Rain storms, Vomit and waterfalls in Dalat
Our time in Vietnam was almost up. With our visa exit deadline looming over us we sped down the coast towards Ho Chi Minh city.
We allowed ourselves a 2 day stop over in the town of Dalat, justifying it with the rumours of beautiful scenery and stunning hiking trails.
The bus journey to Dalat was a little eventful. The twisting mountain road, which defied any sense of health and safety played havoc with my travel sickness. Clinging onto my breakfast for dear life I shut my eyes and waited for the ride to be over. My tactics seemed to be working relatively well up until the point when a small child next to me started to be sick. And like a chain of dominoes, one by one the members of the bus fell victim to the windy road and made use of the plastic bags strategically placed int he pocket in front of them. This called for extreme measures. Plugging our nostrils with paper, praying the stench of vomit wouldn’t permeate through, we both sat awaiting our fate. Luckily we were one of the few that made it off with an empty bag.
The bus journey was worth it. While Dalat town was simple and didn’t offer a great deal, the surrounding countryside was a world of mountain peaks, lush forests and tumbling waterfalls.
We signed up for a trek on our first day. A small company called “Groovy Gecko” provided us with our guide. Our challenge for the day was Dalat’s tallest mountain- a whopping 2,167 meters high. Morale was high until the blisters kicked in, but we battled on up the steep muddy staircase to the peak. I was convinced the steps were made for giants as I struggled to get my stumpy legs up each flight.
Moaning and blisters aside, we made it to the top just in time to spot an ominous looking rain cloud heading our way. A speedy decent sounded a lot easier than it was and I spent much of the time shuffling around on my bum.
The next day our legs were still a little sore, so rented a moped for the day. With a map, very generously drawn by the owner of our guesthouse, we headed to “Elephant Waterfall”. Surprisingly we didn’t get that lost! Arriving at the top of the waterfall I was thoroughly underwhelmed. You couldn’t really see anything except the water disappearing below. But then Ed pointed out a rickety looking bridge to the side of the waterfall. Across the bridge and over a secret pathway in the rocks we made our way to the bottom of the fall. It was stunning. We could feel the spray from the bottom and there were rainbows all around.
As we posed for a few snaps (thank Buddha for waterproof cameras!) I spotted another passage way between two rocks. This led us underneath the waterfall. We stripped off and edged as close as we dared to the water edge. I learnt what people mean when they say something “took their breath away”. The mix of the spray, the deafening roar of crashing water and the sheer power of the fall literally knocked the wind out of me. Without a doubt one my favourite and most exhilarating moments!
Already soaked to the bone, we got caught in a downpour on the way home. Not brave enough to risk the mountain road home in the rain we pulled into a small cafe and waited out the storm. Eventually we purchased two plastic ponchos, which are very popular with the locals and when the rain died down jumped on our scooter and headed off for a warm shower!