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Top Gear Challenge Completed, Mike in Ha Long

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

A Top Gear Vietnam Challenge Complete-
Mike in Ha Long!!!!!

Well, my friends, I've made it to Ha Long Bay, a World Heritage Site and amazingly beautful place in our world.
I got here at 2:00 PM and chose a hotel on Cat Ba. the largest island in the archipelagos and also the home of a National Park where I intend to go hiking tomorrow.
According to Google Maps the most direct route to my currrent location is 1816 kilometers, but I did not take the most direct route so I am abititrarily adding 300 k for a total of 2210 kilometers or if you figure in miles, over 1300 miles thereabouts. I calculate I had 13 driving days for an average mileage of 170 kilometers or 100 miles a day.
That may sound easy with all day to do it, but sometimes the miles came hard, paid for with tension, sweat and blood!
Right now I am sitting in a retaurant across the street from my hotel watching the lights of the fishing boats on the water, the only sound carrying is the sound of a single piston engine working hard to put to sea. It reminds me of Croatia and the Aegean Sea and the family boat I went calamari fishing on- same engine, same lights, and reminds me that we are all knit together by our shared experiences. Fishermen are Fishermen wherever they are and the tools of the trade share more similarities than differences.
I notice this when I am rewarded with a smile when I turn a cup upside down or share my language book with the people I meet and we share a laugh at how I say the words, and they help me. I have been lucky to mostly meet people who don't mind a stranger who travels in a respectful way and wants to learn from them.
Like all good adventures, this one is just begining and changing at the same time. After chilling out in Ha Long for a few days and maybe a short cruise it will be off to Hanoi, another big city to put down some roots for maybe a month and take some real language lessons. Not sure why, but I think it is the challenge to be a better communicator and a better guest and host to the people I meet and the new friends I make that drives this desire.
There will be more beautiful places down the road and I will also try traveling by train and bus as well for the experience.
Thanks for sharing this trip with me and please check the blog for updates and I wil continue to share photos by email with you unless you sic your SPAM filter on
So, on that bombshell, I say "goodnight to all of you, until next week!"

permalink written by  Mike_Veine on June 25, 2013 from Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
from the travel blog: Top Gear Adventure 2- Vietnam Boogaloo!
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I am a Yank retiring abroad and going a fun journey starting now and ending.....?

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