I got a whiff of a Vietnamese woman's perfume in the midst of roasting snails and it oddly reminded me of my childhood. I don't think I've ever smelled cooked snails before but the memory was visiting a peanut factory with my mom when we were visiting my grandfather in North Carolina. He loved Virginia roasted peanuts. His breath always smelled of peanuts my mid afternoon.
Strange and beautiful memories pop into my mind as I walk the streets of in Da Nang. I am overwhelmed. My senses are on overload and after walking several hours in search of food to stock up on for my walk in the mountains, I am ready to retreat into my tent.
I am already missing the desert. It was so much easier for me with no people around. I find navigating an extremely populated area much more intimidating than being in an arid desert. So, I have decided to leave the beautiful coastline of Viet Nam to trek through the mountainous Ho Chi Minh trail. It will take a lot longer, is extremely strenuous with escalating inclines and is hotter and wetter than the coast. But I am longing for more solitude and I have enough dried noodles and dehydrated shrimp flakes to get me to the Laos border.
Because I've had plenty of concern from caring friends and family, I got a SPOT device. What this means is you can click on "My Location" near the bottom of the landing page to see my route, in real time. There will be occasions where I don't have signal but most of the time you can track my steps and see where I'm at on the map. This brings a big smile to my dad who has reserved funds to rent a camel and rescue me if I get in deep sh*t ;-) I know he doesn't really and I can't imagine him riding any kind of large animal but it makes us both giggle at the thought of it.
I've also compiled some short stories that you can read over on the chapter by chapter page.
Just a little light reading till I can share more with you.
I am also contributing short stories over at my friends website, Soul Growth Radio. I highly recommend you check it out. And she's always looking for good stories to share (for those of you who've had a yearning to share your story).
I'll be in touch in a few months when I reach Vientiane, Laos.
Happy (Chinese) New Year!