January 12, 2003 early evening
Breathtaking Mountains and Valleys
Sitting here on board the boat again, headed back to Ha Long. I tell you, getting on and off this floating thing is something else. Safety here has an entirely different meaning.
Last night was great. After wading through the children entrepreneurs on the dock and checking into the Sun & Sea Hotel, we headed as a group to a restaurant on the boardwalk. We had dinner in the open air on the top floor of the building. Everyone was feeling jovial after a day at sea and the company was pleasant. Several played pool while others sat around talking.
This morning saw us all up at dawn, preparing for the days adventure. The buses headed out at 7:30 a.m. for Cat Ba National Park. What a beautiful place. I felt more at ease in that remote spot than I have so far on this trip. It took me back to my childhood hikes and summers outdoors, except the views were a little more spectacular this time. Ive never seen such scenery. The mountains and valleys were breathtaking, and I now feel intimately acquainted with them after the trek up to the top. One things for sure, I earned those views, and they were more than worth the effort.