It rained in Nha Trang, solidly, consistently and annoyingly, the whole time I was there. Not only that, google maps contrived to send me on a wild goose chase which involved a brush with the military. Oh, and I dropped the camera, although it seemed to survive without a problem.
It was a fair walk from the station to my guesthouse, but google promised a reasonably straightforward one. The rain started within minutes, but only in a half-hearted way.
I followed google’s itinerary precisely, stopping frequently to check, as it took me further and further away from what appeared to be the middle of town down empty suburban streets of mildewed flats towards a wide street with a set of gates at the end. This struck me as odd. When I reached the gate, it became even odder – there was a parade ground, another gate, what looked like army barracks, and the inevitable couple of US aircraft left over from the war. The whole construction screamed military base, not a highly-rated tripadvisor guesthouse.
I retreated. Google told me to carry on. I dived down different side streets. Each time Google brought me back resolutely to the gates. I was minded of Harris and the Hampton Court maze. With that in mind, I turned Google off, and headed towards what appeared to be, and in fact was, the town centre, and a posh looking hotel. Ritzy hotels are useful in Vietnam, because the staff will speak English, as was the case. They hadn’t heard of my lodging, but obligingly rang for me. There followed ten minutes of conversation which I assumed to be directions, followed by a silence, some smiles, and that was the end of the call. They hadn’t understood the directions, and the owner was coming to get me, they thought on his motorcycle. It was raining hard now, and I wasn’t looking forward to riding pillion.
I needn’t have worried. There smiling owner arrived, and together we walked the 200 metres to the hotel, it was that close. Installed in my room, I opened the window to see, not 20 metres away, a parade ground and a gate. Google had been 100% accurate, apart from one small detail. The back of the guesthouse stood on the exact spot Google had indicated, only there was no access from that street.