Just to add on from the last blog and the trek that all most finished me, Hung did say we were the quickest group to complete the road route! It was worth it.....
Any who after another night train which I slept like a baby on from 8.30pm onwards apart from waking up a few times as it felt and sounded like we were about to come of the tracks! To my relief we did not! We arrived in a raining Hanoi at 5am (my favourite time to wake up) a short taxi ride that Feng left his suitcase in and we were charged twice for, to Hotel and back to bed for a few hours snooze....
When I awoke we had breakfast and braved the roads of mopeds even worse than China and I'm quite sure they drive straight for you, apparently zebra crossings mean nothing here! We had our orientation walk and were left to explore Hanoi, apparently the Revolutionary Museum seemed like a good idea its no science or natural history museum! We were then escorted out as it closed at 11.30am! We wandered back to the lake and James and I some how managed to lose Sajel! We did some research and made our plan for the day-first stop lunch! Sat on a foot stool on the pavement we were brought some hot water, noodles, meat and leaves folowing the locals lead chucked it all in together and it was very good at a grand total of a pound!
We then made our way to the Hoa Lo prison and much to many of your disbeliefs (Kirk) I was alowed back out! We then bought some incense and burnt it in the pagoda the biggest temple in which they pray in Hanoi, alot of gold! We wandered around the streets some more and braved it on a cyclo, I must specify how safe we felt being cycled into head on traffic!!! We just about made it back to the hotel to discover it had no water-at least we all had to go out for the final dinner smelling!!!
Sunday morning I dragged myself out of bed so we could head to Ho Chi Mihn Monseleum, stupid idea on a Sunday the queue was so long we had to make other plans! We ended up at the flag tower and army museum (Philip you should be impresed) It was good!
After checking out of our hotel and about to move to a new one we found out we were to check back in this saved a few taxi rides! We had some lunch and I ended up spending an hour trying to upload you pictures this failed!
Sajel and I went to watch a water puppet show, it was fun to see although we understood nothing that was going on apart from two birds making a baby bird! This water puppet thing is big in Vietnam!
Back to our hotel and we met our new recruits we now have a could range- Swiss, German, Canadian, Australian and British! Wanting to welcome them into the group we felt we had to go for a least 1 beer! We found a little shack on the side of the road and happily sat on tiny chairs (this makes me feel not so small) until alot of shouting happend, the chairs were whisked away and we were pushed into the shack! Slightly confused I looked around to notice everyone shouting police, apparently you are not allowed to sit around the road and the minute they were gone we were all aloud to sit back!!!
Monday morning my favourite! We left for Halong Bay to board our MAHOOSIVE boat (it would be a fantastic GIN SHIP ladies) for the day to Cat Ba island! We got on board and I was heading straight for top deck to sun myself, until being told it was lunch first grrrrrrrrrr! But we did have some amazing prawns, crab, squid, fish, veg and fruit. Up to deck to sun mysdelf and yes Mumy I was applying the sun lotion and telling everyone else to as well! We anchored up and went for a swim I was very pleasently suprised to jump in and not be shocked at all it was so WARM you would not believe! Time to jump from the top this was a little more scary today I think the alcohol had alot to do with it on the Junk, but I did it! Got the beach ball out had a quick game and we were off again!
Hotel, dinner, bed!
This morning I was very excited to be kyaking over to Monkey Island, me and James teamed up and mastered the art nicely! When we got there we had a quick swim and off to see the monkeys! They were very easy to find and the minute the peanuts came out they were every where even taking them from my hand! I was like a very excited child at christmas!
Time to head back and after a tricky start James and I were catching up, some very childish but funny behaviour we were able to turn around Philip and Duncans kyak a few times!
We left Cat Ba island on a Hydro foil boat (it was fast) and we got to stand on top holding on for dear life!
This traveling is hard work guys!!!!
Leaving for Hue tomorrow on another overnight train!!!