Rock the Cat Ba
March 11, 2010 – Day 441 – Ha Long Bay
Bright and early this morning we went “trekking.” Usually this means walking around on paved sidewalks with some kind of vegetation nearby, although that is optional. Today they actually meant some serious hiking. Inside Cat Ba National Park we climbed over tree roots and through slippery mud to get to the top of the big hill for a nice view of the island.
It is a moderate to difficult (only in the small later section) climb and although you can certainly do it in flip flops like we did, it is better to wear real shoes. Without any mishap we made it up and down and even managed to keep ourselves out of the mud. At the top is a rusty fire tower that gives a nice, if shakey, view of the valley. Lush green trees all around seem even brighter on a gloomy sunless day.
After lunch as usual, we were given “free time” like kindergarteners after a nap. We spent ours down by the harbour in the beautiful waterfront park. There is little traffic on Cat Ba Island so the whole town is relatively quiet. Watching the boats go by and seeing people rowing around the floating village is entertainment enough in a beautiful place.
When it was time, we packed up and got back onto the ship for the night. Our cabin turned out to be pretty nice and we even had a bathroom inside our room! Dinner as usual was spiced up a bit by being a kind of dinner cruise. All the other tourist boats were anchored nearby and the lights dotted the bay just after dark.
There were not many stars to see, with all the hazy days we have been seeing lately but it was a beautiful quiet night all the same.