Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ba Be National Park...a trip back through time

The pictures of our trip to this remote, wild and primitive place, (which can be viewed on our web album...by clicking on the slide show to the right), do not do justice to the experience. The van ride was billed as 5 hours, our friends told us maybe 6-7 and in reality it was 8 gruelling hours north of Hanoi...over rough roads and a mountain pass with dangerous "S" curves and steep prespices down unguarded gulches.

Posted by PicasaWe were so glad to arrive safely, that we accepted without question that we would bed down in the crumbling and decaying park lodge, which may have at some time been a fairly posh retreat for the French, during their occupation of this tiny country.
Our river trip the next day took us to remote villages , where we saw people living as they have for thousands of years, no mechanization, tilling, spinning, weaving all by hand. The best part was being invited into a village house, where Mama was making the rice wine for Tet, and although it was only 10 am , protocol dictated that we sample.
At our home stay that night, our meal was cooked on an open fire which the cat seemed to love, but his proximity to the same flame which cooked a duck...did not singe his fur.

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