Team Good Beginnings ‘Trek for a Helping Hand’
Tuesday 8 May 2012: Greeted this morning by 5 gorgeous puppies sitting on the steps of our room (all of which I’d adopt if I could!). We had breakfast and set off at 7:30am for what turned out to be a 20km trek through stunning scenery of silver limestones cliffs contrasted by bright green lush terraces of rice and fields of corn. Every part of this country is used for agriculture even to the point that houses are built thin and tall so as not to use up too much valuable land.
En route to our lunch stop we called in at a primary school; the children were ecstatic to see us, excitedly jumping around and laughing. We sung them a song – “Kookaburra sits in the Old Gumtree” (of course) and in return they sang us two songs too – just adorable. After posing for a photo or 3, we left them waving us good bye. They probably won’t see another western group for another 6 months.
After a lunch time break where I watched our guide cut my new sim card to size with a machete. We then enjoyed a boat ride in an open canoe down a small stretch of the River Ma. Jumping out on to a high bank we rejoined the path for a further 8km to reach our overnight stop. These last 2 hours were tough, by 3pm the sun is scorching hot here and we were walking in the high 30s with 90% humidity. The group pressed on – we were walking along the old weapons transportation route and our slow pace was filled with story stops from our very knowledgable guide about how the Viets now remember the war, or ‘conflict’ as some call it. He explained,
“…if you cannot forgive you forget, if you cannot forget you forgive…”
He didnt need to say anymore.
We finally arrived at our overnight stop by 5:30pm, we were all spent. Our planned ‘Congo’ dance into the village didn’t quite happen (although I’m sure it, or another happy dance will on Friday), but this overnight stop seemed to have taken an age to reach due to the sun being so exhausting today. There are a few blisters in sight now, but the group is still up for a laugh and tonight was spent recalling the day highs. Tomorrow brings a harder, 18km trek so we’ve decided to head out early at 6:30am to try and avoid the late afternoon sun. As a result, the group are all asleep already so I guess it’s time for me to throw a few ZZzzzz in the air myself. Good night.
Good Beginnings ‘Trek for a Helping Hand’ – Vietnam
More from the Good Beginnings Trek for a Helping Hand 2012
- Blog 1: Five Formidable Females Hit Vietnam
- Blog 2: Formidable Five Tackle 22km
- Blog 3: Kookaburras, Kids and Canoes
- Blog 4: And climb we did…
- Blog 5: Picture Perfect Vietnam
- Blog 6: Team Good Beginnings Get Gold!
- Blog 7: Two Days with Children of Vietnam
- More about Good Beginnings Australia