In my last post, just five days ago, I posted that the Ho Chi Minh Trail Ride was still on. The COVID-19 virus has changed almost every aspect of life including the HCMTrial Ride. It’s still going to happen… just not now.
For anyone following this, I just wanted to give a quick update. As the heading says, as of 15 Mar, the ride is still on as scheduled. (Beware, the ides of March are upon us.) Nothing is going to change the plan unless some airline or government stops me from getting there.
I get email messages almost daily from the US embassies in Laos and Thailand warning about possible quarantine. HOWEVER, so far… both governments are only using “enhanced” screening at the airports. Anyone who arrives without a fever will be required to “self monitor” for 14 days. If you have a fever, you will be quarantined.
So… I am sequestering myself as of today. I can’t come down with the cootie bugs if I don’t get contact with cootie bugs. I’m not going out of the house until it’s time to get on the airplane.
So far, it does not seem like either the Thai or Laotian governments are going to close down the borders to foreign travellers. I am worried about some government (ours) in preventing me from coming back. For now, our government is only stopping foreign visitors from entering. I just hope it remains that way till I get back.
If, however, I get there and can’t come back for a while, Laos is the place to be. So far, no one there tested positive for the cootie bug. Laos hasn’t closed their borders, but that could happen. If I get stuck in Thailand, that would be ok too. If I had to self-quarantine there for 14 days, I would give them a massage parlor address for my self quarantine. After that, I would just rent a motorcycle and tour Thailand.
So, no matter what, I’m going if not prohibited. And no matter what, this will have a happy ending.
This post is to tell you how to follow along with the great HCMTrail Ride in “sorta real-time.” It’s sorta real-time because I don’t know how much I’ll be able to post while I’m in the jungles of Laos. I’m told there is reasonably good cell phone coverage throughout the country… but I’m not sure there will be much at places like The Dogs Head, or the Chokes. So I’ll be posting when I can.
There are four main companies in Laos providing coverage. They sell sim cards with a data plan. But unlike most of the US unlimited data plans, their data plans are quantity restricted. So I’ll be getting buying a sim card that you get a specific amount of data. Then you refill the card as you go. I don’t know how well it will work out in “real-time,” but we’ll see.
I’m going to use a “multi-media” approach. I’ll be posting on YouTube, Facebook, and here on the website. Since I won’t have unlimited internet time, I won’t go around to the usual social media sites to notify everyone when I’ve posted something. So… if you want to follow along, you need to “subscribe” to the three places I’ll be posting.
I’m taking a GoPro and a drone for videos which I’ll post on YouTube. This will probably some of the best stuff from the HCMT. Go to YouTube to subscribe. When you get to YouTube, click on subscribe and the little bell that pops up next to it. You’ll get a notification every time I post a new video.
Click here to go to the Ho Chi Minh Trail Ride YouTube videos.
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I’ll post pics and a little bit of story to telling you what’s going on the HCMTrailRide FaceBook page. Go there and click both the Follow and Like buttons so the Facebook stuff will pop up in your news feed.
Click here to go to the Ho Chi Minh Trail Ride FaceBook page
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I’ll be posting the longer stories along with pics right here on this website. I intend to write about each day as I go along. I want to be sure to tell you about everything while it’s fresh in my mind. To get emails of each post, enter your email address it the little box under the top banner pic. Then click on subscribe.
I promise I won’t blast you with a bunch of junk mail or spam. You can always unsubscribe to any of the places you’ve subscribed to.
I have built-in lots of flexibility to the schedule. Except for the beginning and end dates, nothing is “cast in blood.” So… over the next few days (before I go), tell me what you want to see or know about. Leave me a note either on FaceBook or here.
I also welcome your stories or comments about any of the places I’ll be going. I hope lots of folks will share stuff. I’ll respond as I get a chance. If you’ve got a long story about a place I’m going, you are welcome to post it too. Keep in mind that this web site is moderated, so if you post a question, comment, or story here, it may not appear right away.
“Quickie” questions or comments will probably work best on FaceBook.
That’s all for now. I’ll “see ya” on “The Trail.”