Well I got back from Sa Pa with an over night stay in Han Noi. In the morning I set out for Ba Be National park north-east of Han Noi. It was a five hour mini bus drive there, just myself and a Russian couple. Unfortunately I was very unlucky with the weather. On arrival we were told that afternoon we had “freetime” as we know that means there is nothing to do, admittedly the weather was very bad, however a plan B is always good, but there wasn’t one. And it didn’t look good for the next day either, we were supposed to be trekking but we were told it just wouldn’t be possible. I asked what the alternative was and was told maybe I could read a book. Lol.
I hadn’t brought a book! I suppose this highlighted that some tours are still maturing, It will of course rain at some stage, but i was a bit disgruntled that other people were still arriving who would be in the same position.
I messaged Taon back at the hotel in Ha Noi and told him I might as well come back. Toan arranged a room for me, the Russians were doing to do the same, unfortunately the wife had slipped down the stairs and hurt her arm. It wasn’t looking good!
The next day it would seem the hotel who organised the tour with the Home stay said they wouldn’t pay for my 2 nights as I had no alternative but to return. The Home stay weren’t happy and now suggested I stay! Lol. But what would I do? was my question, go for a walk was the reply. Any way I got caught in the middle between the Home stay and the Hotel, The Home stay owner reacted badly, told me their services with me were finished, essentially saying I had to make my own way back to Ha Noi.
Well, I got a little bit shirty and as you know that doesn’t happen much, and I suggested it was not in their interest to leave me in Ba Be national park. In the afternoon we headed back for Ha Noi. On the whole I have been very lucky with all of my tours, and even when things don’t go so smoothly, there are other highlights. I spoke to the Russian couple a lot on the way back, and how fascinating to have their perspective on everything from America, Putin, Communism, The Crimea and much more. It really brought it home to me to how separated Russia is and we are from them, leading to little understanding of the reality of our very different worlds. ……It was great trip after all.
Despite it being a short trip I did manage a walk around the lake in Ba Be and then in the morning a boat trip to a local cave, which was excellent. Here are some pics.