Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Sapa Trek #1

"Trek" as we understand it is a multi-day walk. We have done a few. What they call treks in Sapa can be as short as a day-hike, and that is what we opted for on this visit. The first day was from Sapa down to Cat Cat village and the waterfalls there. Mostly downhill. I would have preferred entirely downhillBut it was only 5k, or maybe 5 miles, and the taxi back to the hotel was there waiting for us at the end.
Perhaps the best part of our Sapa experience was our guide,
May, a 29-year old Hmong single mother, whom we
had engaged through the tour company; she met us at the
hotel upon arrival; she understood our interests were mostly
cultural and not athletic; her English, learned from tourists
she said, was the best we encountered in Vietnam

Our hike is in there somewhere, down to Cat Cat villages; several hundred
steps, hard on Vicki's knees, but she held up

Hazy, even in the afternoon

Construction everywhere in Sapa, from small to large scale

Curiosities along the way

More good fortune: Vicki's articulated walking stick, purchased last summer in
darkest East Anglia, finally gave out in Sapa; but for 6U$D she found an even
better replacement in this market stall; probably very close to where they're

Valley view

Us, there

One of the things Vietnamese tourists do in Sapa is to rent indigenous peoples'
costumes and do selfies; we'll see more of that

Rice is a one season crop in Sapa; everything would be more green in July; and

An up and down world

Indigo, in someone's garden; May knew all the plants

On a mountain-side, terraced world, retaining walls are everything

Water feature (fish farm)

Returning from labors on the mountain-side above

Cat Cat falls

Divergent footwear for the trail


Traditional bridge construction

Less traditional (welding in center)

Upper falls

Could be a scene from Maine, or the Appalachians, or the Rockies, no? OK, ignore
the bamboo

Us, there, again

French outpost from 1922

Just as we arrived, there was a traditional dance...more sticks and baskets

Sticks win

Selfies in costume

Among several water wheels at the falls

And a water-powered mortar/pestle grinding rice flour...the old fashioned way

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