In no way do I consider myself Herculean, although I do fancy myself in reasonable physical condition; I work out religiously five days a week. Yet tonight, 10/8/13, I am drained of energy, hobbled by lameness of the limbs and punctured by a heady assortment of thorns, insects and leaches.
On Saturday, Oct 5th, after a frenzy of organizing the gear we felt necessary for two nights on the mountain, we left for the trail head -about an hours drive from our hill station of Sa Pa, passing the devastated village of Ban Khoang enroute; a landslide there three weeks prior during heavy rains had sadly swept much of the settlement away while taking the lives of 12. Near the trailhead, we stopped to pick up our prearranged local guide who waited for us along the road. Our own guide, Uoc le Huu, had never before taken this route that was meant to take two long days. [Read more…]