Friday, 27 September 2013

We'll tak the High Road. (Hue to Hoi An)

A longer stay in Hue (hey that rhymes) would have been wonderful.  I was totally confused, as usual, and thought we were there for three days.  Never mind.  At least I got to sample their lovely food, although I will pass on the rice porridge in future.  I prefer my oats!!

When we arrived in the lobby, Rose informed me that I had missed some excitement for my blog.  She had fainted just after Ieft.  When she came to, a strange man was looking into her eyes and asking, 'Are you awake lady?' She was somewhat confused and thought (please say the next part in a South African accent as it sounds so cool) 'Where did this man come into my life?'
Even when she is not one hundred per cent, she makes me smile.  I promised I would mention it, even though I was not around,

Wise Wind advised leaving the tour of the Royal Tombs until today.  On a hot, hot day, we stood and listened about the Nguyen Dynasty and how the tombs were created.  I understood how people might want some reminders of their life in their tomb.  After all, I did pop a pouch of  Dad's favourite baccy in his coffin.  That said, I could not get my head round having twelve virgins buried alive with the Emperor.  What a waste.

I took many photos to show the skilled embroidery work on the gowns and photos here.  You must see this one.  Hubby appears to have a tree growing out of his head which is sapping his strength - ha ha!!

Extremely large cauldrons were dotted around the place.  Filled with hot oil, they served as a warning.  One false move and it would have been deep fat fried PJ for tea!  Sometimes restoration has not improved things.  The constellations on the theatre ceiling no longer shine at night.  So much for modern technology.  As for the translations, they continue to make me smile.  Today's howler:- 'Fromerlly this temple served as Emperor Tu Duc's residence '. Gosh that took some typing.  The iPod kept trying to change the word 'fromerlly' to 'formerly'. I should loan it to the tourism department.

Travelling to Hoi An, we took the scenic mountain route rather than the lower tunnelled route.  This involved stopping at the Pass of the Ocean Clouds.  The locals here like to talk to tourists we had been told.  We had not been informed that they swarm round you like pesky wasps, buzzing the same words 'Where you from?  I like your country.  You nice lady.  You visit my stall NOW'

I managed to avoid their subtle selling techniques.  One member of HF was not so lucky.  She was convinced by the 'my husband beats me' tale and returned to the coach with a few bracelets for her family.  Asked to translate the good wishes marked on the bracelet, Wistful Wind gave a wry smile.  But it is all part of the experience.  

Stopping for lunch, we chose to abandon HF.  Hubby had seen and smelled enough seafood for a while,  We walked along the seafront and made a random choice.  Well, you would have thought we were royalty.  Or perhaps they thought I was Dame Judi.  They chattered away and one by one we were snapped with all the staff.  We had to show our time was limited, so I pointed to my watch and mimed travelling on a bus.  They understood and dashed off to prepare a very tasty sweet and sour pork meal.

Waving bye bye to another Happy Family we went back to the coach.  They were still eating, so we had time to wander on the beach.  We had a good look at the coracle type shrimp boats and to watch a fishing line being hauled in.  The honeymooners, Pete and Splash (Karen) were taking advantage of some free time too.  

Our next stop was at a marble factory. Well, a village full of marble shops and factories!  Happy Buddhas? Elephants, tables, chairs.  All carved and hand polished here.  Not one piece was small enough for our luggage and the postage was exorbitant.  Next visit perhaps.  

Having an option, we chose to zoom up Marble Mountain in a Willy Wonka Glass Elevator.  Holding our gold tickets we emerged at the top to wander round looking for Oompah  Lumpas (Please correct my spelling). None there but the dark cave with the Buddha was spectacular.  Pity the picture just looked dark.  Well, it was dark.  Rose and I helped each other on the steps, laughing that it was a case of the blind leading the blind.

Usually everyone has timed their return to the bus well.  It was a bit concerning that Pete and Karen were nowhere to be seen.  Wind dashed off in pursuit.  While he was gone, they returned looking very hot and flustered.  Somehow they had chosen a wrong trail.  They walked for quite some time but never saw HF again.  Maybe they got to 'the other side of the mountain'. Sing along if you know it.  We were just relieved to see them back again.  We felt the same when Worried Wind returned soon after and clapped him on board.  No worries.  Be happy.

So, on to another spa where we really do stay for three nights.  First things first though.  We sorted our washing to take across the road to the laundry.  One dollar per kilo seemed a small price to pay to refresh our very smelly outfits. 

Wandering Wind then took us into the town, recommending various shops and eateries.  We followed his advice and stopped at a family restaurant with Rose and Loretta.  Good food and even better company.  Just wished I could master the local currency.  Too many noughts for my liking.  

The walk back to the hotel was delightful with the colourful lights, bobbing boats and Hubby's favourites - high flying colourful toys.  He wants to start a business - help!!  I will leave you all now while a try to dissuade him!!!!

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