30-Dec-2003 -- On one of the last day of the year, we left all the worries behind and rode my bike to visit my second confluence. The target is the 13N 108E. We did a better planning for this trip with a map (not very detailed though, 1:1 000 000) and a compass in our back pack.
An old bus took my bike and us to Buon Ma Thuot, a small town on the West Highland. Vietnam is a narrow and long country with the Truong Son mountain chain on the west like a backbone of the country. Dak Lak province is located on the Truong Son backbone and Buon Ma Thuot is the township of Dak Lak province. It’s 40 km to the target. We had dinner and a good sleep after a long and dusty trip from Saigon.
On the next morning, we filled ourselves with a big breakfast and filled my bike full of gasoline, both of us were ready for a new trip. We was lucky; the confluence is not too far from the dusty and slippery road. Quang Phu (the red dot on the lower right corner of the map) is just 10 km north of Buon Ma Thuot and the road is tarmacked. Not too far from Quang Phu, there is no more tarmac on the road, it is made of compacted red soil and covered by a fine red dust layer. The red dust is blown up by any movement on the road and covers the whole body of any travelers passing by. The dust is so fine that it could get into the pores and stay there for a while. You need a few days to wash it off your skin. As I expected, the confluence is not very far from the road, in fact, I took a picture of the spot from the road itself. But getting to the confluence is another story; it is the rain forest with a lot of trees and bushes, lianas and creepers with sharp thorns. My jacket and Jean were ragged but we was fine despite some scratches on my arms.
Anyway, I am happy that my visit to this confluence without too much troubles and I believe this is the last visit of the year. Happy New Year to you all.