To Da Nang.
The train has begun winding along the coast, high above the ocean, beaches, and boulders that comingle in such a spectacularly dramatic fashion below. Between trunks of trees, homes, and shops I catch glimpses of a smooth, glistening blue expanse nestled in the arms of lush green hills reaching out into the ocean like cupped hands gathering up water to drink. Through the opposite window of the train are the green, cloudswept mountains of Bach Ma National Park, a place I may visit while in Da Nang (if the weather cooperates).
The train is moving along quite slowly here, creaking and groaning like an infirm, rheumatic old man, as if to provide us passengers with substantial time to enjoy these new surroundings and a song to listen to as well. Out in the bay small boats scoot, and empty fishing towers stand like men in waders looking for a good place to cast their lines or nets. Everywhere around this creaking, squealing monstrosity is thick, heavy vegetation—a jungle— broken up only by the occasional stream streaming and winding down the mountain to the sea, and small concrete tin-roofed structures, many of which are joyfully and colorfully painted.
In less than an hour we ought to be pulling into the train station in Da Nang, and I will disembark, likely into some very warm weather, and will be off to eat (I already have a place picked out), as it will be that time, and too early for me to check in to the hostel I have booked. And then…