Pleibroum – Tuy Hoa (135km, 84mi) Generally follow the Ba River to the coast, considerable dirt road.
Points of interest: Highway 25 was the evacuation route from Pleiku in 1975, E'de ethnic villages, rice, sugar cane, Krong Trai Nature Reserve.
|Before we left Pleibroum in the morning the produce seller had already arrived on her motorcycle and was open for business.|
|The Ba River Valley is quite affluent, with lots of rice and sugar cane fields, a sugar cane factory and some substantial houses.|
|Every town and village has a school. In the picture on the left the school has a large shed (center left) packed with bikes. At the school on the rights the students seemed to be doing a martial arts routine.|
|The bridge (left) looks like it is in pretty bad shape, but a modern bridge was constructed adjacent to it on the left and put into service in 2006.|
|In 1975, Highway 25 was the only evacuation route that the Viet Cong allowed civilians out of Pleiku. Back then 100 km of the highway was packed with tens of thousands of people in misery. The post along the side would indicate that they expect high water sometimes.|
|The signs of war have been eased from the landscape. The farm houses look prosperous and the fields are dense with rice.|
|The pot belly pigs are health (left) and the water in the irrigation ditch is flowing strong.|
|A lot of the route is sparsely populated. By the time we were interested in lunch there was little to choose from. The best prospect was an isolated house that looked like it had at least a bar. We asked if the had rice. They assured us they had rice and aggressively insisted that we sit down -- immediately. I was a bit suspicious because they were so insistent that they weren't giving us time to park our bikes and get our helmets and gloves off, and I didn't see any evidence of food on a stove -- but we didn't have any options so we put our fate in there hands. As it was, part of my suspicion was right -- they never served us any rice. We thought we had luck out with a great meal with the delectable soup, but then platters of noodles, meats, fish, vegetables, spring rolls and so much more kept coming and coming. Where had all this food come from? Who was the intended recipient? We were at the house from noon until after 1pm and no one else came. And, there was no obvious employment generator for miles to create a lunch crowd. Had we eaten the families lunch -- but there was hardly enough family there to eat that much food and some of them had eaten with us and there was still bountiful amounts of food on the platters when we were stuffed -- not so much from eating so much of any given dish, just from sampling the buffet. It did add up. They further impeach my initial suspicions but not wanting to take any money. We finally got some money to them by folding it into origami cranes -- it took a while to devise so they were well aware of what we were up to. We can't express enough praise to our host. It is a memory that will last for decades.|
|Our good fortunes continued once we got our over-fed bodies back on the bikes. The road was increasing flat and the last section was a picturesque ride along the Ba River and past scenic farmland and villages.|
|Tuy Hoa was typical of the Vietnamese cities we had seen; low rise and bustling with people and busting small scale enterprises. One view (right) across the rooftops show two towers; a thousand year old Champa Tower and a modern telecommunications tower.|
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