De Lat, Na trang, Hoi An
Nate: So the count down has begun! We have seven days of adventure left and are trying to squeeze every last drop out. We are in Hoi An at the moment and Jocelyn is going shopping crazy. Lucky for me we joined up with a friend that we met when we were in Guatamala, so Jocelyn has someone to shop with and doesn't have to drag me all over the city to look at neclaces, shoes, and handbags. To be fair I am no saint in the shopping department myself these days. I have a tailor made winter wool coat (with real silk lining) being made this very minute and if the shop does well with that I will be getting 2 more 3 peice suits made for pennies (about $50 each!!!) Very Exciting. Joclyn designed some hot leather boots and a white wool jacket. It was cool to pick a style and fabric and then come back the next day for the finished product.
Jocelyn's wool coat
Jocelyn: Hoi An was beautiful and charming town for a million reasons. It was one of the few places that did not get destroyed during the Vietnam war, so it has retained all its old world charm and historic buildings. I spent a great part of my time just taking pictures of its streets and buildings - many of which are covered with flowering vines and colorful lanterns. At night the town became a profusion of delightful color.
A lovely woman in the local market
A really old Japanese Covered Bridge
One of my favorite little lantern shops in the old city quarter
The rice fields in the countryside
One day my friend and I rented bicycles and road through the countryside to the beach. It was incredibly picturesque and I couldn't help but stop and take a pictures along the way. Eventually we did make it to the beach where were Lucy and I spent the day tanning while Nathaniel bodysurfed in the waves.
When we got hungry we bought fresh pineapple from the beach vendors. These women cover their bodies from head to toe whith long pants, a hat and even gloves to protect their skin from getting brown, whereas us westerners try and get as dark as possible without getting skin cancer. What a contrast
While in Hoi an we finally got a chnace to visit a silk worm farm.
We had a blast canyoning in Dalat, We got some great pictures of each other repelling down cliffs, and down/through waterfalls. About half way into our daytrip it started pouring cats and dogs, but who can tell the diference when your halfway down a waterfall. At first we practiced on cliffs and then moved to waterfalls when we had mastered a few skills. We had to traverse some incrediblly strong currents, jump off a cliff and slide down a rock face before we arrived at our final waterfall.
Nate: We spent six days at the beach in Na Trang and worked on our tans! The beach was a few kilometers long and most of the day it was nearly deserted. Deserted until school got aout around 2:00, and then it was packed with boistrous young boys who abandoned their bicycles as they ran into the sea. Once again we rented a motor scooter and braved the crazy caos that is driving in third world countries. Driving in Na Trang proved to be quite the hair raising experience. While we had the scooter we visited the Oceanographic Museum and adjoining aquarim. It had the creepiest collection of pickled creatures I have ever seen. We topped the day off by taking a mineral mud bath.
The snorkeling at the beach could have been better, looking at nothing but sand gets old fast. So we hopped on an boat that brought us to various different islands. It was quite entertaining, we had our own version of American Idol (it was just as difficult to watch as the original). I was even draged up on stage and forced to perform. Jocelyn enjoyed that a lot.
Jocelyn: We are in Hue right now but only for a day. Just enough time to explore the ancient Imperial city and take a scooter ride out into the countryside. After that we will be off to Hanoi, a good 12 hours by bus. I feel like I am getting closer and closer to home even though I am still a world away.
Girls biking to school
See you soon!!!! Love Jocelyn and Nathaniel