The Last Kilometers

… in Southeast Asia – at the moment at least. Especially the last hundred  kilometers that finally led us to Hanoi weren’t exactly easy for myself.
Because the day before we arrived in Hanoi I caught something that annoyed my digestive tract quite considerably. So far, we’ve been very lucky in terms of diarrhea. Although we didn’t take much precautions in what we ate, we hardly have experienced any problems. This time, I suspected it to be different and more severe: in addition to lengthy sessions on the pot, I vomited, too. Consequently, the next day I felt pretty tired and weak. All the same, thanks to the flat character of the last leg, occasional tail wind and Jela’s lead, we still made it to Hanoi the next day. Fortunately, my upset stomach was just a short episode and I felt much better already the day after.

I have no clue what might have caused that short outbreak but the food we had the last days wasn’t adventurous at all. It was just considerably more expensive than usual in Vietnam. Because before we turned to Hanoi, we went to see the Cat-Ba island (about 100 km East of Hanoi) where we spent two nights, in Cat-Ba city.  While ‘Cat-Ba’ probably doesn’t sound familiar to many, ‘Ha-Long Bay’ certainly does. And that’s one of the reasons, most people come here. Thus, we too seized the opportunity to undertake a day trip on boat to see more of the marvelous little wonderworld of Lan-Ha and Ha-Long Bay. Countless karst islands scattered over the sea either covered in lush green or exposing vertical rock faces, and in between here and there a few beaches and floating villages (where people live permanently on the water from fishing). We had a truly relaxing day without having to care about anything, just eating lunch, watching the scenery, kayaking for an hour, taking photos etc. And, since in a big group, still for the affordable price of 18$, just about my daily budget in Southeast Asia ;).

Here in Hanoi, we are now cramped  into a small hotel for a couple of days amid the dense and lively old quarter. Enough time to prepare our next flight on the 17th midnight (i.e. getting bike boxes etc.).To be honest, I am not very eager to get outside of the old quarter, because it is interesting enough by itself. There is so much to discover since life takes place on the streets, the place also provides everything we need (beer and Döner – yes, there are couple of stalls offering German Döner), and I simply enjoy not having to move too much for now … 

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