In the foothills west of Highway 1
Nha Trang Travel Blog› entry 103 of 126 › view all entries
A cluster of blue dots on Google Earth showed a reservoir in the foothills out past Highway 1. I had found one lake riding up to Hon Ba Mountain last April but this one was further to the north. I rented a motorbike and followed country roads out of Nha Trang. In the low-lying Dong Bo River basin, what were green rice paddies in January were now under a foot or two of brown water from the recent rains. Searching for a new way to Highway 1, another narrow lane dead-ended at a hillside cemetery. I decided to cut north to the Cai River where I could intercept familiar roads. Besides, exploring this side of the highway could be done by bicycle.
The second of the two rickety bridges that cross the Cai River was also washed away. Two men fished from its old toll collection shed which was still intact on the opposite side.
My rented motorbike cost 50,000 VND for the day ($2.50 U.S.). It was a Sym 'Elegant' which must have been Chinese built. She ran okay and seemed to have plenty of power but then on Highway 1 top speeds are rarely over seventy kilometers per hour.
The lake only looked to be about a mile across so I tried to circle around it. Off the far end of the dam, a rocky track angled into green woods and brush. The area was shaded cool by eucalyptus trees and had their fresh aroma. I passed a floating shack where one man was cleaning a plump 18-inch fish.
The track narrowed as I continued up and over smaller hills scattered with banana trees. Where it finally narrowed to the width of a foot path, I met motorbikes coming the opposite way. They were hauling heavy timbers like railroad ties and must have been salvaging an old building somewhere in the back country. I had to get off the bike and lay it down low so they could pass. With the trail getting steeper and more muddy, I turned back the way I came. The track on the other side of the dam also had sporadic motorbike traffic hauling cumbersome loads so I didn't explore it. I'll come back in the dry season to find a way around the lake.