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Published: November 10th 2011
So this is my second attempt at writing this after spending an hour on it yesterday only for something random to happen and I lost it all!! I wasn't going to bother doing it again but I had a bit of spare time while we're in the middle of an apocalyptic thunderstorm!
So when we last left you we were getting ready for a day of canyoning in Dalat. It was AWESOME with a capital AWESOME!!! I'll let Dan go in to further detail about it but after completing the 2 dry abseils and the 25 metre waterfall abseil I definitely want to do more of this!!! I guess I should probably move somewhere with mountains for a while - would be awesome if I had a job in the French Alps waiting for me after this trip......oh wait, I do! Anyways, will let Dan describe the canyoning in more detail. Dan says:
Right, so it's over to me to talk about canyoning, probably the best activity we have done on this trip! Right so we were up around 7.30am - bad times. We got to the office around 8.00 and then just waiting for
a couple of others to turn up. We saw that they had some crappy shoes lying about so we borrowed them instead, saves our shoes getting messed up! Turns out my cool retro looking Nikes had absolutely no grip as I found out whilst trekking down a steep slope. You saw trekking I say sliding on my ass! Anyway we got to this little steep slope bit and practiced abseiling down about 5 metres! Wasn't natural at first but we both thought oh well we'll either learn it on the real thing or fall! No biggie! We move on and soon arrive at our first abseiling site...doesn't look that bad slightly steep slope then a little drop, YEAH little steep slope then an 18m sheer cliff face, by the way if you've never been at the top of an 18m cliff, its FUCKING high! Right so slowly edge to the edge?! and then i drop straight into a bush! Unlucky but better than smashing into a rock wall! Anyway took some massive jumps down and straight into the water Andy followed soon after. As we sat on the river side waiting some spiky caterpiller decided to stick into my leg
and BITE me which sucked at first but then got better! We climbed back up (by the way which I love, I think I may be half human half monkey or just a freak because Iz gotz climbing skills bro!) Soon moved onto our second site this wasn't as high but was steeper, oh well we had safety harnesses on, nothing could go wrong! Again move on in the water this time and go down a couple of water slides that look like the rocks should hurt you but they were remarkably smooth! That was until two of us went down at the same time and Andy trapped my leg between rock and his heavy ass body! Dead leg immediately! We carried on moving through some water and rocks which we didnt see, now it's Andy with the dead leg! We climbed round some rocks and got to a massive 25 metre waterfall, time to abseil down this! Andy goes first and slips straight away but makes it down and does the little 3 metre freefall drop at the bottom then me i end up getting caught under the falls and squashed against the rocks but i adamantly get up
and carry on down befor being shouted at by the instructor, apparently the rope was ending and i had to drop before i fell to my death! (not that bad) Luckily i understood and got my 3 metre free fall in WOOOOOHOOOOO. Next stop was the jumps 11 metre and 7 metres, we were tempted by the high one but had to clear around 3 feet outwards to miss the jagged rocks below...guess its 7 metres for us. GOOD TIMES!!! Next we hike up what seemed like Mount Everest but eventually got there almost having a heart attack but i loved every minute of it...I think it's my monkey like genes again. Anyway we got back and we were knackered but what an amazing day...GOOD TIMES!!! Andy says:
We left Dalat on a 'sitting' bus since I can't sleep on the sleeper buses anyways and the sitting one was cheaper it made sense to do that and I figured it couldn't be any less comfortable could it? Yes it could. Of course within 5 minutes Dan is fast asleep which just makes me more angry - that boy can sleep anywhere!!
We got into Saigon at around
5.30am in the morning and started walking through District 1 to our hotel. I was surprised to see most places still open with Westerners still drinking and prostitutes all hanging around to take advantage! That would all have to wait though as all we wanted to do was sleep! Luckily the hotel owner let us check in nice and early so we slept until 3pm before heading out to explore. Seemed like the party hadn't really stopped from the night before as the place was rammed! I was pretty excited since it was finally time to redeem my birthday present from Dan - a trip to the Hard Rock Cafe, had been looking forward to this since it was first suggested in Hanoi!! Although the beers were crazy expensive, the night got pretty messy when the waitress persuaded us to hang around for the live band that were coming on. She said they were from the Phillipines so I wasn't expecting much (not sure why since I have no concept of the Philipino music scene!) but they were awesome and by the end of the night the restaurant staff had got me and Dan up for a dance routine, singing
on the microphone and they even got Dan leading a conga of all of the customers around the restaurant!
It's now time to get quite serious for a sec and talk about addictions. Something ugly has reared its head in the last four days we have been in Saigon. After buying a pair of fake Ray Bans from a street seller that came into our restaurant during lunch on our first day in the city (don't come here and expect not to be bothered, every other person on the street is trying to sell something!) - Dan has lost all control. Remember we have only been here 4 days and be shocked when I tell you the guy now has 12 pairs!! Now I'm always up for a bargain and they are pretty decent copies but who needs 12 pairs of the SAME STYLE just in all different colours?!? I'm pretty sure even Stevie Wonder doesn't have that many pairs!!! I've now placed a sunglasses ban on him which seems to be holding although I wouldn't be surprised if he's sneaking out in the middle of the night to get more.
When we've not been scouring the streets
for Ray Bans in 'Just one more colour!' we've been enjoying Saigon - it's a really cool city. Everything seems to move at a million miles an hour and the roads are even more crazy than in Hanoi. We've spent a fair bit of time in the Ben Thanh market where you can literally buy anything you want so long as you don't mind it being fake. There's thousands of stalls all under one roof and the owners have no issue with physically bringing you into their little emporiums regardless of whether you need a set of 'hand made' curtains or not! Have managed to get a few bargains in there though and we've worked out a good cop, bad cop routine where Dan is the one showing interest in whatever we want and then I come along and throw it back at the stall owner saying their price is ridiculous! Seems to work pretty well!
The rest of the time has been spent doing war stuff - i.e. visiting the War Remnants Museum (or to use its former name which we prefer - the Museum of American and Chinese War Crimes - not at all biaised!) and the
Cu Chi Tunnels. The museum was listed as being pretty sick due to the Vietnamese wanting to make the Americans look as bad as possible but once you got passed the tank containing malformed babies born from parents who were subjected to Agent Orange in the war, it wasn't so bad. Was fun playing with the military planes and tanks outside though!
The Cu Chi Tunnels were cool and we got to see all of the crazy traps the villagers made to F up the Americans! The best part was when we got to actually go down into the tunnels. Only 3 people out of our group of around 30 wanted to go in which was pretty lame. Don't worry Dandy fans, we didn't let you down and were at the front of the queue to do the whole 120 metre stretch we were allowed in. It seemed like a good idea at the time but given that it was about 35 degrees down there and even Dan the short arse had to crawl, we were glad to come out at the end! The bus ride home was pretty uncomfortable since we were both streaming with sweat!
we leave to head to the Mekong Delta tomorrow so are off to make the most of our last night in Saigon!
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