 30m underground, to a series of tunnels cut into the rock complete with water sources, sewage systems and a dozen exits. They were pretty cramped and bloody hot, even in January. But all the people in the town lived on as normal down there.
Best part was this lady outside, chilling hard and chainsmoking jet black cigars. #crunk