Hello again folks! Merry Christmas!
Yes, we are still alive despite the long intervals between updates. Once you see these pictures, you'll know what's been occupying our time!
We arrived by boat to Whale Island, Vietnam - our haven for 3 days. The views were fantastic and the water crystal clear. We discover upon arrival however, that our camera lens had broken. We're not sure how it happened, but devastated at the prospect of not being able to take photos of this wonderful place. Long story short, we were able to get the glass cover replaced in Saigon and borrow some photos from friends (digital photography is great!!!).
Although there were no whales to be seen, there were spiky sea urchins on the rocks which I experienced first hand. I still have the black thorn embedded in my ankle 3 weeks later! Some tried their hand at sailing while others canoed...some further than others. In fact, those of you on the tour will remember fondly Will and Ham's Gilligan's Island. A search party was sent for them after a mere 3 hours floating further towards the open ocean and finally landing on their island. Story goes, Will talked the whole time!!!
There were butterflies everywhere on this tranquil island. We decided to take the hiking trail on the second day - only a 45 minute walk we were told. 2 hours later it was getting near lunch and we still hadn't come to the look out rock everyone had raved about. At least it we knew we could get completely lost as it was an island! We did suffer burns though. It had been deceivingly cool in the morning when we set off. A bit of aloe later, we had learned our lesson.
That night, the boys (Judge Mark, prosecutor Simon and defense lawyer Brian) entertained us with a lively Kangaroo Court. We were each summoned and accused of our crime...you can guess the concoction they made up from local brew for our punishment! Crimes ranged from believing there was a T and B on chopsticks to indicate which was the top and bottom (Leyla!) to bad jokes (Anna!) to having holes in one's knickers (Mark - too much information revealed I might add!). No night would be complete without a midnight skinny dip...nice tan line Will! (creature number 2!)
The creature number 3 you see was our friend and roomie, Sydney the Spider. He was over 3 inches long - leg to leg! We named him because he stayed with us for 2 ½ days in our bathroom, just beside the toilet...I don't know whether it was worse seeing him every time you visited the throne or not seeing him there. At least we knew where he was when you could see him! We also had the odd gecko scampering along the walls and mossies kept out by the nets. Any other creature was thoroughly cooked and very tasty! (Creature 4)
We could have stayed there another week...but alas, there was much more to see in Vietnam!