We get off the boat and look for a ride to our hotel. We know it is somewhere nearby but it is hot and humid and the thought of a hike in a strange town doesn't appeal. A young entrepreneur offers to take us -- not in a tuk tuk, but on two small motorcycles. Off we go. It seems like a long way to me as I know our hotel isn't far from the river, but of course, I don't know exactly where the boat landing is. Eventually, after many turns and various streets we arrive. The young German couple who were on our boat, and who chose to walk to the same hotel, arrive before we do! We guess we were just treated to an unsolicited motorcycle tour of downtown Chau Doc, at a cost of 80,000 Dong (four bucks). Not a huge loss, but it serves notice that we are now in a different country.
Our hotel, right downtown, is very nice for sixteen dollars a night: AC, hot shower, comfortable bed -- no elevator! We wonder if they put all the old people on the fourth floor; and they use the European system here, which means the floor above the lobby is the first floor. We wish we had hired a couple of sherpas to carry our bags up to base camp.
|View from our fifth-story balcony in Chau Doc|
I suffer an equipment failure and need a new belt. The man at the
The bus ride to Can Tho takes us deep into the delta. Green fields of rice nearly ready to harvest, roadways choked with traffic, construction everywhere and houses, shops, warehouses and factories along the roadsides.
|Rice fields, nearly ready for harvest|
Small canals, big canals, small rivers and big rivers are everywhere. Nearly all the waterways have an amazing amount of boat traffic. There is every kind of vessel from tiny canoes to huge steel barges carrying sand and dirt. It is truly a waterworld.
|Every kind of working vessel on the river ....|
|...carrying every conceivable cargo|
|River bank house|
There are also many ramshackle buildings at the rivers edge with conveyors and augers extending out over the water. We think these are rice processing plants and the raw rice is augured out of the boats and conveyered into the building to be cleaned and bagged, ready for sale.
|Riverside rice processing plant|