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Monday, November 7, 2011

Halong. Day 3

Sometimes it pays to be a morning person.  I awoke the following morning just after five and decided to make my way in the dark up to the sun deck to watch the sunrise.  So I snuck out the door and managed to dodge sleeping crew strewn in various locations around the boat to find myself being the only one with this inspired idea.  I have to tell you, it is the most a peace I have felt in a long time.  One of the many things I love about this country is its vibrancy and chaos.  It is not until you are still and quiet that you realise how much you miss silence.
So as the sky slowly lit up all I could hear was the occasional bird call and the distant putt putt of fishermen heading out...or in for the day.  Absolute bliss.

It was magical to watch these incredible shapes appear out of the night sky, just as they have done for thousands of years.

I felt very lucky to have the deck to myself until 0615 when it was time for Thai Chi.

During our light breakfast they weighed anchor and we set off to find Surprise Cave.  Isn't she lovely in full sail?

The kids were squealing in terror as the boom swung from side to side....convinced they were going to get smashed overboard!

A young entrepreneur selling his wares

All of the junks in full sail in the Bay is a sight to behold.

The harbour in front of Surprise Cave

The kids were fantastic exploring this HUGE cave.  It just seemed to go on and on.  They loved it!

The cave roof.  How amazing in that?  It looks like honeycomb!

What a handsome young man.

Yes, it is called "Cock Rock"

The stalagmites and tights make some incredible shapes that the Vietnamese love to name.  It is good luck to leave money on this "turtle" and give it a rub on the head.  Good luck for the guys collecting at the end of the day I say.  We  did it anyway.
My little adventuring rock monsters.

The children were treated like superstars on this cruise.  This is Ronald the manager.  They all took quite a shining to each other and Christopher was in tears when we had to say goodbye.

Time to head back to Halong City and say farewell.

The rock star treatment included a trip to the wheelhouse to steer the junk.

Luckily.....they missed this.

Sadly time to go.  We thorouglly enjoyed our time on the boat and would recommend it to anyone.  The service was outstanding and the meals plentiful and delicious.  They were totally professional and organised and we felt 100 percent safe the whole time. 

Time for the long drive back to Hanoi.  Scarlett had a sleep for an hour or so while Nick hogged the iPad.

Quiddy tried his best but he just does not fall asleep in cars.  Despite all that it was a quicker trip home as it was Saturday and the traffic was light.  The poor driver had to forgo the rest stop as Scarlett was asleep and we did not want to wake her.  Due to that we did the trip in 3.5hrs which was great.  Back to the Essence who greeted us like old long lost friends. Bit of a rest up then out for more exploring.  Stay tuned!

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