Sunday 25 December 2016

Drunken nights, glowing plankton, motorcycle crashes and Christmas.

Okay, so on this Christmas day it will probably be best if I just start off listing the numerous injuries I've managed to inflict upon myself...  for the Christmas cheer and all that!

So Sean took my stitches out for me a few days ago, which went really smooth. It's nice travelling with a paramedic. And now I think the injury has got to the point where I don't have to bandage it anymore. In cellarbration, or just getting into the full swing of the night, I, along with everyone else in our group got blind drunk once we met up on the island of Cat Ba, located in Ha Long bay. One thing led to another and we decided to ride our bikes *shakes head* to the port (it was a deserted island road, so kind of better) where we snuck onto a ferry boat and lay dangling our hands over the edge into the water. This was the first time I've ever seen phosphorescent plankton (the kind that glow when they are disturbed) so I jumped into the water and dived around as the water sparkled around me. I loved every second but I managed to tear my hands up pretty badly as I climbed back out of the sea to the shore on some razor sharp rocks. Sans one bandage on the foot and now one on the right hand!

Last night took the crown though on the most stupid thing I've ever managed to do on a motorcycle. There's no point in sugar coating it, so to tell it like it is; I managed to ride head-on into a concrete bollard on the top of a mountain... This is without a doubt the most idiotic, painful and mechanically
damaging accident I've ever done. As far as the bike goes; the front wheel is buckled, the tyre has ruptured from the mud guard as it smacked into the engine, both front forks are bent, cracked suspension, indicators smashed, handlebars bent and something dodgy has happened to the throttle.
 As far as I'm concerned... I was basically dragged over the bike as I went flying over, and it's quite comforting to know that the only parts that are injured are the parts that wasn't protected from my motorcycle gear. Both my thighs are really badly bruised, as is my left arm, a part of my stomach, a patch of skin on my inner groin has been torn away (two inches to the left and it would have been very, very, VERY bad), and together with both hands cut up and a foot that's just had stitches taken out, well... merry Christmas! I was injured in 'Nam...

Everything is fine though. There's very little I would change. I would have maybe climbed out of the sea at a different place and would have definitely not have been such a fool and driven into a bollard. But these things happen. It will only cost me around £50 to fix everything on the bike, which isn't anything to cry about. The thing I am bothered about is the fact that I let that happen. I'll be calling myself an idiot for a long time coming.
 But to keep with the Christmas cheer, I am loving Vietnam, despite the woes. When I was riding around the island yesterday I had a thought 'I didn't think it was possible to love Vietnam anymore, but always there is something else that manages to top everything.' And it's true. It's a fantastic place. The people I'm with too, are brilliant. It feels like I'm travelling I'm travelling with a family. There's never a dull moment. Gaby commented yesterday that on the way back down the mountain in the dark when the track started going uphill again, Sean and Marc rode at each side of me and pushed me up the hill with my bumpy front tyre, and despite all the problems she smiled at the bonds of friendship that were there.

So there we go. Despite the broken body and bike, I'm still smiling this Christmas and I wouldn't wish to be anywhere else. Merry Christmas to all you guys at home. Keep smiling, whatever happens something is always okay. That's all the Christmas cheer I'm willing to give. Just no more injuries, Liam, for fucks sake...

Here are some nice photo's from over the pat few weeks.

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