An Intrepid Tour Leader
by Marlo Perry
19. Cycle Vietnam
4th September 2005
I am still in South East Asia, working, occasionally, actually just about every day. Last month we were asked to make a big decision about where we wanted to work.
Intrepid has got very big and so they (the powers that be) decided that the region would have to be split into smaller management sections. So we were given the choice of working in Cambodia or working in Vietnam.
Hard choice but I decided on Cambodia - more diversity in trips and some trips start/end in Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok so really get more variety in countries. Vietnam was just Vietnam north to south and south to north trips. I could see myself going nuts! - or at least more nuts.
So my final Vietnam trip starts in five days, and of all trips I am doing it is "Cycle Vietnam". On a bike for two weeks I am predicting a very sore ass! I haven't done the bike trips but once again the powers that be in all their wisdom thought I would be the perfect candidate for potentially losing my life on Vietnams roads.
The guys who usually run the trips have gone nuts and are using a cyclo (three wheeled people mover) to ride from Hanoi to HCMC - they have given themselves a month and it is all for charity - check it out at www.extremecharity.info.
The other reason I was chosen as the biker was that last month I ran a half marathon. I didn't really mean to, I had a week off in Thailand and I didn't know what to do. I knew I could run 10km but I had no idea whether I could run 21.1km (yes that 0.1 is important).
Well, I can and I was very chuffed with my efforts, I even got a big gold medal souvenir, a t-shirt, a towel, a hat and a bag. I am hoping to run the Amari midnight run in Bangkok next month but it all depends on my allusive days off.
Sad news recently as well being that a good friend of mine died in the London bombings. Mike had just finished working with Intrepid and had gone over to be with his girlfriend (also an ex leader) in London. Moral was very low in leader land after that event as well as many of our local guides and operators.
I asked for some time off over Christmas as I was planning to go to Australia to say "G'Day" but I was told to "... get real...."as that is the peak time of year and there was no way I could bum my way out of the schedule.
Actually I am quite 'senior' as a leader in the region. Nearly two years and in this job that is a very long time. I don't know how much longer I will be hanging around. I am still having so much fun I think it will be at least another year.
So when are you coming over. Noone has come and visited for months. I am a great excuse for a holiday in Asia!
About the Author
Marlo Perry is a Group Leader for Intrepid Travel. She likes looking at cakes and can kill a man with her bare hands.
1. The Apprentice... 2. Trip One... 3. Half Way... 4. Tet... 5. Monkey Business... 6. Quick Turnaround... 7. Thai New Year... 8. Angkor... 9. Bangkok... 10. It Depends... 11. A&E... 12. Laos... 13. Routine... 14. Pig Rabies... 15. Burma... 16. Tsunami... 17. Songkran... 18. Sick Note... 19. Cycle Vietnam... 20. Street Kids... 21. My Life. Ideas Needed... 22. June Jambles...