Since my last post excuse, I’ve been noticeably quiet here. The reason is that I’ve been busier than a one-armed Saigon taxi driver with the crabs.
On top of working the busiest month (March) in my five years in Quy Nhon, I’ve also been working a lot of extra hours on my part-time job and I’ve embarked on a major new project. I’ve managed exactly two short hikes in the past two months and two brief beach trips. Poor Ellie has been moping around the house waiting for me to take her places.
Things are going to get a bit easier from now on. I quit my job last week. I’ll make an announcement about the next stage of my working career, but I’m not quite ready to go public yet. Next week, I think.
Now that I’m not working every morning, I hope to find extra time to resume hiking. I’ve gained weight (I don’t know how much – I’m afraid to weigh myself) and I’ve noticed a drop in fitness. Also next week, I think.
Sorry for the absence – my hosting service deactivated the site so they could verify my identity, apparently because Vietnam is flagged as a security risk or something. Unfortunately, it was deactivated while I was away from my PC for four days. I tried to fix it using my phone but no luck.
I do think it could have been handled better. For starters, an email requesting proof of identity would have been far more courteous than arbitrarily closing down the site. In any case, a couple of minutes browsing the site should have made it clear that it’s a genuine site. Hackers are highly unlikely to go to such lengths to penetrate somebody’s servers.
I haven’t posted anything lately, mainly because the Tet holiday ended up taking up more of my time than I expected. It ate into both my hiking time and blogging time. To compound things, my employer sent me south to Tuy Hoa for four days over last weekend. However, I expect to have a new post or two up in the next few days.
I’ve started exploring a new hiking trail. There is a range of hills running along the coast south from Quy Nhon for sixteen kilometres or so. The highest peaks are around 600-700 metres high and there’s a road that starts from the Quy Nhon end running south. I’ve hiked along the Quy Nhon end of the road several times, but only for about five kilometres. To give you an idea of the area I’m looking at, the header picture above is taken from a peak near the ridge road.
For some time I’ve been planning to see how far I can get from north to south. I headed out yesterday morning to Quy Hoa valley (just south of Quy Nhon) and started hiking up the hill up along my main access trail to the ridge road.
When I reached the ridge road I turned south instead of north as I usually do. It’s a logging track and seems to have regular traffic judging from the condition of the road. Pretty much straight away I started asking myself, ‘How have I not come this way before?’ The road was shady, cool, easy to hike on and thoroughly pleasant.
Eventually I reached a fork in the road, and this is where my plans came undone. Although I had done some careful research on Google Earth, I neglected to transfer the waypoints to my GPS. I zigged left instead of zagging right, believing that since my compass pointed slightly left that would be the best way to go. I hit a series of dead end trails after a kilometre or so. I had a choice: backtrack or go bush. I went bush. I’ve made this choice before. It never ends well.
This time I came out of the wooded area I’d been hiking straight into a meadow. Well, a meadow with waist-high bushes peppered with particularly vicious thorn bushes. The good news is that I now knew exactly where I was. The bad news was that I had managed to do 3/4 of a circle relative to my starting point. I thought it would be quicker and easier to make my way down the hill than try to retrace my route. Wrong again. To cut a long story short, I battled my way around the meadow trying to find a decent trail heading down, mostly going around in circles and puncturing myself repeatedly in the process. It didn’t help that the meadow was on a fairly steep slope.
After forty-five minutes or so, I found an overgrown logging trail and finally made it down to the road about a kilometre from my starting point. The positive side is that I think I can connect the wooded area and the trail I came down on. If so, it gives me a new option for reaching the ridge road. I’ll try again tomorrow, but this time I’ll try from the southern end and see how I go.
Epilogue: I took Ellie, my dog, to the beach in the afternoon. I managed to badly stub my toe on a rock. I hope it isn’t broken, but it is looking rather swollen and purplish this morning. I’m planning a hike later this morning up the coast near the fishing village of Nhon Ly. I’ll see how I go when I put my hiking boots on.
I went for a longish hike the other day over Xuan Van Hill to re-record the trails that I featured in the article. This took about four hours, covering just over ten kilometres of trails and climbing the damned hill three times. I’m getting pretty tired of the hill – it was my training area for Mt Kinabalu and I climbed it well over a hundred times in the last three months of 2015.
After that, I rewrote and reorganised the article, adding the new map, more pictures, a Google Maps location link and a link to a GPS file.
It’s been a busy couple of days, being the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday in Vietnam. We took a family trip to the cemetary in Phu Tai (fifteen kilometres away) to visit the graves of my wife’s parents, visited most of the other relatives in town (there’s a lot of ’em!), a beach trip and a trip up into the hills to check out some land for sale. I also visited The Haven, maybe the best spot along the coast for a beer/meal/swim.
Strictly speaking, Quy Nhon Trails isn’t a blog. However, this will be a good place to talk about changes and additions to the site, as well as progress reports on my explorations around the area.
Here’s my To Do list:
There seems to be a trail going along the hills running along the northern coast line from Nhon Ly fishing village to the point of the peninsula opposite Quy Nhon City. I estimate it’s about 18-20 kilometres, but I don’t know if it’s doable yet.
You can follow the ridge of hills south from Quy Nhon for quite some distance. I plan to do some exploring over the next week or so. The trail will be between 12 and 16 kilometres depending on how far I can go.
There’s a very scenic spot near Nhon Ly called Eo Gio. I went up there the other day, but the weather wasn’t good for photos.
My favourite outdoor restaurant in Quy Nhon is the Dong Ba Garden Restaurant in Quy Hoa valley. This will be a good start for a restaurant review.
Unfortunately my favourite seafood restaurant in Quy Nhon has just been demolished. I have to find a new one.
There are a number of smaller budget restaurants that serve local specialities that are worth listing.
I’m going to recycle some of my hiking articles from my old blog. I also want to move my Mt Kinabalu climb story here for posterity. Once I do that, I can retire my other sites.
I might review my Leki trekking poles as well.
Mostly tweaks, SEO (search engine optimization) and tidying up.