Welcome to Cat Ba

After what seemed like a week long journey by plane, taxi, bus, boat, and another bus, I’ve arrived in Cat Ba! This wonderful island of Vietnam will be my home for the next six months, hopefully by then I’ll get used to the heat and humidity. Or just get use to sweating profusely all the time. Either way, I’m more than excited to be here!

I met another newbie at the airport, a fellow future climbing guide, and we traveled to our hotel in Hanoi together. It was an awesome hotel, we were brought watermelon juice and had our luggage brought to our rooms. Probably one of the fanciest hotels I’ve ever been in! Definitely made good use of the hotel bathrobe and slippers. We took a walk around to buy shampoo and grab a meal, then I promptly fell asleep as soon as we got back.

It’s incredibly busy in Hanoi, everyone is riding motorcycles or scooters it seems. There are cars, but not nearly as popular as the bikes are. Driving here seems slightly chaotic, you’ve got to be an incredibly agressive and confident driver, you also have to be an incredibly aggressive and confident pedestrian! Crosswalks are not really a thing here, real life frogger. But it’s pretty awesome!

My fellow future guide and I arrived at the office headquarters around noon. We met some of the other staff members, all super cool. Had lunch at the restaurant right below the office, then motorcycled to our new home. We are living at a hotel in Ben Beo, a section of the Cat Ba island. Then we got to climb!

The hotel we’re all in is literally built out of a climbing wall, step out the front door and there you are. Incredibly awesome! There’s a few routes there, great for an afternoon.

I’ve spent the last few days settling in and starting training. It’s an amazing town, although so humid I don’t think I’ve stopped sweating since arriving. Thank god for air conditioning and fans, I’d be a limp mess otherwise.

I had first real day of training yesterday, got to go out to the bay and be a part of the day to day activities. The morning climb was absolutely swealtering, we were all right in the hot sun baking away and it was as still as it could be. We left in a quick hurry to get off the beach. Swam in the water during lunch, very warm ocean, but refreshing compared to the air. Did some more afternoon climbing, thankfully it was in the shade, then headed back to home base.

Spent the evening out having dinner with some of the crew and a few customers. For dessert my roommate and I had kem soy, which is a delicious concoction of ice cream and sticky rice. Spent a few moments or more searching for lost keys, then headed back to the hotel. Still haven’t fully figured out how to get our ac to work, but at least we have a fan.

Some how I lucked out and got a day off already, so gotta go make plans for what I’m going to do with that. Hopefully get out and do some climbing!

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Crag to hotel walk

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