. It quickly became apparent that we were no longer on Indian time, as in Vietnam everything is given an exact schedule - and it is not to be broken. Luckily our fellow cruisers were of the same opinion. i.e. this was OUR time not theirs - and with so few people on board, after MUCH negotiation we managed to destroy any pre-planned agenda. Oh how lovely it would be to visit Halong Bay and witness the crystal green waters and deep blue skies and a topography of the mountainous islands, but alas this was not to be - as our view was hindered by what can only be described as Scotch Mist! Once again, wearing all we had brought, (swimsuits ARE the new thermal underwear!) we marched forth! At least we got a cooking class out of it - and we now make the best fresh springrolls in the world (although Kitty's definitely won the prize for actually resembling them!) Just as an aside - I had one of the funniest moments, that is going to make me giggle for a very long time - Kitty was asked "Do you have many tourwits in England?" She looked rather perplexed, but quick as a flash replied "Yes, we have lots of toilets in England!" I'm crying with laughter while writing this because he had of course asked about TOURISTS!
We did of course fall into the tourist trap of "doing Halong Bay" and decided that this beauty could not be seen in under 3 days so a 2 night 3 day tour on "Sans Souci" was duly booked. Was the fact that there were only four people booked onto this trip a good thing or a bad thing? We met our fellow cruisers on the bus and immediately realised they were kindreds. Fabian and Emelia, of course much younger than us, were on an 18 month round the world trip and this was their treat, as it was ours. We have not yet mentioned it is Winter in Vietnam so any expections of sun cream and swimming in the green waters of Halong Bay were quickly dashed - sadly not before packing! We were welcomed onboard with a delicious Vietnamese feast of fresh seafood and thought - hey ho who cares about the weather! It became quickly apparent that our THREE day cruise was probably going to be a 5 hour cruise spread over 3 days. Caves, Kayakaing and Kareoke, led by our very dour guide, was on this bootcamp agenda