19-Aug-2006 -- Right one week after coming to 21N 105E in Da Bac, we start another trip and the destinations this time are 3 places in Vietnam’s Northern costal and Hong delta provinces.
Making an appointment for the departure at the front of the University of Technology, our team of 9 people with 3 cars started the trip at 6.30 am in a heavy rain. The rain had been lasting for several days and many roads/villages flooded. We had thought of canceling this trip but finally decided to go on. We dropped in a small town of Phu Ly to have break-fast at about 7.30 AM. There are two specialties in that town, which are Banh Cuon Cha (a kind of roll made from rice and grilled pork) and rice noodles with fish.
After having break-fast, we drove along the Highway No.1, which is, as its name, the longest highway connecting two ends of the country. Turning left at Ha Trung town to the provincial road where we were only 17km far away from the 20N 106E confluence, we found that the distance appearing on our GPS’s was continuously shortened. During the last 1km, we drove on a trail across a green field. We continued to go and shorten the gap to 400m, the destination was in the left of us.
It was raining quite hard at that time and we had to wear raincoats to across a field of sedge, that’s used by the local people to weave mats, to approach the target. When it was 50m far from the destination, we saw the point some where inside a garden of a mat weaving family. They were very kind and willing to allow us to access the garden and make photos. In the rain, we met a lot of difficulties to define exactly the co-ordination, as the GPS always fluctuated within the amplitude of 0,4 and 0,1m. Finally, Tivi, our youngest member found out the original co-ordination with all figures of zero.
We talked to the house owner while making photos. In fact they were very surprised because they did not know what there was in their garden. They mentioned about an event happened 3-4 years ago when several foreigners visiting their house. At that time, they could not understand one another because of the language obstruction. But this time, after being explained by us, they seemed to get some clue about GPS, co-ordination and confluence hunting. We then spent some moment to see the garden and watch mat weaving. Although being very poor and having to work very hard, especially in this year when they had a bad crop, the farmers here were still very pleasant and kind to us. GiaoThong bought a couple of double-mat. Mat produced in this area is extremely famous for its softness and coolness. The house lord was so kind that she brought the mats to our car. The raining was stopped, and the weather was so cool then the path became much easier for walking. Goodbye the friendly people, we went on with the next destination – the 21N 107E confluence.