Sunday, Nov. 29th (Mui Ne Day 5)

  • Woke up refreshed and ready to hit the water for our fourth day of kiteboarding lessons.
  • The wind was too strong and the waves too big on the main beach in front of the school, so we packed everything up and grabbed a taxi, along with our instructors and two other students, to a bay with a bit more protection.
  • After 5 hours of instruction and plenty of thrashing around in the water over the past three days, we were both finally able to stand up and ride!
  • It wasn’t exactly smooth sailing from there though.  I panicked on one ride as I was approaching the shore with speed and tried to reverse directions too quickly.  The wind Gods didn’t like that and took me for a big looping ride through the air before smashing me down on my back.  Luckily I was still deep enough to crash in the water and not on the beach!
  • Cory ran into some trouble with a massive multi-buoy fishing net.  The wind took him too far, too fast and he went down along with his kite in a tangle of fishing line.  It took both instructors and some gear disassembly before he was standing safely on shore again.
  • Overall, though, we made great progress and were thoroughly wiped by the time we caught a cab back to the main strip.
  • When we arrived back at the kiteboarding school we were greeted with news that there would be a school-wide dinner at 7pm for all staff and students.  We just had time to drop my motorbike off at the same mechanic shop (the headlight burnt out and I noticed a slight wobble in the steering on our earlier trip to the sand dunes) and relax for a few minutes before heading back out for dinner.
  • Thirty people showed up for the dinner at a local BBQ joint where we were served dish after dish of raw crocodile, ostrich, deer, pork, and beef, which we then cooked on small personal charcoal grills (roughly one for every group of 4-6 people).  The food was outstanding and mixed well with sides of veggies and massive rice crackers.
  • The (cheap) beer was flowing and one of the instructors brought what he called, “happy water.”  Some sort of rice alcohol that smelled like aged vinegar and tasted only marginally better.  It did the trick though and the whole group ended up back at the kiteboarding school/beach club where we stayed late into the night drinking, laughing, and playing pool.      

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