Dalat: "Cool Climb"
July 22, 2003
OK “Blinky.” Here's one for you....
Flew from HCMC to Dalat... Hilltop city on a lake. Cool ... need sweater ... didn't bring one. Rain sometimes ... need a jacket ... didn't bring one. Chilly at night.
Pine mountains, green valleys, vegetable farms, coffee trees.
Signed up for hike-tour. My group for the day: man and wife from Montreal with their twenty-two year old adopted Vietnamese daughter. She speaks French, Spanish, English with a French accent and only a little Vietnamese.
We climb Lang Bian Mountain. Young Guide and young girl on point. Mom and Dad close behind them. Jan, huffing and puffing, bringing up the rear. One and a half hours of 25- 45 degree slopes. Through woods. No bears or tigers. Great vistas. (Legs ache today.)
Mountain tribe village including "long house." Gift shop. Bought a hand woven silk scarf. Christian church and gardens.
Group lunch: Spring rolls, fried squid, sautéd chicken with pine mushrooms and fresh vegetables, spicy beef, fried rice, sweet banana fritters, hot filtered coffee with sweetened condensed milk.
Light dinner. Decent local red wine.
Coffee date with Le Ha ... "appropriate" Vietnamese woman.
Tomorrow ... bus ride to Nha Trang. Book says to visit Cham Towers and the "turquoise blue clear waters and silky white sand beach" of the South China Sea.
I am happy. Stay tuned.
PS Thank goodness I can use chopsticks!