Sometimes when things end up going wrong, or sideways, it all works out for the best. I really saw that in Vietnam. If our first tour operator hadn’t been a bit flaky, and instead we ended up with going with him, it would have been uncomfortable and probably not very enjoyable as I wasn’t feeling good that day. Instead, the wonderful lady at the hotel set up a private tour for us that was cheaper, and probably done by my favorite guide in Vietnam up to that point: Paul.
This post is going to be extremely short, because all we did was walk around, eat, and drink. That’s it. Sometimes that’s all you need to have a good day, frankly.
First an apology for these posts being late. We have had sketchy WiFi some places, and also have been a bit sick. Now back to our regularly scheduled program!
We woke up and gradually got moving. I don’t know about Sal, but the longer this trip is going the harder I’m finding getting up early. I’m a bit pooped. It must mean it’s almost time to go home.
No sleeping in today as we had to our transfer to Da Lat. We had our breakfast, finished packing, then checked out. It was bittersweet saying goodbye for good to the La Selva staff. Hopefully some day we will be back. I gave them some small gifts from NYC as a thank you. They gave us a gift of some Vietnamese coffee and the strainer they use to drip the coffee. Our transfer was right on time and we were at the airport sooner than we expected. Pretty soon we were checked in and through security. The only noteworthy thing seen was this in the bathroom:
Sal made a prophetic comment the day before, “We need to go to bed early, because we passed a lot of roosters.” Boy was he right. Those jerks wake you up at 5:30 a.m. Crikey! It’s impossible to fall back asleep then because everything else starts waking up then: dogs, people, etc.. Like I said: noise really carried in that valley. You know who else woke up? The guys playing the drums. They started drumming before 8 AM. Talk about perseverance…
We got to sleep in a bit, as the next place we were visiting, Pu Luong, was only about 90 minutes away from Mai Chau. My stomach was bothering me. When traveling like this it’s very hard to pinpoint if you’re fighting something off or ate something bad. I may have been dehydrated. Anyway, it wasn’t good so I took some medicine and hoped for no squatty potties if we didn’t make it to the hotel in time!
We woke up early and stiff from the bed. Sal felt a little better, though, so that was good. We had banana pancakes for breakfast, which is fried dough with bananas and honey. It was yummy.
Of course there was fresh fruit because there’s always fresh fruit. You can’t beat the fresh fruit on this side of the planet.
Breakfast was at 6:45 a.m., as we had our last ½ day on the boat and had things to do! Apparently there was only one new 2-night guest, so he would be enjoying a private day tour with Henry. We laughed when we thought about how potentially awkward the ‘talk’ with Henry might be when he explained how the tips worked.
I woke up at 1:00 a.m.. It only took a few seconds to figure out why I was awake: the air conditioning had stopped. I was a sweaty Betty. It was like a little hot box in there. The rooms do not have fans, so you have to totally rely on the air conditioning. I gave a huge sigh and realized Sal was awake, too, when he asked what was the matter. We talked about what to do, and while we were talking someone tried to enter our room. What the?! It scared the you-know-what (crap) out of me. Sal yelled, “Hello?” and nobody said anything. I went over to the peephole to look out, and saw that the peephole doesn’t work at all. I told you this boat needs a bit of a refurbish.
This was a transfer day that didn’t involve a plane, which is a nice change to waiting at an airport and dealing with delays, etc. Cars are less stressful if you follow one simple rule: don’t watch the driving/traffic. The car was on time and there were six of us going to Halong Bay — a Canadian couple and a couple from Barcelona. This would be quite the international cruise! But before we talk about the boat, how was the traffic getting to Halong Bay? Oh, about as you’d expect.