Dalat – Never eating again

April 21 to 25

I'll start with the happy stories before I get into the juicy details of the food poisoning Johnny and I went through.

Like Johnny mentioned in the other post, he was under doctor's orders not to “get any wind” in his eye for several days. We didn't want to spend any more money in Mu Nei so we caught a bus up to Dalat. It was painful. The bus was 40 minutes late picking us up and then after the bikes were shoved in we sat down for a seriously bone jarring ride on a hot and sweaty bus. I would never have believed a big cushioned bus seat would be so much more uncomfortable than a hard bike seat but I was wrong… my ass was killing me! Finally after 5+ hours we climbed up to the honeymoon capital of Vietnam, Dalat.

To me Dalat was the promise land. For months since I realized just how hot Southeast Asia is, I've been excited to get to Dalat for some “cool” weather. And with Dalat sitting up at 1500m I was not disappointed. To us Canadians it was still warm in shorts and T-shirts but it was way cooler than everywhere else we've been in Asia. It was funny walking around though; you'd think we were at a ski resort. All over town there were big fluffy down jackets for sale and the Vietnamese tourists were bundled up as if it was 5°C instead of 25°C.

The 22nd was my sister's birthday so to celebrate her birthday we went to this bakery. These communal trays are never cleaned so Johnny has me convinced that this is what gave us food poisoning.

Johnny and I had a great day and a half before all hell broke loose. I don't know if it was bad meat or a case of someone's unwashed poo hands getting all over our serving tray but on our second night (Monday night) I started complaining about my stomach feeling weird. Not gassy or grumbly but just weird. Johnny was really concerned and taking care of me but a couple hours after my symptoms started Johnny started to feel sick too. That's when I started throwing up over and over and over again. It may possibly have been the worst night of my life. I must have gotten up 8 times that night to throw up. You don't want to know but for my own records I'll mention that I threw up somewhere between 30 and 40 times that night.

At one point I woke up sore, wet, and confused. It took a bit of time but finally I pieced together that I was sore from sleeping against the wall on the floor of the bathroom (don't know how that happened), I was in Vietnam with Johnny, I was sick and had vomit all over the front of my shirt. Like I said it was a super bad night.

Johnny didn't fare too much better. He only got up once or twice to throw up that night but he felt just as bad as me. He was my saviour though. Even though we had no hope of keeping any fluids down we still felt we needed to try to drink and when we ran out of water on Tuesday he was the one who went downstairs to get us some water. Twice he was the one who went out to get us water and yogurt.

Late Tuesday morning the hotel phoned us and said the buffet breakfast was over so if we wanted anything we better go down now. We didn't want to eat but knew our moms would want us to eat something so we went down. The hotel lady was insistent that we have pho (noodle soup) but all we could bare was to nibble on a bit of bread and have a little yogurt. On the elevator back up I threw up again (good thing I had the foresight to bring a garbage bag just in case).

The rest of the day we slept, stared at the ceiling, and eventually watched a bit of TV. By Tuesday night we felt good enough to force ourselves to eat so we went two minutes down the road to a western restaurant. We both had grilled cheese and it stayed down!

Wednesday morning we felt much better and went on a tour after having a small breakfast (the hotel lady was really trying to make us eat more but we weren't up for it yet). We didn't exactly feel up for the tour but we already postponed it a day so thought we could get through it today. We both lacked energy but did pretty well. I had a bit for lunch and Johnny ate quite a bit of the lunch provided by the tour. It was mid afternoon by the time we got back and when we got back I crashed and felt really sick again. I forced myself to nibble on a bit of bread but Johnny wouldn't eat anything.

Finally by Thursday we woke up hungry and with an appetite. The hotel lady was pleased that finally she could feed us what she wanted. We went for a walk to some gardens about 20 minutes away. It was evident we had hardly eaten since dinner on Monday since we were both fatigued but we were pleased that we didn't feel sick at least. After the gardens we took a taxi back, had lunch, then rested at the hotel. We went for dinner and were back to feeling ourselves.

Sorry for all the details but that was the first time I've ever had food poisoning like that and I don't want to ever forget it. Fear for getting sick again and the memory of what it was like is what I need to keep me from eating from some of the sketchier looking food stalls and markets. The real scary part though is that you can get sick from anything. It could be a super classy western restaurant, a grungy food stall, an innocent looking pastry, or a delicious smoothie. Ahhhhhh!

The super uncomfortable bus to Dalat. I freaked out when we were loading the bikes because underneath where we're sitting is a box full of live snakes!!! The ride was so bumpy I was afraid for their safety but also that they'd bounce out of the box and attack me! Check out the tan lines

Still shorts and T-shirt weather in Dalat but it's so much nicer

Crazy house!

More crazy house. It was pretty cool walking around

Crazy house is also a hotel and for $35+ you can get a room like this but with no TV or wifi I don't know why you'd want to. Plus you'd have an endless parade of tourists trying to look inside your room

Making myself at home in Crazy House

There are a lot of these Crazy House photos. They have these staircases that serve no purpose other than being cool

Overlooking Dalat

The Cremaillere train station

This train took us ten minutes down the tracks

All aboard!!!

The train took us here to Linh Phuoc Pagoda

Johnny got in trouble for taking this photo. No cameras allowed inside! Bad Johnny

Funky tile work

He looks like some superhero but I'd bet he's a god of some sort

Big Buddha

Every time I see a bell I just have to ring it

Johnny's not as enthusiastic as me when it comes to bashing big bells. I had to convince him ring it

View from the pagoda

My new best pig man friend

After we recovered from food poisoning we went on a tour that included a stop at this flower growing place

One stupid tourist on the tour picked this monkey up and then wouldn't stop complaining about how the monkey bit him and got poo on his hands. Don't play with strange monkeys! That should be pretty obvious

These are coffee beans

Vietnam doesn't allow people to grow their own tobacco but these guys do anyway. I'm being super cool and smoking it

Do you know what that is? It's weasel poo filled with semi digested coffee beans. One weasel poo coffee please

Johnny was feeling pretty good on the tour and ate a couple crickets. He says they weren't too bad

These are silk worms. They make silk

These women take silk cocoons and make them into big rolls of silk. While we were there I was very worried for their safety. It seems like it'd be so easy to get their hair caught up in these machines. They work 7 days a week and only make $150 a month!

Elephant Waterfall

Two good looking dudes in front of Elephant Waterfall

Behind Elephant Waterfall

Two good looking dudes behind Elephant Waterfall

I don't know what these are called but they're similar to an apple

It's avocado season. Ever have an avocado smoothie? They're delicious!

Scratching the chin of my new best lion friend

Fat Buddha

Skinny Buddha

There was this and a whole lot more at the lunch on the tour. I ate some rice and a little bit of meat but Johnny really dug in

It's a painted zebra

We took a jeep up the highest mountain in Dalat for some nice views

Playing on the swing

The tour really did a number on me so the next day to test our bodies we went for a walk to this garden. It really tired us out but it was good to get out

A giant tea pot

This is a Christmas tree made of wine bottles

Johnny is scratching behind the ear of this dog. Check out the teeth!


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    3 Responses to Dalat – Never eating again

    1. Pingback: Dalat to near Nha Trang – Back on the horse and out of the mountains | HoJo Biking

    2. Mary says:

      Too bad about getting sick! Glad you guys are better!

    3. Pingback: San Francisco – When paradise backfires | HoJo Biking

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