Day 47: Phu Quoc running club
Claire: Today we found a starfish!!!!! The beach has been tropically gorgeous and I also picked up a second hand book from the hotel bookcase too which I'm thoroughly in love with (it's called The Handmaid's Tale incase you were wondering). I think you're supposed to swap a book, but I didn't have a book to swap... although I did donate one to a previous hotel so that kinda counts right?! It had a WHSmith label on it so I know it's from England and I guess it'll be coming to Cambodia with me next. I might write the date and locations in it, I think it would be great to pick up used books and see where they've travelled... I wish I'd have done that to the one I'd left before...
Anyway, here's the starfish!
After realising we like it in this part of the island we've extended our stay a little longer but this means changing hotels a few times as everywhere is booked up for new year. Oops! Thankfully we're settled into nomad life and moving around isn't much of a big deal anymore. Our next place was just a short taxi away anyway (or you could probably walk it in 40mins if you weren't carrying 10kg on your back and it wasn't 31 degrees!).
Little did we know, the new hotel was actually in the middle of nowhere. So after a few hours lazing round the pool we decide to go for a run to get our bearings and watch the sunset. It was pretty special and the section of beach was just local dwellings, little bamboo hut style shacks right on the sand with kids playing in the sea and shouting "hello" at us as we run past.
As we run further down the beach we see lots of litter which is really sad. It seems litter is a huge problem in some areas of Vietnam (& Laos), especially in the underdeveloped areas. It's difficult to understand how the locals aren't bothered by it (they create it right outside their homes!) — some of the most beautiful areas of natural beauty are surrounded by plastic bottles and cans and wrappers. It's like its invisible to them?
We try to get in land but struggle to find a little path between the huts. We're following Google maps but these are just dirt tracks made by locals, they don't actual exist on grid. As we get deeper into the neighbourhood we realise how expanse this area is and get a bit lost! There must've been hundreds of houses, either made from bamboo or corrugated metal sheets, such a basic way of living. As it starts to get dark we're entering jungle territory and after the second lot of dogs that chase us I start to get a bit worried! We keep running and I feel pretty vulnerable. Of course, Gav is as cool as a cucumber. We get to a path that feels like it should be in the right direction but end up at another home with about 8 men making fire! They turn around to face us (probably wondering what the heck we were doing there!!), then the two ladies — who spoke a bit of English — were crossing their arms to suggest it was private property and told us to turn around, attempting to give directions. In the end we decide to follow the main dirt track which eventually brought us into Duong Dong town (the opposite direction we needed to be!), by which time it was dark but at least we knew where we were! Another 20min run home, we were both exhausted, dehydrated and dripping with sweat. We finally make it back, and within minutes the heavens opened and it absolutely chucked it down!!! Thank god for that. Beer?
Gav's day 47 takeaway
- We went a bit wrong on our run but it really wasn't a big deal. Claire just got scared.