21.01.2013 - 21.01.2013
View Great Escape to the East! on Tam-Jo's travel map.
Today we signed up for a 14km hike through the hills, taking advantage of the fact that I could breathe again for the first time in several weeks! We met our local guide at 9am and then picked up one more person before taking the minivan down the hill, passed the crowds of tourists doing easier hikes, and to the start of one of the hill tribe villages that we were to visit that day.
I will let the pictures tell you how fantastic the scenery (and lunch!) was and just go into detail about the mud.... there was a lot of it! So much in fact, that we needed two lovely, and unbelievably strong, local women and one local child to give us a hand up and down the very, very slippery slopes of the bamboo forest. Needless to say we both fell over - who needs mud treatments at a spa?! For three hours we trekked in these conditions, with Tam and I just about able to keep up with our guide who appeared to be racing to the finish line! The Taiwanese girl on the trip with us seriouly struggled though! But even despite this, and the hold up at lunch time when we had to wait for a bunch of local men to finish throwing giant rocks down the hill towards us in the name of road building (!), we still finished way ahead of time.
As a result we had to wait around in the minivan just a few kilometers from Sapa, for a load of people on easier hikes to finish. Luckily it meant I could get a good few photos of the local women who wear the most beautiful, brightly coloured clothing I've ever seen!
Back to the hotel for a hot shower and some chilling out before heading downstairs for an early dinner. A very good day indeed!