15.08.2015 - 15.08.2015
My bus turned up promptly and I set off for Ha Long Bay with my fellow crew mates. There were three couples (2 from Denmark, 1 from Hong Kong), three single lads, again from Denmark and me
The journey to Ha Long Bay was about four hours and so most of it was spent sleeping. Transfer to our boat went smoothly and I was assigned a double room to myself. Nice
First things first, an amazing lunch on the boat and a chance to chat and get to know each other. Slightly tricky as most conversation is in Danish lol! After lunch we cruise through the bay yo our first island - Tree Top Island and do our first hike. All up hill! Think I should have read the itinerary closer as I hadn't realised I'd signed up for any hikes. I'd envisaged, lazy days cruising around the islands. Anyway, I made it and the view was truly spectacular so worth it. I was doubtful at the off, especially when I saw the sign warning elderly folk not to start the climb
Time for a quick swim, or in my case paddle, then back to the boat for kayaking. I'd never done before and although I was tempted I decided to save it for another days adventure, settling instead for a sun bathe on deck in peace, with my book. bliss...... And oddly enough, probably the first time I've done something like that since starting my adventures.
The evening saw another fabulous dinner, followed by a 'magic show' out on my one of the crew and actually very good. Few drinks and some chatting ended the night. Somehow the pre-organised karaoke got forgotten! Not surprising as the Danes really don't go in for that sort of thing from what I can tell.
We had to be up at 7 in the mor ing for breakfast, so I had Na Na (the guide) banging on my door yelling, Madam, Madam Up NOW! I never am good in the morning. breakfast done and it was time for the first hike of the day. This time through a cave, which didn't feel much of a hike to me to be honest. Then time for another swim, before we have to check out at 9:00 - yes, it's still morning! Next for e real hike of the day in the National Park. It was absolutely stunning, but took around 2 1/2 hours in the boiling, humid weather so not easy, but certainly doable.
Back on the bus to transfer to our hotel in Ba Na for the night, more food, then a hike to Monkey Island and more swimming. Bit of a theme emerging lol! I took myself off for a stroll along the promenade where two young girls persuaded me to let them practice their English with me for about half hour. Very sweet. Then onto a non tourist beach where I just sat and blended in, not!
Tomorrow, it's time for my first cooking lesson since starting, so that should be interesting!