This week has been a week of incredible views! This run is getting more and more beautiful every week.
On Monday, I left Fresh Water Bay to run up and over 2 more mountain passes. The going was tough but absolutely worth the hard hill climbs. At each turn of the winding, empty mountain roads, I was greeted by beauty. Sparkling blue seas, pine forests, golden sand, tiny villages…
From one mountain peak, I could see an idealic beach resort far below. I saw secluded, wooden beach huts and an infinity pool reaching the sea. As I looked on in envy, I noticed the name of the resort and was delighted to note that it is the place that Saigon friends, Greg and Emily have booked for us to stay in over the TET (Chinese New year) long weekend. I am particularly looking forward to the buffet breakfast!
The week, I have almost halfed my milage, going from between 120- 150km to just 80km, it has felt like a holiday! The reason for this, it that I’m ahead of schedule to meet Emily and Greg and it has given me a great excuse to explore some of the more hidden beaches and villages that are not on the most direct route.
I arrived at Nhon Ly fishing village and set about exploring the narrow streets with their close together jumble of wooden houses. The village was a hive of activity with people sewing fishing nets, mending boats, drying shrimps in the hot sunshine or cooking over an open fire. I was lucky enough to be able to see all of this in exchange for a smile and a wave.
The following day was a rest day, so I hired a bike and drove up an incredibly steep mountain pass to Ky Co Beach. I was glad I wasn’t running it! On reaching the top of the peak, I was transferred into an off road golf buggy for the very steep ascent down to the bay. Seeing the beach from above for the first time made me gasp, it was picture postcard stunning. I’ve been to more than my fair share of beaches and Ky Co is possibly the most perfect I have ever seen. Pictures and videos do not do this place justice. I urge you to visit before the tourists invade and sadly leave more than their footprints behind.
From Nhon Ly village, I ran to Nhon Hai village. Up and over more rolling sand dunes and mountain passes, but again it was worth the effort. I had read about a hostel nestled amongst the rocks at the far end of the beach. I had decided to brave my first dorm to save a bit of money but on arrival was informed that I was the only guest! I had my own private 10 bed dorm room, personal chef and bar tender. I felt like an expat princess on my own luxury island! I spent my days reading my book, in a hammock, under the shade of a coconut tree and my evenings working my way through the delicious food menu.
After dragging myself away from the paradise that is Nhon Hai, I headed towards Quy Nhon City. Whilst at the beach, I had met travellers, Dani and MiMi, who were based in the city and they had recommended the homestay they were staying in, so that took away the normal Google maps, hotel search. To reach the city, I had to run over Thi Nai Bridge, which is the longest oversea bridge in Vietnam. As I was running the 2.5km bridge I noticed my pace was quicker than it has been for the entire run so far. I was running my ‘pre namrunsnam’ pace but with a 6kg backpack and with the midday sun beating down on me. This shows how important rest and decent nutrition is.
The final 7km of my run to the homestay was along the beachfront promenade. The kms flew by as I took in the sparkling sea, litter free, golden sand and mountains in the distance.
After checking into the emaculate hotel, (definately a great recommendation) I headed to Quy Nhon Sports Bar to meet a few locals and expats for a beer and a chat. I met Thanh, a Quy Nhon resident, who spent the last three months cycling half of the provinces in Vietnam. He intends to cycle the remaining ones at the next oppertunity. We were joined by Dani and MiMi and spent the evening travel chatting, playing pool and sampling the local rice wine. As I write this, my head is still a little sore. Tomorrow, I am leaving Quy Nhon for a backpacker beach a little further south and am hoping to be joined by a few of the people I’ve met over the last couple of days. Friends of Chris from Hanoi, are also flying in to run with me! Once again the kindness of strangers has been evident this week as I have been welcomed into this friendly community.
As always, thank you for reading. Please share this blog and tell people about the crazy running lady. My trip is 100% self funded with every penny donated going towards helping children access the education they deserve and to end human trafficking.
Love Naomi (aka Nam)