Sunday, 31 May 2015

Halong Bay: part 3

Lám had arranged for kayaks so that we could paddle our way among the limestone pillars, through archways and into secret lagoons.

I got to sit up front; being the official photographer which meant I was let off most of the paddling duty ;-)

Here we are, can you see me up front, pretending to paddle??  Where shall we go?

You can't be serious  - through there?

We made it in, but are we going to get out again?

Looks like we will,

phew, through into a hidden lagoon.  So quiet and secluded, we are hidden from view.  No one knows we are here at all.  Unless the hidden monkeys have told!

Back out, the sun is slowly going down,

but there is still heat in the day and enough light to see someone over there, on the rocks...

Can you see them too?  On the right hand side, got their back turned, so must  be shy...just one , but I bet the others are hiding from us in the bushes up above.

Off we paddle to find another karst to explore,

 how about over there?

Seriously, you think we'll be able to squeeze through?

We did, but the sun is nearly down. 

 So it's time to turn for the boat.

The kites are still playing on the thermals and the sun is all but gone,

but there is just time to have a cooling G&T and a quick read before changing for dinner.

There, gone for today.  Let's go and see what the chef has been up to whilst we were enjoying ourselves.

Quite something wouldn't you say?  The most creative use of a vegetable I have ever seen.  Carrots, cucumber and mouli will never be the same again!

Or tomatoes, as this carved and light one is trying to prove.

 Even Delia and Mary would be hard pressed to have thought of a carrot net!  Although given the chance I am sure Lakeland will come up with the appropriate gadget ;-)

Whatever the veg. looked like it didn't detract from the excellent seafood we were treated to.  

Halong Bay: part 2

So where are we heading?  To here, just past the flame tree,


then down the jetty, right to the very end.  See what's waiting for us? There - just on the very edge.

Our very own cruiser, more crew than passengers and ours for the next day and night.  We are all onboard...
...the lunch table is set and

my cabin ready.

A quick peep out of the window, to see what I can see.

But I don't dally too long, a fabulous fresh seafood lunch is ready and waiting.

What are these, cray fish?  Whatever, they're jolly tasty with freshly squeezed lime and seasoning.

As we eat we cruise through one of the most stunningly beautiful sights in SE Asia.  There are over 3000 limestone peaks rising directly from the sea, a beautiful emerald green ( despite it looking murky in most of my photographs!)

Round and round we go, with many small fishing boats trawling their nets.

There are monkeys on many of the peaks, I wonder if we shall spy some?

It really is most pleasant

watching the scenery float by

with your legs stretch out, toes in the sun.

The gentle breeze is most welcome, especially when you sail.

But not for long, Lám has planned a short trek for us on one of the islands.

It's over 40C, so climbing 90 stone steps wasn't quite what we had had inmind,

But is was a bit cooler in the shade, and 

the views were amazing

Then our destination was in front of us, cool and dark, Hang Dau Go cave is the most famous one in this Karst archipelago.

We walk along the pathway, through into a cavern, so cool and quiet.  It's just amazing what nature can do.




Is that daylight up ahead?

Yes, we made it through and finally we step out from the cool shady cavern back into 

the bright sunlight and the baking heat.

Wouldn't it just be lovely for once to go to a beach and swim?  After all there are no bicycles now to whisk us away!

Trying to look cool, but really wanting to swim.  Please ....can we swim??

The kites are playing the thermals, it really is SO hot (still over 40C)

 The water is looking really inviting.

Even the floating market boat can't tempt us.

And then we spy our treat that Lám has for us.  Finally, a beach I can sit on and

a sea I can swim in...bliss!

Warm and gentle, it's such a treat after a long hot day,

See, even my toes are happy!

After an hour or so, our boat comes back for us,

so we carefully wash our sandy feet and

go onboard and put them up whilst we cruise around to another secluded bay.

Watching the fishermen haul in their catch,

and wonder at the majesty of the scenery as we float on by.

The kite comes to check us out again,

and another market boat passes us by.

We're excited by our next adventure, kayaking around the amazing karst scenery and through the arches into hidden lakes as the sun slowly sets on this magical place.