Today was a short, beautiful scootering day. Just before I left my hotel I was pondering if I should wear my poncho, as there was a low cloud cover, but I decided against it and that was the correct decision. The day turned nice and sunny, just about perfect in temperature, and I pondered why I had been so concerned about the equatorial heat. Of course I was coming down from the mountains, but how much can the climate change over a few kilometers?
The landscape was beautiful, mantled in green, and gliding along in my scooter was a real joy.
I have not mentioned much about the geology of
largely because everything is covered by greenery and there is little to see.
In the odd bare roadcut, however, I have seen deeply weathered plutonic rocks
with knockers of remarkably fresh granite (a reminder to geologists that hard
rock found in a drill core might not be the sound footing we would like).
Around Dalat I also saw some pretty healthy vesicular basalts that make me
suspect of Neogene volcanism, even though I am not aware of active volcanism in
In another outcrop I saw a nice tilted sequence of redbeds, so clearly there
has been tectonic deformation in the geologic past (add to that the thick
limestone sequences of North
Vietnam). Finally, as I approached the coast
I found a healthy and rather extensive batholith. Clearly this land has many
hidden geologic wonders.
Going back a little, after happily driving for a couple of hours I cam to a very steep mountain front, and in less than 10 km dropped a good 1,000 m in elevation unto the coastal plain (similar to the way one drops off the Mexican altiplano from Perote to Jalapa and beyond), and my balmy temperature suddenly gave way to a furnace-like heat.