We continued our private tour of Ha Long Bay by taking a smaller boat off through the karsts and into a bay where we got into our kayak.
Geoff has never kayaked and I suggested that he sit in the back and just follow my lead. Sounded like a good idea. The problem was that sometimes I went:
- Right, left, right, left… but sometimes
- Right, left, left, right… and sometimes
- Right, right, left, left, right, left
This was not my fault though, because Geoff would paddle with more force and then put us into a turn and I was trying to correct it. We seemed to take five minutes to get to the same point Tattoo would get to in two. Ah well, it was worth it when we got into some of the lagoons.
After we got back to the bigger boat, we sailed off to a secluded bay for lunch. Clearly, someone did not get the memo that there was just the two of us. The wonderful menu:
- A plate of fresh, hot crispy french fries
- Fabulous Chicken and Carrot Soup
- Fried Chicken Tenders
- 10 Jumbo Steamed Shrimp
- Squid and Vegetables
- Grilled Fish with Tomato
- Fresh Oranges and Mango and
- Choco Pies (Wagonwheels)
Clearly, they meant that we wouldn’t eat for a week. We were also “entertained” by two women (one with a daughter) who desperately wanted us to buy something from them – anything! They hung around the boat for an hour, trying to make us feel guilty. (Ed. note: We did buy a couple of little things at the beginning thinking they would go away – no dice. They didn’t leave until we did.) Then the “hostess” on the boat came out with various pearl items to sell. (Ed. note: The only purchase in Ha Long Bay was your birthday present, Judith. Happy Birthday – someday.)
From there it was back to the ship for another cooking demonstration, another dubiously priced two for one happy hour, dinner and a lovely sunset.
The next morning we were up to go off and see more caves (Ed. note: Between New Zealand, Guilin and Ha Long Bay we are officially caved out.) Then it was back to Ha Long City to await our ride back to Hanoi and the boys arrival. However, we had an hour or so to wait, so what do you do? How about some hygenic personal grooming?
The haircut and shave – $10.00 – was it a rip? Well the Vietnamese guy before me gave him a fifty dong note ($2.50) and got change. I had been looking forward to the straight razor shave and watched him take the new blade out of the package. It was the most painful shave I have ever endured – even worse than the one you get with those cheap bic razors. It not only ripped the whiskers out, it didn’t even get them all. Anyway, it was an experience not to be missed or forgotten.
The Shoe Blog
These beauties were waiting for us in Hanoi when we got back.