Saturday, 21 September 2013

The Sa Pa Shenanigans: Part Three

Day Four: Some more trekking

After an amazing nights sleep, we woke early to a huge pancake and coffee breakfast to set us up for the day ahead. Bidding goodbye to the family, and the three legged dog who was my new best pal, we set off for another day in the countryside. We could tell immediately that this would be a bit more difficult by the sweltering heat and the vertical climb which we began our day with. 

If anything though the scenery was even better than the day before...

The hills and the heat were at some points unbearable but we ploughed on to the top of the hill to reach the halfway point. Going downhill the terrain was different and I fell over multiple times where it seemed almost jungle like. We reached a bamboo grove and the shade meant that the mud hadn't dried out obviously resulting in me losing another shoe in the muddy puddles (a trainer this time). Having to trek the rest of the way with a wet foot wasn't the best! 

When we got to the other side of the grove, we were rewarded with the sight of a beautiful waterfall which made it all worthwhile...

Walking down past the waterfall, we reached the river and cooled off with a refreshing dip in the clear and freezing cold waters....

The Vietnamese children put us to shame with their ability to swim against even the strongest currents and their seemingly perfect balance when sprinting across rocks and diving in. We dried off on the flat rocks around the river and then walked another 20 minutes up a steep hill (I was nearly dying at this point) to reach a cafe for lunch from where a jeep would collect us to return us safely to Sa Pa.

After a well needed shower in the hotel, we headed into Sa Pa town to kill a few hours before getting the night train back to Hanoi. The town has some lovely shops and a large market which sells not so lovely things like this...

A couple of hours later, when we had finally regained our appetites after seeing the above! we went for a pizza (thought we deserved it after the amount of exercise we had done) and a couple of icy beers. We got on the bus back to Lo Cai and back to the restaurant from the first morning where we had spent two and a half glorious hours to wait for the train. 

Unfortunately, we had a momentary panic when our guide didn't have tickets for us, but eventually we made it onto the train and are now safely back in Hanoi! We would seriously recommend for anyone visiting Northern Vietnam to put Sa Pa on their itinerary as we had the best time there and the region is truly one of the best parts of the country.

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