The streets of Hanoi and planning for our Ho Chi Minh Trail exploration

The mouse darted back and forth across the table, clicking franticly as, with hawk like concentration Phong traced a path along the glowing map of Google Earth. “What are you doing?” I asked, slightly concerned by the furrows of concentration etched across his brow. “Checking the undulations” he mumbled, his eyes never once leaving the screen. “Ah, and are there many?” I asked. “No, nothing for me to worry about” Phong assured me, that familiar grin flickering across his face, “but for you we should take some string, just in case I need to tow you, you old friend of my great grandfather”.

And so went the planning for our exploratory expedition along Vietnam’s historic Ho Chi Minh Trail for a new two week bicycle adventure that we will be

sharing with those who wish to join us next year..

Our planning was a lunch affair, dining well on duck and king prawns cooked by master chef Phong whilst his little daughter practised her English with me and posed for my camera.

We have managed to acquire an iPhone for this journey, the plan being to try to wrench ourselves into the 21st century and GPS the route as we go, but after a few failed attempts to fathom the technology and the careful avoidance of one young ladies attempt to plunder $25 dollars from us for some rather doubtful sounding soft wear we decided to stay with the technology we are familiar with, a bicycle speedo, a note pad and pen, and a rather clever watch thats knows how high we are.

Tomorrow we shall sally fourth on this adventure and I will relay our progress, in words and pictures, whenever t’internet is available. The woe of it is though that like The Party in China the Vietnamese government don’t want people reading bogs and looking at Facebook. Facebook is an old one, been as such for a long time, but WordPress is newly blocked and so I am unsure if this will be published. (As always I am using a third party app to publish). Regardless of what happens with this blog over the coming month the story will still be blogged via the wonders of Mike’s black magic at the Painted Roads blog

Off for some dinner now, bye.

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A HANOI RICKSHAW DRIVER TRIES TO PERSUADE ME TO JUMP IN HIS CARRIAGE

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DRINKERS AT A STREET CORNER BAR

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LUNCH ALFRESCO

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NATTERING AT THE CLOTHES STORE

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PONDERING

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EVERYTHING IS FOR SALE IN THE STREET SIDE STORES OF HANOI, WIRE OF ALL SHAPES AND SIZES HERE

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A FRUIT VENDOR, HER WARES UPON HER BICYCLE

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THIS LADY CARRIES HER WARES AROUND HER NECK ON A YOKE , HERE SHE SNEAKS A REST ON A PARKED MOTOR SCOOTER

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I HAD TO LAUGH AS THE ELECTRICIANS PARKED THEIR TRUCK IN THE MIDDLE, AND I DO MEAN IN THE MIDDLE, OF A BUSY CROSS ROADS

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