KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
For the trip to Nha Trang we travelled on a different road that would take us south for the first part of the journey and then northeast along the coast of the South China Sea. We said goodbye to the cool pine forests and headed straight for what seemed like a dramatic escarpment. As we began our descent down the face of the mountain, we could see the flat coastal plain in the distance. The road was a series of switch-backs, hairpin turns on a very narrow road. The driver was assisted by large metal mirrors at each turn so that he could see if there was oncoming traffic. This gave me some peace of mind but I was still watching the driver's every move so that I could jump to his seat and take over should he make a fatal error in judgment. The fact that I was sitting halfway back in the bus didn't cross my mind - I would have to save my husband and my brother and his wife. Yeah, sure!
Once we hit the level ground, I settled in to watch the changing scenery. This area is largely uninhabited as the ground is not suited to growing crops and the people chose to live along the sea and turn to fishing for their lively hood. We stopped for lunch along the way - a very unremarkable place - and then continued on to Nha Trang. The bus dropped us off at the office and we were able to pick up our tickets for the evening train to Danang - we had made arrangements through the travel agent in Dalat for the tickets to be booked. The office manager kindly allowed us to store our luggage in his back office and then we headed out for a look at the beach and to locate the famous "Louisianne" brewery on the beach front.
The surf was unusually high that evening and there were virtually no people in the sea. A few tourists walked along the esplanade obviously disappointed that they had come all this way to this renowned beach and now found the water not only uninviting, but treacherous. We found the brewery with little trouble - a lovely setting which included a courtyard swimming pool - and staked our claim on a table with a view of the sea. David, Jeong Ae and Anil each ordered a different type of draft beer - I stuck to soft drinks because I find the beer in South East Asia gives me a headache. We ordered chicken wings for Jeong Ae but she was hugely let down when a large piece of chicken-like meat arrived with one little wing sticking sadly into the air.
We passed the hours much like anyone would pass time at a lovely setting on a lovely beach. When evening fell, we headed over to an Indian Restaurant that we had eaten at on our trip three years ago. The food was fairly decent, but Jeong Ae told me once again that because she was introduced to Indian food through me, she finds my cooking the best. I appreciate the compliment, but I am the first to admit, I'm not a talented cook by any means. In fact, I am really enjoying not having to cook at all anymore and when Jeong Ae mentions taking cooking lessons during our travels, I always suggest she talk to Anil. Hmmm.