The team hit the coffee shop adjacent to the Tune hotel - noted for its free wifi, in contrast to the hotel itself - for a fine breakfast before setting off in the rain for a gentle 60km or so to Kampong Raja and the pleasant-sounding Manor Beach resort - bags despatched, everything under control...
The ride went smoothly - rain until lunch (good chicken rice), easing after, once the gods were satisfied that we and the contents of our panniers were sufficiently damp. The Manor Beach proved elusive for a while - overshot quite a bit, people directed us with a marked lack of accuracy until Wal asked at the Bukit Keluang resort and they sent him back a ways. He thought it looked quite nice and they asked if he'd like to stay there, but of course we were sorted.
The Manor Beach's front elevation was a rather large and imposing and unfinished building. We had to call them and be directed round the back down a dirt road to get into the 2 rows of facing bungalows which comprised the resort. We had been promised a bungalow with 2 twin rooms, but were shown to one with one room containing 2 double beds. Fond as the team members are of each other, this was not in the manual - but it was all they had. The sweet girl in charge called the manager who suggested we took 2 rooms at a cost of 350RM - more than the 300 we had rejected on the phone, preferring the bungalow at 230 or so. It was becoming clear why this place was empty, while the huge resort next door which we hastily called as an alternative, was booked out. The girl, however, was so kind she called another place, booked for us and offered to drive the bags over. This place was the above mentioned Bukit Keluang, which is where we are now ensconced in a rather overgrown villa, with 4 beds in one room, so we can all accuse each other of snoring. The place is popular with Malay families, whose kids are happily splashing around, fully clothed, in the pool. The review did mention that you might feel out of place here in a bikini, which is putting it mildly. I think we are a little... unexpected. But the staff are nice to us, and the wifi in the restaurant is tolerable, even if the food isn't.
Walter's search for a 'proper' resort to give the team a rest day continues........
As resorts go Hoi An was hard to beat. Saw "The Way" on video last night; parallels to our trip will have you smiling, Spain looked really interesting for a Van Praag Peleton or a Mark and Jim Skinny Pilgrims trip! Author required as per " The Way". JR
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