Leaving Ti Top Island, the tender
took us back to the mother ship to drop off some members of our party.
We carried on to another pier and some went kayaking while some of us went
on a "round bottom boat" row boat to check out the Hidden Lagoon. The boat,
manned by one guy with two oars, went through Hang Luon Cave, a small opening
in a rock wall with stalactites overhead, into the large peaceful lagoon.
The formations were very impressive. The water was clear green and the
only sounds were the oars and the eagles high up in the sky.
Then our attention was suddenly
drawn to the scolding monkeys that live on the rocky walls of the island.
It was refreshing to see a natural phenomenon that has been visiting by
countless numbers of travellers from all over the world -- but one that
had been left untouched in its natural state. Well, there was one exception.
A giant rock at water level displayed the painted graffiti: a person's
name followed by "06/04/1988 Romania."
It was a relaxing boat ride,
then back to the main boat in time to clean up and get ready for supper.
We approached the junk just in time to take photos of the spectacular sunset
over the Karst outcrops. The photos weren't as good as they might have
been since the battery in our main Canon camera had run down.
After a delicious multi-course
supper we relaxed around the table and swapped tall tales. Sue-On carried
on a long chat with Roy who had been with our group since Bangkok. He and
his wife Ronnie are retired school teachers from England. Tony who had
just joined us in Hanoi, learned that he and Bill were both guitar players
which led to a long after dinner conversation on guitars, bands and music.
He is an electronics engineer for the British government and his wife,
Lola from Spain, is an ESL teacher to Spanish people.
We later moved to the upper open-air
deck to have drinks under the stars. Sue-On and Miyoko (Vietnam War vet
Jim's Japanese-born wife) felt the urge to practise some Tai-Chi moves
on the deck.