WELL... it was still raining and cold... we were told not to bring any bags (although since we couldn't check into our hotel, I carried a backpack with my valuables)... and we were off for the day!
Thus began a hilarious adventure... definitely not hilarious at the time, however.
Elizabeth, Vince, and I stepped outside and matched the typical generalized American tourists as we looked to the left... looked to the right... and asked, "Where is the bus?"
What bus? The rest of our tour members and our guide replied, "We're walking!"
Turns out... we had signed up for a HIKING tour of Sa Pa. That IS what you do in Sa Pa... however we had no idea. The Sinh Tourist website does not make this clear... nor was it clear when we signed up and paid at the Sinh Tourist office in HCMC.
SO... now we find out we are about to begin a 5k + hike... down a mountain... and back up!
I'm in wedge wellies... and Vince and Elizabeth had to stop in a shop to buy ponchos and better footwear (E was in flip flops).
We went with it though... not many other options... and the views were beautiful!
It was at this point, after walking about 15 minutes or so, that our guide pointed waaay down to the bottom of this valley and said, "See that yellow house at the bottom? That is where we are going to!"
...And that was a point in which I asked, "And then we are to hike all the way back up?"
When the answer to that question was a yes, I happily said that I would just turn around here and meet up with them later! Hehe. I would have been very content at a cafe sipping a hot drink and then taking a walk through the town (not down and back up a mountain).
Vince and Elizabeth were on my trail of thoughts as well... but then we were told that we would be able to take a motorbike ride back up instead of walking... so off we went!
The hike was nice... but would have been nicer for the three of us had we been aware we had signed up for a 1/2-day hike! ; )
I was the only person in our group attempting to take photos along the way, so I constantly fell behind... but it was so peaceful where we were that it was nice to be on my own a bit and just take it all in.
Hiking in wellies with a heel... not a nice idea... especially when the hike is downhill (or... downmountain).