About 1/2-way down the mountain on the morning hike our first day in Sa Pa... we hear from other people on our tour that the next day we are hiking over TEN kilometers! We are set up to visit three more villages in the Sa Pa area.
Uhhhh... definitely not what I was expecting to hear, nor what I want to hear when I'm only 1/2-way through our first surprise 'mini' hike.
Elizabeth, Vince, and I all agreed that we would much rather have our 2nd (and final) day in Sa Pa to putter along at our own pace around the main town. I love traveling with these two : )
Our tour guide was a bit thrown that we weren't up for the hike that was a big part of the 'trekking' tour we had signed up for!... but we set up that we would meet everyone in time to catch the bus back down to the train station the next afternoon.
The end of the 1st day's hike... E, Vince, and I each hopped onto the back of a motorbike and held on as we made our way back up the mountain and finally checked into our hotel rooms.
...Another funny moment -- this one I DO love -- as we descended the mountain and were entering the main part of Cat Cat Village, there were a few motorbike drivers asking everyone if they wanted a ride up. These drivers probably get ignored... or hear no's... all day long most of the time. BUT... this day was their special day! ...because E, Vince, and I happily said, "YES! We'd love a ride up!"
We went into the village... hiked just a tad bit uphill... and there were our three drivers waiting for us with extra helmets - perrrrrfect. : ) I was happy... the young girl giving me a lift was happy... AND the hike in heels was done! (Oh! - the rain had stopped by this point too!)
NOW... our time in Sa Pa felt like it began (as we were also able to check into our hotel rooms and take a shower for the first time since climbing on the train the evening before)...