Time to pack up from my apartment in Hai Phong and get moving!
Sometimes I wonder if I’m actually from this planet.
There was a typhoon forecast for the next day and currently it was pouring down with rain in Hai Phong. It was already 4pm and I had planned on leaving at 2pm! and now it was raining. What do I do? wait till the rain stops? or maybe just leave the next morning, or…
A plan is a plan and my word is my word
I had told everyone I was leaving on that Monday afternoon, rain or no rain I was going!
I strapped my backpack with waterproof cover to the back of the seat and my smaller bag in the footwell. I was ready, well not quite, I needed waterproof jacket of some kind. I spoke with one of the girls in reception and she gave me her one! how nice was that. So I was now ready, with my giant poncho that not only covered me but the front of the bike, great design really.
Away we go go go
Out of the basement and onto the main road with the security and staff at my apartment giving me a wave goodbye and a look of “is this guy for real”.
The drive started well, as well as well can be anyway. It was pouring with rain and I could barely see. But I thought, this can’t last for ever. I was right and within about 20 mins it had stopped. I was now breezing along at a steady pace checking google maps from time to time to make sure I was on the right road. I was also keeping my Periscope followers up to date from time along the way.
I decided against driving any highways, one they can be dangerous and two they don’t have much to see on the way. Because of that, the journey can take a lot longer than what google maps suggests.
I made my way through the countryside soaking in the amazing surrounding enjoying the trip, whilst making good time and managing to do a few ON BOARD periscope. But like any journey in Vietnam, nothing goes right for long.
Let there be rain again… oh and a thunderstorm
Pouring down with rain again, and this time it was hella heavy, in fact I hadn’t seen weather like it since hurricane bawbag hit Scotland a couple of years ago. Due to the openness of the landscape you could literally see the storm and the direction it was travelling in so I knew it was only a matter of time before I escaped this madness.
Just as I escape the rain what do I see?? the most amazing sunset on the horizon. It was fiery red and so round and detailed that I couldn’t not stop for a picture and do a periscope broadcast.
As I looked at the sun from the side of the road, I could see the storm coming from the right hand side slowly rolling in. The sky was so spooky looking and gave me goosebumps, and everyone watching on Periscope equally felt the energy. I could see the lightning now it was cracking down and across the fields. Before I knew it, the storm was above me, and I had to jump on my bike sharpish. I gunned the throttle and got outta there. Unfortunately I could not outrun mother nature, and it wasn’t long before lightning was striking within killing distance. One of the followers suggested I cut the scope short as I was effectively acting as a conductor holding my phone! He was right, so ended it there and then.
Never felt mother nature like this before
As I was driving on the edge of the storm, I actually thought I was out of it. I was wrong, a bolt of lightning came crashing down on the opposite side of the road using a lamppost as an earthing point. The power and shock wave was unreal. I can only imagine the comparison would be like a blast from an explosion. My whole body was jolted, sending my bike of track! I was genuinely crapping myself now. I didn’t know what the best thing to do now…
The journey must go on and no thunderstorm will stop me from getting to Ninh Binh
I felt the best course of action was to go fast, turn the throttle, keep the head down and hope for the best.
It’s actually not that easy driving in the dark with a tinted visor, it’s frickin murder in fact! The alternative is getting tons of bugs in the mouth and face. Not ideal really either way.
I finally arrived in Ninh Binh City, opened up my iphone to hunt for a hotel, found a reasonable priced one and went with it. Checked in, had a quick shower and went out for a bite to eat and a cheeky beer 🙂
Thanks for reading my blog it would be epic if you could share your thoughts on social or comment below.
You can follow the journey daily
Download the Periscope app here