Our cabin in the train.
We spend the night on the train. I slept on the top birth, I fell asleep deeply to the sawing motion and it’s wheel cadence going over the tracks.
Today our group is complete in that we are five for most of the trip.
We arrive in Lao Cai early this morning.
Our guide Nga shall be with us for the next 3 days. He is delightful, funny and full of information.
After one hour of driving through windy and narrow roads at high altitude, we arrive in Sapa where we store the majority of our luggages and have a good breakfast before our 8 km treck. It’s pouring, foggy and cool. Everyone carries their backpack of at least 25 Pd’s, I hire a porter…over my dead body I’m carrying this crap!
Overlooking where we will hike down below, Dressed for the occasion with gators, light raincoat and wicking clothes which dry quickly, ready for the mud!
The five of us; Mandy, Cat, moi, Stacey and Amanda!
At the beginning of the hike, these women will stay with us and help through all the treacherous areas
We start at the top of a village crossing a bridge over the river; to the left is Nga, our guide, Cat and Mandy back right
We stop by a batik shop and witness the time consuming art of making batik accessories. Everything they need grows in the yard from the hemp plant, to the beeswax and Indigo plant,
Our walk takes place mostly by the river in the morning.
We eat a satisfying lunch at a home stay house on the way, we pass by several hamlets, where the butcher’s choice of meats is al fresco with flies buzzing everywhere! I’m sticking to vegetarian!!! The grocery store’s selection of fruits and vegetable is in colorful baskets on the floor. Simple homes with front gardens filled with vegetables which would be the envy of any western farmers. Stunning brown and white huge butterflies that I’ve never before..
Black Hmong women walking , just love their clothing.
After lunch we continue climbing higher and higher on a rocky muddy pathway.
We eventually reach the bamboo forest,. Under normal circumstances it’s not a difficult hike, but the rain we just had made slippery and deeply muddy. I even slid a couple of times; fortunately unscathed .
This is what our shoes looked like after the trek, much heavier than when we started!
We finally arrive in our home stay hamlet, where we will stay by the waterfall. We’re thrilled that there is a hot shower,
Our sleeping accommodation are rated NO Star!!! But the young hosts are FiVE stars
Sleeping upstairs on hard mattresses, thick blanket, to the sound of the waterfall
They cook an amazing meal and managed to spice everything up for some of us who shall remain vegetarian;; everything comes from their garden, how awesome and wholesome is that! They even made rice wine for us, we certainly got to find out a lot about their customs and their way of life.
We were their first Homestay guests ever! A truly beautiful evening