This is gonna be a quickie … I”ve got a BIG morning tomorrow and got to lay the body down really soon!
But before I head out, just a short post to say that I’ve arrived in Dalat, a most unusual Vietnamese city that feels more like a sophisticated European one – and at almost 5000 feet in elevation, it’s cold here! There are no other places like this in Vietnam and the chilly-ness is a welcome respite to having been boiling hot for so long. Except of course, that I have no clothes for such weather. Well, not until I went to the market today and bought a heavy, fleece-lined jacket, a long sleeve thick cotton sweater and two pair of long socks – all for a whooping grand total of $5!
I arrived yesterday after 11 hours of riding a local bus to get here – local meaning – only Westerner on the bus, which was jammed-packed full – got plenty of stares and giggles and finger-pointing – and once I smiled, plenty of smiles, too. The chickens were squaking, the children were screaming, the man behind me was hacking up phlegm every 15 seconds (yes, I timed it – what else did I have to do for 11 hours?!) – and there I was in the middle of it all – calm, relaxed and while sad to leave the Mekong that I grew to love so very much, I was eager to arrive here in Dalat.
Had a lovely day of touring around the city and the area around it on the back of a motor bike – the very same motor bike that will become my only means of transportation for the next week – YES – this means that I have booked my Central Highlands motor bike tour!! I’ve been off the tourist trail pretty much since I hit Vietnam (except here in Dalat, which still doesn’t have too many tourists), but for the next week, I will likely not see any! Now it will be all about the Hill Tribes of the Central Highlands and the incredible scenery and unsurpassed, gorgeous nature. We’ll be cruising on the Ho Chi Minh Trail and way off the main roads – bike is comfortable, my guide Khoung speaks great (meaning – good enough!) English and at 8 am, we are off for yet another adventure with this grand adventure!
I sure don’t expect I will be seeing any Internet connections along the way, so I’ll be back online when I hit HoiAn, which is a small, lovely city, a World Heritage Site and very touristy – it’s gonna be a shock to be surrounded by white people again!
Today’s my 2-month anniversary of traveling and I feel like I’ve got a great groove going – moving through my days with ease and gratitude, continuing to be amazed and in awe that I get to be out here, taking in all these experiences, connecting with people and keeping my heart open and alive all along the way!