Today’s mission: Drive from Da Lat or Dalat to Lăk Lake
The clock reads 59905 km and the temperature was already 26 degrees at 9:00. Another hot day on the road.
First part of the trip is back to the same pine forest to the valley.
Coffee plantations eat into the forest
Coffee blossoms smell magic – a bit like Jasmine in the night
There was a two-hour stretch of road with butterflies – not hundreds or thousands – millions.
I never saw that many all my life together than today! I made a video for a few seconds so you can imagine how it was – magic!
They do slow you down since you do not want to kill them but that is no problem. You will look all over the place and not at the road all the time so you better go slow :-)
If you watched the movie you might noticed all the wood next to the street. Almost the whole day I did pass cut down trees – they make land for more coffee.
Rainforest meets the coffee plant – the rainforest does loose the fight
More houses on the river – they look like homes not farms. Should be rent free and you do not need to purchase land. And never worry about a flood any more! Your house will simply lift with the water.
If you get closer to Lak Lake the land gets flat again and the main cash crop changes from coffee to rice
Rice fields close to Lak Lake
Rush Hour close to Lak Lake
I did stop at Café Duc Mai for a coffee and a cold 333 beer. It was 38 degrees and I needed to hydrate. The guy sitting next to me was an Russian tour guide and he did speak a bit English. His customers where Elephant riding and a few minutes later another bus arrived with more Russians and Elena – their tour guide. They stop here only for the Elephant riding and then drive on.
I hate Elephant riding and do not understand why one would ride an Elephant. They should ride a bicycle or motorbike if they must ride anything.
Now I had the whole circus in front of me. Everybody got a few sticks of sugar cane to feed the Elephants for the pictures.
They even have two hooks to control the poor animal – and the hooks have two spikes.
They have a heavy iron cage on the poor animal and it has to ride around with up to 3 fat tourists and the Mahout. Way to much!
Sugar cane for the Elephants – for a last picture. After that: Back to the bus and Adios!
My bike in the middle of the action
Now the tourists are gone and they take the Elephants back to wherever they keep them.
Café Duc Mai
A few houses down from Café Duc Mai is a Homestay in a traditional long house. It is 5 US $ a head. You sleep on a mattress with a mosquitoes net in the big long house that is actually only one big room on the inside. There are a few more Homestays in the villages at the lake where you can stay as well. Since I did my long house stay on this trip already I opted for Café Duc Mai for the next two nights. 5 US $ for a room with shared shower and free WiFi. They have also a good set dinner for 3 US $ and the beer is only slightly more expensive than in the shops around.
The clock: 60070 = 165 km today.
Still time to see the sun set from the hill round the corner.
On the way back I passed the other hotel in the village – they had a cultural show for a bunch of French tourists that did have dinner over there.
Cultural show at the hotel on the other side of the street. The Mnong believe that their music and specially the Gong has supernatural power. So with it they can communicate with the superior God! UNESCO did recognise “the area of gong culture in the Central Highlands of Vietnam” as a masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity.
And a little movie so you get a better understanding of what is going on over there:
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