Cat Cat Village

January 10, 2009

Waterfalls and Mountaintops

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Today was another hiking day to a village called “Cat Cat.” It comes from the word cascade, because the village has a lot of waterfalls.

We walked almost non-stop today. We had some time in the morning to wander around Sapa’s market area. We went with Paul who walked with us for a little bit.

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Everywhere we turned, there were colorful flowers. That’s a characteristic of this country for sure — colors everywhere!

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Tammy pointed out that these flowers we saw are banana flowers — you can see the bananas sprouting up as leaves on the side of the stalk.

Another thing I keep noticing — again — is how MUCH people carry! Everywher eI turn, I see old ladies carrying huge loads on their backs!

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Anyway, we stumbled upon a massage parlor and that’s when Paul decided to leave us to wander on his own when the three of us girls decided to get foot massages:

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Three dollars for 30 minutes!

After a little confusion about motorbike taxis that we didn’t manage to secure, we ran up to our hotel to meet our group for the day’s hike.

We were out and about for about 4 hours and it was as iff we were doing the stairclimber the entire climb! Sapa is known as a very mountainous region so of course if you want to see the views from the top of the mountain, the only way to get there is to climb up!

We walked though the Cat Cat village where they set up a makeshift home for us tourists to walk though that looked like Khu’s house, only more sanitized.

Then we crossed the waterfall bridge.

After that, it was an uphill hike all the way to this view:

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We were so high up I got a little light headed; the white behind us is fog/clouds.

And then there was more hiking:

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And more hiking:

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And more hiking:

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Everyone mentioned how difficult it was, and we were thankful we could do it, because not everyone can. Then we hopped on the bus and took the hour-long ride back down the mountain where we were staying in Sapa, to the train station.

We just had dinner:

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But despite the smiling photo, the restaurant was pretty bad. Let me just say, things are really cheap here, but what we don’t pay for in cash, we pay for in customer service.

I ran out to the internet train across the street to jot down my thoughts for the day so I don’t forget… I’m off to meet Esther and Tammy now in front of our train. We’re back on the Pumpkin Espress tonight for the 8-hour overnight ride back to Hanoi, where we’ll meet up with Allison (and our bags!) and then all four of us hop and early morning plane to the city of Hue. That’s the plan, at least. I’m off to catch the train!

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