Not so Super Saturday (for me at least).
We had an early start 0630 for breakfast and ready for boat transfer to our next boat to Cat Ba Island.
I woke up fine and was first at breakfast and then started to eat, it all went downhill from here as I started to struggle through breakie. I had to walk outside a couple of times for some fresh air, then had to sort out our bar tab, between Summer and I we had managed to amass a bill of $940,000 dong ($58 AUD). Quite a surprise and the biggest bill we have had in Vietnam.
At this point we also split from our designated tour group as we caught the tender to our next boat to Cat Ba Island. We boarded the next vessel, which was pretty average compared to the boat we had come from. Summer was fine taking some good happy snaps, the kids were all good playing cards while we cruised through the islands.
I was struggling, I think I slept about 1.5 hours of the 2 hour cruise, then had to get another tender boat for Cat Ba Island. Reached Cat Ba and then hopped on a bus and rode across the island through the villages for about an hour. That hour bus ride was on some of the worst roads you will ever drive on, I had to endure uncontrollable sweats and body shakes due to my over indulgence the night before.
Arrived on the other side of Cat Ba Island and then on another transfer boat to Monkey Island. This transfer was about 20 minutes in a little tender boat with a torn tarp as the roof not stopping the pouring rain. The crew were nice apologised about the weather and supplied umbrellas to keep the rain off somewhat.
Arrived Monkey Island 1230 4 hours of travelling later definitely not the best hang over cure I have used.
We checked in and got our bungalow keys and to our surprise we had been issued 2 x bungalows, 1 for the kids and 1 for the adults.
All good, these were very nice and we returned to the main bungalow at 1300 for some lunch (hot pot). Just what I was after, smashed heaps of the hotpot nice noodles squid and fish, meet and greet with our new Canadian travel buddies. We met two girls that were travelling through Asia for a few weeks. Then we had free time on the Island before the 1500 designated Monkey tour, and to our surprise Daddy cool (French man) from the night before and his partner had arrived.
It’s weird how all the transfers work out. The 4 seasons played table tennis and pool in the main bungalow while it was smashing down with rain outside. The tour staff went to get the tender boat at 1500 to do a boat transfer around to another beach on the island where the monkeys are; as the climb over the mountain was deemed too dangerous. The first boat went around but the tide was out and could not land. Suspected the monkey tour was going to be off, but to our surprise the monkey island crew persisted and allowed to take those willing and game over the mountain. They did disclose that it would be very dangerous and slippery. Half the group declined which was great for us.
The staff were not wrong, I was not expecting it to be as hard core. The shale is very sharp and slippery in the wet. The kids were awesome and got over not a problem. We then saw our first monkey on the top of the mountain. The staff fed him a banana and then we moved down the other side to the beach. The decent from the mountain was definitely harder than ascent.
Once on the beach the monkeys came from everywhere.
The kids got a bit cheeky and went to climb up to their little monkey house. A derelict shack. The monkeys got aggressive and chased the kids away. Suffice to say Autumn and Spring didn’t go near the house again.
I was amazed how close we could get to the monkeys although you always had that overwhelming feeling that it could go wrong really quick. The sun had come out also for a little bit when we were on the beach. Then went bad very quickly so we were gathered up to head back over the mountain to the main bungalow before it bucketed down.
We all showered up and then headed over to the main bungalow for dinner buffet BBQ at 1900. This was some of the best BBQ squid I have ever tasted. It had some great spices and the meat was really soft. Couple of beers with our Canadian and French friends and then off to bed. Another massive day.