Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sayonara Da Lat

Thanks to our wonderful hotel, our plans merely headed to a waterfall ended up as a gondola ride to meditation center (the first peaceful, calming pagoda/temple Ive been to thus far, as most of them have been tourist packed and quite geared toward tourists rather than reverent places). From there we hiked/walked to the waterfalls, with some unintentional detours :).

It was a cool little waterfall, which we had to go downhill to get to--that was interesting :)

I finally understand many a traveler's complaint about Vietnam's tendency to make something a tourist attraction by adding cartoon-like characters. There were some cheesy, plastic animals scattered about, obstructing the natural beauty of the falls. Worse yet, there was a man dressed up as a "cowboy" with his horse that people could pay to have their pictures taken with him. Totally out of place and pointless. Nature doesn't need to be hokey.

And my thought is that people who want to go see natural beauties are more interested in the nature than the cowboy and the plastic toys blocking the landscape.

We grabbed a cab and headed back to the hotel, ready to go our separate ways. I'm headed deeper in the highland to Buan Ma Thout, while Colin is headed coastal---I'll probably head that direction next week--to the city of Hoi An.

We split on good terms, having been good travel companions, and having become good friends. And we made it official on Facebook where will most likely randomly keep in touch, at least through the rest of our trip. He gave me a tighter-than-expected hug and waved as my bus drove off.

Nice kid. Best of luck to him in returning home to Ottawa in the winter after several months in S.E.A.

(Update-we really have kept in touch and really have exchanged pictures of the adventures we had. As I have with a few others I've met along the way.)

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