Việt Nam – Pt. I
In Dalat we rode outside of the city to see more of the farms. The hillsides were cluttered with cut out earth steps, terraces with locals farming anything from coffee to cherries and greenhouses by the rows growing flowers. The thrill of getting on the motorbike every day and zipping around has been the best. The routine is familiar and automatic. Clutching the metal handbrake with the left hand after hopping on. The right thumb pressing the ignition button followed by the turning of the hard plastic rubber handle. The sound of choking and stuttering that gets louder gradually, ready to take off. The joy of what’s about to happen next and anticipating the winding roads. Open and free to twist and turn through the hillside with the wind rushing by. I guess it would be equivalent to how a dog feels with his head out the window. Minus the tongue hanging out of our mouths…maybe?
In the morning we packed a day bag, hopped on the motorbike and headed down south about 20km to check out Elephant Falls. Along the way, we went through winding roads cut into the sides of the mountains. The green on the hillsides were interrupted here and there by the red and orange earth. The roads were smooth and winding. The feeling of the wind rushing past, the fresh mountain air, the zipping around freely is nothing short of meditative. One cannot help but have a goofy grin turn into a silly smile.
We worked our way down the steep and muddy zig-zag of a path to reach the larger rocks at the base of the waterfall. Our shoes were now wet and muddy, but the view was worth it. Mist shot up and the sound of water pounding the rocks in front of us was a well-worth mother nature moment. We went up another path away from the falls. Dragonflies buzzing around our heads and ankles getting eaten by mosquitos we turned back around to where we started and ate a well-deserved Pho for lunch. Riding back into town was another reminder that Dalat is like a tropical alpine. A conducive place for all types of vegetation to grow. With the variety of plants and flowers bringing life to the town. The mood of the locals reflects the thought that when plants and humans are together, joy follows.
We went to the top of a hill near a place calledthat has a 49,000VND ($2) all you can eat vegetarian hot pot. Seriously, though, I don’t know how that place makes a profit, but I’m not complaining. If you get the chance to eat there I’d say its a must.
Sitting in a place called Anna’s Coffee House now looking out the window. Slowly moving gray clouds can be seen covering the tops of the hills in the distance. Sunlight can be seen peeking through the trees that stick up on the hills with their trunks looking like toothpicks. All the tree tops mix in together in patches of green and yellow as they fall down the slope of the hill. A cat is lazily sitting on the pavement that drops down to other boxes along the road covered with metal tin roofs that look gray and red with rust, quickly hammered and pieced together. The scene saved from total rusticity by the electric light illuminating the windows. The cable cars can be seen going back and forth. It reminds me of the roundtrip ride we took for our last full day in the city. We don’t want to leave, but we know we’ll be back.