Amy (Scotland) and Sian (Wales) are two friends who met while in Saigon. I met these two girls on our canyoning tour. Walking down the mountain off the highway, I had accidentally stepped on a little bag of fish sauce, exploding it all over me body. Unfortunately I accidentally took down an unsuspecting backpacker – Amy. I met Sian because she nearly gave me (and the rest of us) a heart attack early in the tour. Rappelling down the mountain to get to the start of the river, Sian slipped upon landing and got taken by the strong rapids. Now, this tour takes us to many waterfalls and for all I know and could see at the time, the current was leading to another waterfall. Holding onto a branch, you see Shauna struggling to hang on to this branch off the tree. All of us up top are screaming and yelling at the people down below who were looking the other way to grab their attention. Sian then loses her grip on the branch and panics to grab onto anything else. Her body and head smashing against the rocks. Finally she’s gone from my sights. You can hear the grasp of us up top but for some odd reason the guides were just carrying on. “This happens all the time” laughs one guide. Luckily for Sian, the rapid only took her to another section of calm water. She made her way back to where the rest of us were, understandably shaken up with tears in her eyes.While I was chatting with her about that experience and taking my own pictures with Carlos (the gentleman from Spain with near death experience), the group began to move up into the mountain. Carlos, Amy, Sian and I followed. We couldn’t see the group but figured we’ll just follow the trails. Ten minutes later, we then begin to question where the group is. I can feel my heart begin to race. Carlos and I run up yelling for anybody’s attention, no reply. I’m just dropping F bombs, stressing out. We start to trek back down the mountain as we know there’s another group behind us. But then we see broken trail that perhaps could be where our group went. Carlos and I go check it out and again, no luck. We then decide to just go find the group behind us as I’m thinking we’d be screwed if we don’t. We cycle back but now they’re gone too. I’m just a mess right now, how could I be so stupid! Carlos then says “let’s just follow the river they will be there”…I’m not an educated outdoor-sies person at all so I’m thinking he’s crazy…turns out this man knows a thing or two. We ended up missing one small thing the group did but I didn’t care!
Here are some pics from that tour
I met a group of 7 random travellers who all had the same goal – motorbike through Vietnam. When I told them my itinerary they were quick to invite me to join as they also are heading north. I told them I will think about it but it’s very enticing because the drive from Hoi An to Hue or vice versa was features on Top Gear and has received numerous praises.
Meet Yannick, a 6’5 Danish actor stuck in Dalat, waiting around the hostel hoping to see if he can somehow squeeze on to the bus a fellow backpacker is waiting for. The reason he is in this situation is because the regular price of ticket to HCMC from Dalat is about 250-300k. The ticket available last minute was 750k, but when he clicked to purchase it was sold.
Meet Mat and Rayanna, a 26 and 22 year old couple from Winnipeg, Canada. The Canadians were out in full force today. Mat is an engineer and Rayanna is in the health care industry Meet Grahame and Biff, two guys from St. Albert, Canada. These two were heading to a party nearby the lake. Tried to tell them to head over to 100 rooftop bar instead but like a true St Albertan, they thought they are above everybody else. Joking
Meet Jordan, a 23 year old Alaskan who now calls Bellingham, WA home. “10 hours motor biking in the rain second day of our cross country adventure in Vietnam and Rays bike breaks down. I pulled her up a mountain in the dark with bungee cords to a shop. After getting repairs we stumbled onto a hotel where we met a 50 year old Irish man that we’ve motor biked the rest of the trip with. The hotel didn’t have food but loud music was playing from across the street so we wonder across in search of dinner. It ended up being a bachelorette party where they greeted us with open arms and we ate and drank with them for the rest of the night. A memory I’ll never forget. The reason we travel”.
Meet Simon, Julie, and Nathan (plus Natalie, who I met in Mui Ne and ran into at the Dalat hostel!): Julie was born and raised in Nova Scotia and now is a high school science teacher in Beijing. Simon is a soft spoken, vegan German who is the only traveller so far I’ve come across that rocks a fanny pack and does so with style. The young bloke Nathan is a 23 year old currently on month 4 of 6 in his travels. Starting in the Philippines, he has also been to Thailand and Cambodia. Now in Vietnam, the kid is now biking his way through Vietnam. And by bike, I mean pedal bike! I asked him to come get pissed with me but he had to decline as he’s riding his bicycle to Nha Trang the next morning.
Last but not least, huge thanks to Mr Peace, wife Strawberry, and daughter Laura for amazing hospitality!!!