Asia | South East Asia | Vietnam | South Central coast | Cam Ranh – Summing up my get-away
I came back to Cam Duc this morning. Uncle 7 picked me up where the bus stopped. It was supposed to leave at 6.30pm, but didnt until almost 9.30.. but we arrived only a little over an hour later then scheduled so that wasnt so bad. (I wonder how the busdrivers did that..)
The bus stopped right outside a hotel in Nha Trang whose staff swarmed out to get as many as possible to stay there. A woman even got oN the damned bus to promote the hotel to those of us who hadnt rushed of the bus the second the doors opened. This is normal procedure in this country..
It was drizzling but by the time wed gotten into our rain ponchos and onto the motorbike, me waving good-bye to the people Id gotten to know after 14 hours on the same bus, it had stopped. Good to have the rain gear on anyway though: we were both mud sprayed by the time we reached home.
It feels a bit strange being back. And Im a bit tired. But happy. There was a bunch of letters waiting for me on my desk 🙂 and after I got out of the cold shower *brr* Ive had my 4 year old cousin glued to me. Shes gorgeous though I love her to bits. Im so glad shes come to live here while her baby sister is still all new to the world. Only its hard to do anything because shes talking non-stop and wants me to look at her most of the time. But I got out some stuff I bought crayons, drawing paper and play doh and weve been sitting on my bed together. And its really nice.
Ive been away for over three weeks and Ive had time to do lots of different things. Traveling alone was great. Traveling without a fixed plan was great.
First I just hung around in Ha Noi. After my night of wallowing in luxury I booked into this cheap cheap hotel that looked fair enough at first sight. I unpacked my stuff and tried getting comfortable. Thats when I saw a mouse running from under the bed and disappearing behind the closet. I didnt think too much of it because Im used to the mouse at my grandparents, I just asked the guy at the reception to tape up the mouse hole. But when it got to be dark I started thinking more about that mouse and its true that Ive never seen a mouse near where I sleep in Cam Duc. They just hang about where the food is. It was too late to go looking for another place then, but first thing next morning I packed up and found a room over a café not far away. Same price, but clean. And I stayed there a week, until I met all those backpackers I decided to join.
I didnt do much. I read, enjoyed the cleanness, sat by the lake (impossible to read there, people would come up all the time wanting to start up a conversation), looked at pictures in art galleries, saw a water puppet performance and fished around for voluntary work. It was really nice being alone those days. Have my own room. I got some contacts, and I might have found voluntary work. Ill tell you when I know for sure.
Then I got social. And lost my voice from talking too much.
Being around lots of people also made me realize how much I miss my friends.
First we went to Sa Pa. I allready wrote a bit about that I think.
Then we sort of split up. Regrouped. I spent one night in Ha Noi and then went to Ha Long Bay the next morning with a girl from Israel we met in Sa Pa + the two English guys.
We spent a night on the boat and one at a hotel on one of the islands. It was great. Beautiful bay. We stopped to see some caves.
When we got to this big island (the one with the hotel) we went on a hike. Or climb is more accurate, it was really steep and the path was mostly pointy rocks. This little guy served as a guide and he was running back and forth as a dog rounding up sheep. We walked up up up, then down down and then up up again. The view was amazing. Jungle mountains and sea.
After lunch and a short rest we set off on this little boat. A few minutes later we got to the kayaks, and 8 of us kayaked to Monkey Island, two in each kayak. (I was the only girl!) It was great fun and I got soaked. At the Monkey Island there where lots of monkeys who we gave bananas, they were so cute and really fast banana peelers. The beach there was nice and we splashed around in the water a good deal before heading back to the big island.
Next day we headed back to Ha Noi, its a three-hour bus ride. Didnt spend any more time in that city though. Just got straight on a bus that took us to Hue. Getting there took all night.
Hue was pretty gray and rainy. The four of us stuck together, visited some of the sights and it was nice. Only spent one night there.
The guys wanted to catch up with the others further south and I decided to stick with the Israeli girl and go to Hoi An. So we said good-bye. A bit sad.
Spent two nights in Hoi An. Mostly with an Australian guy I met on the bus on the way down there. Because the girl was really into shopping, and.. well… Im not.
Hoi An is a town of old houses and tailor shops for tourists. I liked the place, didnt go into a single shop but just walked around. Narrow streets, houses in Japanese, Chinese or French building styles, bridges and lots of pagodas.
And then it was the last stretch: Hoi An Nha Trang.
Yeah, Im glad I wont be getting on another bus for a while.