After a long trip we have arrived in Sapa. We snoozed on the train then arrived at Lao Cai and boarded our bus for the hour drive up the mountain to Sapa. Our hotel is on 1 of the highest peaks of the mountain village. We were greeted by about 20 H'mong girls as we exited the bus. They were beautiful and full of questions about Oz. The girls are tiny, probably about 4 feet tall. We had some brekky then a snooze as we have been lacking sleep. We met our black H'mong guide to take us down to cat cat falls. We headed off down the mountain with all our little posse of H'mong girls following. We chatted about their lives and how they walk about 7km's from their village each day to Sapa. They marry when they are about 12-14 and start families soon after.
Just before we turned off the road our little posse turned on us. All of a sudden they wanted to start selling us everything and these girls are voracious. I have no trouble saying "no" but Jac struggles. They were concentrating their efforts on her and trying to make us promise by pinky swears. I dragged Jac away and followed our guide for the km trek to the falls. We met some local families and were invited in to their homes. They have a very simple life with all members of the family living together, sometimes as many as 15 people in 1 house. We ate some purple sweet potato and enjoyed wandering down the trails. At the end of the tour we jumped on the back of motorbikes for the trip back to the hotel.
When we arrived our little posse was waiting for us. Great! I needed to buy some pants so negotiated with one of the girls. This made the rest of them try so much harder.
"I saw you first when you arrived"
"um....good for you"
"you promised you buy from me"
"well, no I didn't"
It was exhausting. Our poor guide can't intervene and I think it is for fear of recrimination. She was very beautiful though and full of information. We wanted to go explore Sapa and she said the girls will leave about 5pm so we will head out after then.
From what we have seen the village is magical. It has been shrouded in mist since we arrived which adds to the beauty but is robbing us of the famous views. Hopefully it will clear by tomorrow. We will head out tonight (after 5) and have some dinner and a look around. We should miss the girls but no doubt they will be back in the morning.