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Published: June 14th 2010
I woke up still feeling sick and had toast and apples for breakfast. As everyone else enjoyed eggs and oranges. We sailed around the bay until we got to another dock where 4 of us got off the boat that had booked the 3 day/2 night tour and the others stayed on the boat since they booked only 2 days/1 night.
Pete, myself , Roxanne and Dycho, a couple from Holland, went with Tam to meet up with our van that would take across around Cat Ba Island today. Our hotel was on the other side of the island and we stopped half way at Cat Ba National Park. We had a hike this morning and I wasn’t sure how I would make it as I found out it was 2 hours long. I popped an Imodium pill and hoped I would survive. We got a guide that spoke about 5 words of English and off we went thinking it would be interesting.
The hike was a flat path to start then about 3-5 minutes in we came upon a large amount of uneven stairs made from stone. Ok, I was thinking as I was already soaking wet from
the heat and humidity before 10am(did we mention it is REALLY HOT here?) After climbing over 200 stairs with a few stops to catch our breath and have our guide fan us off with her silk fan we made it to a somewhat flat path. We wound through the jungle seeing crabs, yes crabs in the jungle and then started to climb up rocks, iron ladders with rotted out guard rails. I forgot to mention that there was a rain and lighting storm the night before so all of this path was very muddy and slippery.
We kept going up and up and up. I had to stop a few times due to the heat and me not having much energy from being sick. Then our guide pointed you up, and me stay here. What??? Why are you not going with us? Oh I see now it is directly up with no ladders just slippery rocks to the view point. I was getting scared as I was tired and didn’t know how I would ever make it down. I stopped at a certain point since my body was shaking and Roxanne, Dutch women with us, gave me some sugar
pills and I just sat with my water on this crazy rock while the 3 of them continued up the steep mountain side.
I thought to myself “why haven’t we seen anyone else for a while and why is it only foreigners doing this crazy hike?” While I sat and waited for Pete, Roxanne and Dycho to come down from the top a few more foreigners came up past me with a look of death or fear, then more and more people came up with flip flops on. Tam, our guide from the boat, was smart and told us only hiking or tennis shoes no flip flops. Some of the people were going barefoot since it was so muddy and they kept slipping out of their flops.
It got ridiculous to a point that first they let people on the hike in those shoes and then we all had to go down the same way we came up a narrow, path of steep rocks. Going down was even more scary as you didn’t have as much control with the mud and we had gotten tired of the climb and heat. What a relief it was to see the
bottom of the trail and to have a well at the bottom to clean off as we were a MUDDY mess.
Once we got back in the van we drove about 10 more minutes to our hotel that we would stay in for the night called Holiday View Hotel. It was the tallest and nicest hotel we saw on Cat Ba Island and we joked that would be our hotel as we drove by, then of course the van made a U-turn and stopped right in front of the tall hotel. We got room keys right away once we turned over our passports since it was a prepaid tour. We got 30 minutes to rest before we had a set lunch.
More seafood was served as we are on an island as this is their main cuisine. I only ate rice and curry sauce as my stomach was still not 100%. After lunch we still had one more activity included which was a boat trip over to Monkey Island. I passed on it since Tam said there was one bathroom and he hesitated when we asked it if was clean. I would rather spend my afternoon sick in
my hotel room curled up with a book than be stranded on a boat trip/beach time on Monkey Island.
Pete, Roxanne and Dycho went on the boat trip and arrived back 2.5 hours later. I had dozed off and was starting to feel better. We had dinner included at 7pm and I was all ready for dinner but still didn’t have much of an appetite.
Dinner was a success as I was able to eat rice, vegetable spring rolls and watermelon. Roxanne, Pete and Dycho enjoyed lots of drinks as I sipped on my water trying to hydrate my body. We got kicked out of the restaurant at 10pm being the last customers in there. No, they weren’t being crazy drunks we just talked all night about travels, differences between Holland and the USA, world affairs and of course movies but the workers just wanted to close up.
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