Sunshine in Sapa

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Sunday, February 6, 2011

Today was a really relaxing day off after our adventures over the last few days of trying to get out of China before our visas expired. Sapa is a beautiful spot high in the Northern Vietnam mountains.  Established as a French hillstation back in the 1800s is retains a French charm and we made the most of the good coffee, pain au chocolates, Sauvignon Blanc and other luxuries.  (Mikey forgot to mention that all of the locals dress in amazing clothes which we spent the whole time sneakily photographing. Lonely planet said they dress like that on Saturdays for the market, but I think as its New Year (Tet) at the moment, they are dressed up all the time. I don't feel bad taking photos as someone took one of me having a coffee!)

The morning was spent relaxing around the 7th floor balcony where we had breakfast, caught up on the blog and did some reading in the sun looking out to spectacular views.  I hired a motorbike, did some back street dealing with our left over China currency and even found time for a trim of the beard in a local barbers.

We then took the bike out for a spin. We went 10 miles uphill and didn't even break a sweat, the voice of reason screaming in our heads throughout "Why are you not motorbiking around the world?"  The Silver Waterfall proved to be more of a trickle but the road through the mountains was a great ride with many good photo stops along the way.

Back in town we crumbled to a steak burger for lunch which turned into a long lunch.  Time spent planning routes through Vietnam and chatting with people back at the hotel led us to the evening where it was a few glasses of vino blanc in a beautiful boutique hotel bar (owned by a Dane) and a few Skype calls (great to see baby George Bernard Ockwell  - beautiful baby).  Onto a great evening meal, Vietnamese this time and then back to the hotel for a log fire (which I couldn’t light, where is Bear Grylls when you need him?) and more good films. 

We both feel fit and ready to go again in the morning.  The good news from the local tourist office is that the 4 day ride to Hanoi is downhill at first and then flat.  I have heard that one before, we will see.

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Charlotte on

What an eventful few days!! So in awe of you both battling on through!! The countryside looks so beautiful though.
Poor giles has been ill with flu, (real flu not man flu), so spent a week in bed being nursed by his devoted girlfriend :-). He managed to get up and go windsurfing yesterday though so think he will live....
My week was filled with netball and I am now an official umpire....will stick it on the CV as you never know when these things might come in handy
Went out for a quiet girly supper on Friday and drank far too much! Ended up dancing the night away to a band we found in the Fountain and then back to Kaite's (Navy friend we have made through George) flat for a few more glasses as we clearly hadn't had enough already! Needless to say there were lots of very sore heads in the morning!!
Popping over to see Jane and Adrian later this week to check on the progress of their new extension - it is looking fab so far...I am sure many fun times will be had there in the future!!
Happy pedalling.
P.S Still haven't sorted out flights yet but think we will most likely fly straight to Singapore and meet you there - will get in touch with firmer plans soon xx

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