A Hike to Remember

Dalat, December 29th 2010

I'd like you to take a close look to each of these photos from top to bottom. These photos describe our hike to the peak which was steep enough to cause us panting and gasping for air. The photos are the view at our back.

When I turned back at the point of this first photo, I could see the green rice fields so clear spreading below my feet.

We went up, up again. I turned back, the rice fields were almost out of sight.

Still up, up again we went. And now, the rice fields are completely out of sight. They are hidden behind the trees under the hill where we were standing on.

Tin kept on climbing and we had no other choice but to follow him. Everywhere we looked were only trees, grass, and wild flowers. No means of transportation. It was like a point of no return. Now, here we are, almost on the top of the hill. Hah... I felt like I had conquered Mount Everest. Look, the city of Dalat far beyond! But, where are the rice fields?

 A few more hikes to go, and a few more gulps of air to take, there's the rice fields again.

Just to give you a rough imagination of how the path was in front of us, is this.
You see the "tiny" guy on the right? That's Tin, our guide.

There were many wild flowers like these along the way. More than my love for flowers, honestly speaking, taking this picture was just an excuse for me to stop and take some more breath.

I wonder what was in Tin's mind. Maybe through all his career he never led guests to this peak in such a slow pace.

On this magnificent-super-challenging peak, there were only 5 human beings: me, Wiwik, Tin, and this couple. I wonder, were they actually talking about romance or discussing about how to get down this hill which I think is too huge to be called a hill.

Wiwik was already talking about getting down before we reached the peak. I said, "Getting down must be much easier, because you don't need to catch your breath.
"But my friend injured his knee when he was going down, instead," Wiwik replied.

That makes sense.... and it really did!

To me, a fan of blue and green, the deep blue sky above us was the perfect reward.

Since this is a hike to be remembered, let's take pictures!

I should have brought my national flag with me!

Now, down we are going, and through a different path which was really, really, steep!! I wasn't catching my breath, but I was holding it on every step I took. I decided immediately that climbing up is easier than going down.

Tin himself was already far, far ahead in front of us. You can see him just like a dot in this picture.

It still seemed that we were in the middle of nowhere. A slight fear crept in my mind. What if it turned out that Tin took the wrong path? Would we have to go back up?

Another excuse to make a stop...

... and this was the best moment through all!

Down there Tin, Vu and his car, already awaited us.

Before getting back into the car, I made this final shot. It's now really for the sake of my love for flowers. It's not an excuse.

"So this is what you meant with a REAL ADVENTURE?" you would ask me. I tell you, it isn't at all. Wait. You'll see!!

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