So, I am currently sitting typing up my thoughts wrapped up on my cosy sofa thinking about the adventure that awaits, what I want to get out of this trip, what my worries are and what do I still need to buy, borrow or steal from my father's garage. (Gaffer tape being the main thing Dad!)
In less than four weeks we will be boarding a Cathy Pacific plane (flight number CX252 from Heathrow T3) to take us on a trip of a lifetime, where memories will be created, a bridge will be built, miles will have been trekked, and new foods tasted. (I am really going to miss my pesto pasta!).
I thought that I would take this opportunity to share with you (the thousand of readers ;)) a rough plan of what we are going to be doing.
We arrive via Hong Kong to Hanoi, where we get to spend a day exploring the city and all it has to offer before transferring to Mai Chau for the start of our first trek. The trekking of about 9 days varies from the shortest distance of 10k to the longest of about 22k each day. A variety of up and down hill paths through dirt roads, jungle terrain to single tracks will greet us each morning. (I am hoping the hours put into the gym and time on the Downs breaking in my boots will pay off - I also hope that the mosquito's don't get a liking for me!)
Each night of our trek we will be staying in local communities and also participate in our 'project phase' which sees us building a bridge to connect two local communities in Phu Mau Village. Their current bridge is made of soft wood and is badly damaged and the plan is for us to help build a longer lasting and more sustainable bridge.
On day 20 we will leave our project team hosts and say goodbye to the local community which would have been 'home'. Then onwards (really backwards) to Hanoi to pick up the night train to Hue.
Hue is on the Perfume River and the main attractions here include the Royal Tombs of the Nuyuyen Emperors, the pagodas (temples) and imposing citadel. We will have to see what we want to do when we are there, but other than the above, we could visit the Vinh Moc Tunnels and the De-Militarised Zone. Personally, I am looking forward to seeing what the food is going to be like in Hue - the place is well renowned for its food so will let you know how it goes.
Around day 25 we will be catching the night train to Saigon, having spent a day and a bit previously in Hoi An (a place to get cheap tailored made clothes / suits - not quite sure I plan on sporting the older Sprinkles approach to suit wearing from the India 2009 trip though ;)
Now the bit I am really excited about doing before we travel back to the UK is the opportunity of the MeKong Delta excursion and to see the floating markets!!
Then, on 9 August 2011 we will be catching our plane (CX255) and heading home to see family and friends and share our trip with you all and what we got out of it - as a group and also individually!
Not long now, so as I sign off, my biggest worries for the next five days are:
- Jabs - getting the last few done (this is an experience I have not enjoyed over the last few months - Jan from Easebourne Surgery has been very patient with me)
- Have I got everything and will I be able to lift my rucksack?
- Can I fit all my jobs on my 'to do list' in before leaving?
- How brave will I be with the food???? (I live a simple diet of pesto pasta as many students know!)
- How bad will I smell after 12 days of trekking and no showers! (Maybe I will leave someone else to comment upon that one)
Good luck to those finishing exams in the next few weeks, Bizzle and I are looking forward to the Year 13 and 11 Prom and for those who have not done it yet.... GET YOUR VISA!!
Night, Weeksey x