The insanity of another Chaly Rally behind me.... Day 1 Cu Chi to Can Tho Nice days riding, about 30 km of dodgy Vietnamese highways to negotiate before the end, but other than that, very nice. A little police intervention in the morning - always happens since the crowds gather whenever we stop to check out the white guys crazy enough to ride Vietnam's least desirable bike a ridiculously long distance. Cruising through the Mekong Delta region on the top of dykes (with these tricky little 45 degree ascet/descent bridges that threw us around a little and got me slightly airborne more than once). Really nice riding, technical in places. Chaly held out very well. Teammate had some clutch issues that would haunt us later, but didnt flare up until near the finish line (just to make it more frustrating). Met at a hotel in town, got in third, few drinks. One of the guys (ironically with the most expensive bikes) had an engine blew and did a transplant over night after two rebuilds on the road. Drew quite the crowd of people staring at the bikes, at one point there were food vendors appearing to sell corn etc to the crowds. Entertaining as always. Day 2 - Can Tho - Rach Gia. Today had a bit of a deadline on it - since we had to make it to Rach Gia (port town) to take the boat over to Phu Quoc island by 1.30. Was a cannonball run - a Chaly Rally first - with no set route. We chose 'the middle road' although got moderately lost on it, but were still heading in loosely the same direction, so no major dramas. Gorgeous riding on narrow-but-smooth paths between the canals of the delta. High speeds but good surface means we can enjoy the scenery without worrying about potholes etc. Teammate had mild clutch issue again, put us back a bit. One very dodgy bridge to cross, high, rickety, steepish, and with a fance about 1.5 meters opposite it on the down side - some tricky braking to not run through that. Great day, cruised into the highway, got pulled over by police for speeding, but just spoke to them in English and they let me go rather than deal with a communication hassle ("you very fast. stop. go. you, go") Boat ride (one team just made it as the boat was heading off), one guy missed it altogether - the one who transplanted his engine the night before had the new one blow out on him. He was sitting on a xe ba gac (basically a tray top three wheel motorbike) bringing his bike back in. Few beers on the boat, 3 hrs later we are in Phu Quoc and being attacked by vendors on the pier. AWESOME ride across the island riding in convoy along the beach. Chalys in full flight on a great gravel road on the waterfront. A lot of fun. Hotel. Day 3 - Phu Quoc Mechanical problems for a few of the boys delayed the start til 12.30, we took off at 1, and the clutch of my teammate went out once n for all. Mechanic got it going, but we only made it maybe 10 km before it went out again. Back to the mechanic (4 by the time we got there), and he says 2 hours to replace the clutch. There endeth our rally. Disappointing as the boys say it was great. There was a pretty bad accident today - first Chaly Rally casualty. Guy hit a a dog at high speed. Killed the dog and banged himself up pretty badly too. Busted knee and wrist. Lucky to just have that, apparently he went tumbling 20 meters down the road. Anyhow, party follows. BBQ on the beach and a lot of drinking. Fun night. Day 4 - R&R Another convoy trip down to the pier, great riding. Couple of photo stops on the way. Boats loaded with Chalys destined for the mainland, people board bus for Bai Sao - probably VN's nicest beach. Seafood on the beach, swimming and messing around with the boys. Back to hotel then to a BBQ at the house of an Aussie guy who runs a pearl business on the island. Drinking for most, but I wasnt really in the mood. Moved on to a club that was deserted bar us, three promo girls (with no one to promote to) and a smattering of hookers. Left at about 1. Bed. Abused by five skankyass hookers in the morning, since someone had invited them back, then kicked them out in the morning upon seeing how ugly they were. I - completely innocent and unaware that they were even there - surfaced first in the morning and bore the brunt of their fury ("fuckyoooou mister mo'bike racer man fuckyoooou") and listened to them demand $100 each of me to compensate them for the alleged sins of my compatriots. Someone surfaced and kicked a girl down the steps and went back to bed (she was trying to steal his shoes as collateral) and eventually they left and I went back to my book. Plane. Landing. Mainland. Office. Another insane rally behind me.