13:02 I don't think it would be possible to be any hotter than I am right now.
This morning we had breakfast then checked out about 9. Me, 2 Danish guys and a Chinese were the only ones doing the 3 day trip. I was due to stay on the boat and do an all day kayaking day, but i'd have been the only one, so last night, Tung offered me to join the boys and go with them to Cat Ba Island to cycle, go to a cave and have lunch on the boat. I accepted.
So we transferred to another smaller boat with our belongings and went to Cat Ba, motoring through the vast Halong Bay rock formations. We went to Cat Ba island and hired a bike and rode to the village nearby
. When we got there we left the bikes and went for a walk through some thick forest then up into a cave. Tung then showed me a cave off the main cave where there were loads of bats. Fortunately we didn't disturb them! We emerged from the other side of the cave and started climbing higher. This involved scrambling and climbing up very, very sharp rocks, crossing a stream walking over a single tree (and not one nicely laid across the stream, just one growing at a shallow angle that happened to cross the stream!). The climb was proper stuff and pretty exciting with it. None if this namby pamby HSE approved concrete path with handrails, warning signs, and knowing them -foam stuck on the nasty, sharp, pointy rocks. If we'd fallen then it would have been a really seriously nasty injury, and theres no hospitals on the island. So you had to be careful. I hope my photos give you an idea of both the walk and the sharpness of those rocks! I can't help thinking that we need to cut down on some of our very silly HSE rules, and anyone who gets themselves killed or injured doing something stupid (note the warning on mcdonalds coffee that warns you there's a hot drink inside. Why? Apparently some stupid woman in America sued them because she spilt hot coffee on herself and there was no warning on the cup), well these people deserve a Darwin award and perhaps the gene pool ought to be stopped at that point! They don't say survival of the fittest for nothing. Maybe that's a bit harsh, but I'm sure you've noticed my pleasure at being away from such a safety obsessed country where you cant go up the wrong sort of ladder
. Hell, some folk aren't even allowed to use ladders anymore! Ridiculous! I saw men today making a new thatched roof and not even tied on. ok maybe they should have been, but I'm pretty sure they used a bamboo home made ladder to get up there!
14:40 Passed through a floating community where about 1000 people live
18:55 Came to Cat Ba to a hotel, I have a room on my own! Yay! I decided to go to the beach where i sat in the shade and read my book with a beer. A guy working on the beach came to talk to me and we chatted for a couple of hours, then his friend also cane and we all had a chat which was really nice. I have a stupid tan line - like I've been wearing arm bands. No idea how I've managed this!
I've also got a heat rash on my neck :( booo, so I've had to take my necklaces off for a few days till hopefully it clears up.
Best: the climb on the island
Worst: heat rash
Beautiful: the beach
09:39 Saigon Market near ben cha Market closer to opera/casino. In Saigon square for buying the fake goods without being hassled.