Patrick Leary

Joined April 2016
  • Apr23

    Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

    April 23, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 36 °C

    Ho Chi Minh city (Vietnam) 🇻🇳
    Final push today from the outskirts of HCM and cycled straight to a bike shop (Mr Biker) that I had found earlier on the "Warmshowers" community. Very thankful for the Garmin on the bike today, it successfully navigated me into the city on some of the quieter minor roads. The staff in the workshop were most obliging and helped me pack the bike into a box. Even managed a shower in the back of the workshop before loading the bike box and myself into a taxi for the hotel. One minor problem somewhere sealed in the bike box are my house keys and remote....
    Another "short" cycle tour unfortunately comes to an end, again a good experience, and memories that will last for a long time. Thanks for following ....
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  • Apr21

    Bao Tang Tinh (Vietnam)

    April 21, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

    Bao Tang Tinh (Vietnam) 🇻🇳
    The first ferry to the far bank was R1, then followed some back roads on the way out of town.
    It's a nightmare navigating through the delta with all the small roads you have to keep on referring to the "Maps.Me" App to make sure you are on the right track.
    Stopped at a roadside stall for my new "go to" drink, some freshly squeezed sugar cane juice. Obliging old toothless lady with no shoes served me. Time to pay, I pull out my money, and although I had small notes, she takes 500,000.00 Dong (R300) from me. Wait for my change, nothing. I demand my money back and call her a thief and a witch (don't worry she for sure couldn't understand English). Gave her a fair amount, climbed on my bike and rode off. I've probably been shortchanged before, but this was so blatant.Read more

  • Apr20

    Can Tho (Vietnam)

    April 20, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ 🌧 32 °C

    Can Tho (Vietnam) 🇻🇳
    Time to leave the island of Phu Quoc and head back to the mainland. I took the earliest ferry possible so that I could at least get in some cycling today. Docked on the mainland in a town called Rach Gia around 10am and began cycling. All good plans go awry. The town I had earmarked to stay, had no accommodation. Zilch. There was a marathon the following day and all rooms taken. No option but to push on to the next town with accommodation, arriving there well after sunset.Read more

  • Apr18

    Phu Quoc (Vietnam) - Day 2

    April 18, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Taking a break from cycling, and spending a few days doing some scuba diving, my other passion.
    The reefs here are okay, but still hard to beat the reefs off Mozambique, Madagascar, and SA. It takes about two hours to get to the dive sites (boats are very slow), and then typically two dives per day. Lunch is served on the boat after the 2nd dive on your way home.Read more

  • Apr16

    Phu Quoc (Vietnam)

    April 16, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    The border crossing from Cambodia to Vietnam was uneventful. Very quite, I think that I was the only person leaving Cambodia. Arrived in a small town of Ha Tien and found myself an ATM and withdrew some local Dong, also with 000,000. Next again was to find a SIM card for data.
    In Ha Tien many buildings have added an extra floor especially for the swallows to harvest the nests. All over town are speakers playing bird calls, if the barking geckos, don't keep you awake at night, this racket sure will.
    From there I found a ferry to take my across to the island of Phu Quoc, a three hour crossing, the fare R140 ($10) for me and my bike.
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  • Apr15

    Kep (Cambodia)

    April 15, 2019 in Cambodia ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    With New Year celebrations ongoing the beaches were packed, and the roads gridlocked. SA is not the only country where the masses flock to the beaches for the holidays. At least with a bicycle it was possible to still get around town.
    This area of Cambodia is renowned for its Salt Mines, Pepper Farms, and seafood.
    Lunch whilst I was cycling was duck from a roadside stall, very tough but editable. Dinner was an amazing crab dish with coconut milk.
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  • Apr14

    Kampot - Day 2

    April 14, 2019 in Cambodia ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

    Town is quiet today, only a few tourists and expats roaming around. It is the Khmer New Year starting today and runs for three days.
    One of the most popular fruits in these parts is the Durian, but due to its overpowering smell, it has been banned on many types of public transport. At the airports you will also see signs that it is prohibited.
    Everywhere in Thailand, spirit houses can be seen, at private homes, factories, hotels, restaurants, temples and even along roads where deadly crashes happened.
    Flowers, food, drinks and also little figurines representing servants, dancers, elephants, horses, cars are given to the spirit of the land. The dancers shall entertain him. The elephants and horses shall transport him.
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  • Apr13

    Kampot (Cambodia)

    April 13, 2019 in Cambodia ⋅ 🌧 33 °C

    Today I made up for some lost time (following my earlier diversion) by making use of the local transport for part of the route. Watching the bus being loaded I thought it would not be possible to load anything more. 80% of the bus was loaded to the roof with crates of fish. They then removed a row of seats, and three scooters were loaded through the side door. No space for my bike inside so it hung precariously by rope at the rear of the bus. Then 20 humans crammed in, all intertwined, some standing, and at least three on each scooter.
    Arrived in Kampot, and although a small town, a surprising number of tourists, and also expats running the many guest houses.
    All over Cambodia you will see what look like abandoned concrete buildings, but these are for harvesting the nests of swallows. Bird songs are piped in with speakers to attract more swallows. The nests can be sold for as much as $1,800 / kg on the Chinese market. They are used for skincare, anti-cancer, and for impotence (good thing.... leave our Rhinos alone).
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  • Apr12

    Koh Sdach - Day 2

    April 12, 2019 in Cambodia ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    This is not your typical tourist destination, this is the real Cambodia, and very little to no English is spoken.
    After yesterday's epic day, today was a day off. A family member from the Guest House took me for a walk through the village, we then arranged a boat to take us to another island, him and his onterage came along for the ride. His wife, two sons, and two other kids. After exploring the island we had lunch on the pier, washed down by beers. It was then that I noticed some fruit bats hanging in a net from the rafters (these came back with us on the boat).
    I was heading out to find dinner, when the family invited me to join them. All started out well with rice and fresh squid on the grill, then some salty chewy fish. From there things got serious, one of the family pointed to the fire; superman he says (aka fruit bat). While this was being prepared, a squawk, and a chicken was removed from its roosting spot in the rafters and was also on the fire five minutes later. Don't judge, this is life in rural Cambodia.
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  • Apr11

    Koh Sdach

    April 11, 2019 in Cambodia ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    The kind lady at the hotel gave me 'padkos' for the road today, 4 eggs, 4 slices of bread, and one Dragonfruit. Today I started out one hour before sunrise, the idea was to summit one of the big climbs before it became to hot. For those that think this is easy, it's not; blood, sweat and tears, just to bring you a few pictures. Sometimes plans go array, on the spur of the moment, I headed off the main road, and am now 60km off track, on a small island, in the most primitive of fishing villages. I only arrived here at 5pm after 12 hrs on the bike (136km). I guess in Cambodia this is not the sign for "I need a lift NOW" 👍
    I drank gallons today and survived on my 'padkos' some bananas, and nuts.
    I crossed from the mainland to a fishing village on a Island with a dinghy for $2.50, and found a 'homeshare' which is basic but adequate. Most stalls had already closed in the village by the time I had showered and done my daily laundry. The families were sitting out front having there dinner. All I could find for myself was a bowl of soup with some chicken and sprouts.
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