As earlier mentioned, I recently went to Da Lat with ten friends from work. We went for four days and three nights. It was a 7 hour bus journey from Saigon and it was utterly incredible. The whole trip I mean, not particularly the bus, although that was delightful also thanks to my ipod and some strong sleeping pills.
Day One We got there at 5am, hung out at a road side cafe until our hostel opened. We dumped our stuff, rented motorbikes and zoomed around the beautiful hills and lakes. We went to waterfalls, ‘Crazy House’, pagodas, hills sculptured by farming and stunning lakes. It was my first time properly driving a bike alone. Within ten minutes I’d already driven into the hotel wall and fallen straight off twice but once I figured out how to break it was fine.
Day Two One the second day we started our epic trekking adventure. We were picked up from the hotel by minibus and three guides, the Vietnamese equivalents of Sherpas, for a trek organised by Groovy Gekko tours who I’d highly recommend. We headed out to the jungles and hiked for eight hours up very steep hills. Five minutes in my bag broke and I managed to impale myself on a tree, I alerted everybody that I was bleeding and could possibly die but a plaster and some savlon sufficed. There weren’t any paths, we made the paths through high grass, rivers and forests, like Rambo, or William DaFoe in Platoon, minus guns. We got to a beautiful misty lake with wild horses and camped there for the night, with a fire, food and rice wine.
On the third day, god created bloody slippery waterfalls. We’d made it through most of the jungle on the second day and were now heading through pine forests to the famous waterfalls. This is where the trekking got super hard, it was so steep I was using my arms as much as my legs to pull myself up cliffs. We walked across precariously slippery cliff ledges, waded through waist high rivers (it was just before the typhoon hit so pretty rainy!) and fell down many hills. The views were definitely worth it though and I got to pretend I was a soldier for most of the time.
This one photo sums up my amazing time there:
And here are some more photos that don’t do the place justice:
Please excuse the mix of pure sweat, rain and mud in these photos! I have some pretty impressive scars and bruises which will last a life time. I’m hoping by the time I have grandchildren, they will be so far removed from the 21st century that they’ll be a bit sketchy on dates and I can pretend I was actually in the war.