Possibly our most favourite place yet

Trip Start Jun 26, 2009
Trip End Jun 29, 2010

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

We REALLY enjoyed Dalat... It's a beautiful place, has tonnes to do and is a lot cooler than the rest of Vietnam cos it's at a higher altitude.

Our first full day in Dalat was spent Canyoning which was one of the best things we've done yet! We had two tour guides, Lamb and Ting, who were both really nice but gave us absolutely no safety chat and pretty much left us to plummet to our deaths (except for when we were abseiling). Luckily, there was no plummeting...

We started with a practice abseil which was good fun and then we were off...

We trekked through the gorgeous forest just outside Dalat before doing our first abseil of 18m. It was pretty straight-forward and not too scary. The next part was a jump into a lake (not the guides
though... Just us!) which was only 4m high so not too scary. We were, however, told to make sure we avoided the rocks directly below the cliff we were jumping off!

We carried on trekking before getting to some rapids in the river where the guides politely informed us that this was our first slide! Sorry?!

Yes, we were expected to sit on the first rock at the top of the rapids and let the river drag us over the rocks! It sounded pretty scary but was actually great fun! Drew (bless him) cracked his leg on a rock on the way down though...That was our first injury! The next abseil was a bit harder than the first as you have to jump over a gap half way down. You end up in a river at the bottom too which adds a bit to the adrenaline rush!

We kept trekking (taking in the gorgeous scenery of forests, waterfalls and the river... very pretty) until our next slide. This was muuuuch scarier as the rapids were shorter but looked a lot angrier. The first slide was on the right and was fun; the second slide was on the left and was scary as you go backwards! We did the backwards one twice though as it was brilliant fun! Drew managed to hurt himself on every slide, but only small knocks.

We were taken to the next abseil... A MASSIVE waterfall! We didn't do it yet though... Instead, we sat and had lunch next to it which was yummy but gave us loads of time to get nervous (well, me anyway!). After lunch (and the guides getting weirdly fascinated with the ants trying to steal the crumbs from our lunch), we tackled the waterfall.

Drew went first and did a cracking job! I was at the top and couldn't see a thing... I had no idea how he was getting on but the pics (taken by one of the guides at the bottom) look like it was a breeze for him. He did slip half way down but we both did that as it was incredibly slippery as there had been loads of floods in the days before we arrived in Dalat.

Next up, it was me. I was absolutely terrified, mainly cos Lamb suddenly gave me some last minute instructions as I was about to go over the edge which I didn't understand and it freaked me out! One of his comments was about what to do if I slip over... Which, of course, I did and then didn't know what to do! Anyway, it wasn't too bad going over the edge (which had been the scariest bit in the previous abseils) but after only a few meters, it got really slippery so my feet gave way and I crashed into the cliff. So there I was... On my knees, a fraction of the way down the abseil and no idea what to do. I looked to Ting and Lamb and both just gave me the thumbs up. Helpful! Eventually, I managed to slide over a bit to a drier spot and get to my feet. The rest of the abseil went a lot smoother and was tonnes of fun. It was still really slippery and hard to see when you get into the really heavy water but the actual abseiling wasn't too hard. The rope runs out before you get to the bottom, so we'd been told to let go of the rope (both hands) and let yourself fall into the lake. That was hard to bring yourself to do (especially as it's hard to tell how far up you are) but wicked fun when you do. I made it to the bottom with some very bruised knees and was very shaky but it was a great experience. I opted not to go again, but Drew couldn't wait to give it a second go! His second attempt was pretty smooth (he's such a pro) and he seemed to enjoy it no end...

The day ended with yet more trekking followed by a 7m jump into a lake. I don't think 7m sounds that high but it really is! We both did it twice...

It was so much fun canyoning but we were both totally battered and bruised by the end of the day. Plus, my heel still wasn't fully recovered from my Nha Trang waterpark incident so I was hobbling again by the end of the day!

(For more info on the canyoning tour we did: http://groovygeckotours.net/prog2.html)

We got back early (well, about 2pm) and promptly passed out! We then ended our day with monopoly and beers at The Hangout!

On the Saturday, we hired a bike and went sightseeing. The rains made it a bit stop/start but we still got to see loads:
1. Linh Son Pagoda - very pretty
2. Domaine de Marie Convent - very pink! We also saw the nuns making the goods they sell in the shop.
3. Nang Nga Crazy House - this used to be a guest house that's totally crazy! The rooms each have a different theme. It's hard to explain and, unfortunately, we don't have photos as the camera got wet and broke! (Here is where you can see some photos: http://www.vietnamtraveltour.net/hang-nga-crary-house-da-lat.html)
4. Dalat Flower Gardens - this was actually really nice except for the sorry looking horses!
5. Bao Dai's Summer Palace - this was really interesting and well maintained
6. Lake of Sighs - the weather was really nice by this point so we had a lovely wander round the lake and the quaint little shops on the site

We only had a couple of days in Dalat which was a shame as we really liked it there but it was quite touristy and we kinda did everything we wanted to in those two days!

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chuck_norris69 on

7 metre jump!
That's pretty much like jumping off my roof. No chance I would do that!

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