Back To Shore

Sleeping was a pleasure, but my only complaint relates to the stillness of the boat. We could have been on shore, it was so stable. One of my delights from past cruises is the rocking of the boat while sleeping being similar be being rocked as an infant. Regardless, the sleep was a good one. As annoying as a 7:00 am breakfast may sound, in these surroundings you want to be up early to see the sun as it rises over the rocks creating shadows or highlighting crevices and caves. After being spoiled with the meals from yesterday, it was a come down to be served watermelon slices and pineapple with coffee or tea for breakfast. Guess the honeymoon is over. After a twenty minute sail, we were told we were getting into smaller boats to be rowed through a cave and into an inner harbor. It is the transferring from boat to land or boat to boat that always concerns me and makes me nervous. When the smaller boat was filled with all of us travelers, one rail thin Vietnamese sailor earned his keep and received his aerobic exercise as he was the rower for our boat. The inner bay kept me asking myself what movie could be set in this scenery, but it went unanswered. If it was to be used, viewers would only think it was a Hollywood set created for the occasion. Returning to our Junk, we were called to breakfast, a meal we thought we already had, but this time, we received eggs and ham with baguettes. We started to make our way back to the realities of car horns and traffic noises once again. Before we reached shore at noon, we were served lunch, another display of culinary talents. Being underfed was certainly not a concern. Once on shore, we were again in the hustle and bustle of people arriving and those of us leaving. We were assigned to the same driver that brought us here, but with other fellow travelers on the return trip. We were back to the hotel by 3:30 pm. When they asked about our trip, we told them about the lack of a guide. They contacted the tour agency, which is investigating the issue. In the meanwhile, the hotel personnel had said that since they booked it, they will take responsibility and give us a free night’s stay and a courtesy ride to the airport. We were grateful for their coming to bat for us and offering us some recompense. The evening was spent hunting for a good coffee, but I have become addicted to strong Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk. We found Papa Joe’s but the coffee was less than satisfying, though the service was exceptional. All of these countries services personnel could give lessons to the Hungarians. After walking around the city for an hour, we went to Mamarosas spelled as one word, for dinner. I opted for a pizza that was less than stellar, but different from any Asian food. We hunted for a bakery when we were done, but could not find any. We did come across a small store that sold baked goods that looked appealing. The sales clerk was a twelve year old girl with her friend and younger sister visiting. We ordered three cakes; they were small, and cups of tea. This little girl prepared it and served without any adult other than the two of us, in sight. How children grow up without a childhood could teach spoiled Americans some things. They started singing a common song in French and when Ron joined in with them, they were initially shy about his interloping into their song, but after a minute, they were all crooning together. When we left, I think they wished he could have stayed behind to continue to entertain them.