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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day 6: Mui Ne - part 2!

In South East Asia, there is no better breakfast that banana pancakes!  And for $2.00, they seem to taste just a little bit sweeter!  J

And when you’ve got a cute little dog like this to keep you company while you eat,
how could you go wrong?!

After breakfast, I walked up and down the beach, collecting shells for my students!  I put them in a jar in my classroom and give them out when students get perfect scores on their tests, or answer a tough question!  They love that they come from a different county! 
It’s interesting how each country has their own types of shells…

Aaron spent most of the morning and afternoon lounging here, on these beach chairs,
reading and hanging with me! J

We took a walk down the beach and found this GIGANTIC dead jelly fish that had washed up on the shore!  For some reason, it made me wanna jump!

This itsy bitsy dead fish had washed on shore with the jellyfish!  Haha

I’ve been loving my trip, but have had a few sad moments where I really wished I had been at my best friend Sarah’s wedding back home in Arizona. I've felt out of the loop this week, and hadn’t seen any pictures of the wedding, which for whatever reason just made me feel even further disconnected from such a special time in her life!  I couldn’t help but feel a little sad, even while being on vacation… But then, her brother in law, who was also their photographer, posted 4 pictures from their wedding on his website, and you would have thought I won the lottery!  I was like a kid in a candy shop, looking at all the details of each picture! 
I love this one of Sarah and her new husband, Caleb!  Thank you for posting these Andrew!

We sat down to lunch and had delicious fried rice and vegetables on the beach for $2.50 each.
One of the hotel workers was swinging her dog in a hammock!

This dog is seriously living the life!

We jumped back on the scooter around 2pm and went in search of “the waterfall,”
which we had seen listed on a hand written map that our hostel gave us yesterday. 
We stopped for gas here first!  How cute is this place? 
For 1 liter of gas, you'll pay 25 Vietnamese dong (approx $1.25)

We made it to the “fairy stream,” which apparently leads to the waterfall.  We heard there was a little hike, but didn’t know it would be through a stream the entire way!  At first we were hesitant because it looked like the water was filthy, but soon realized it was just about 6 inches of water, rushing over sand.  It was the sand that made it look dirty, but in fact, it was nice and clean!  Or so, we think! J

The little river was so beautiful and fun to walk through... and the fine and soft sand in our toes was just another perk to the journey…

Aaron says I always pose for pictures, which I do!  I'll admit it!  Haha…
So, this is his attempt at doing a "Jiller’s pose!"

We climbed through the really thick sand, up to the top of this hill,
to get a birds eye view of the place!

It was here, that we met Mark, one of the nicest guys either of us has ever met in our lives!
 Aaron said that Mark may, quite possibly, even beat me in the nice category!  Haha 
He was nice enough to snap our picture for us!

The three of us stuck together from there on out, and walked through the sandy stream together…

Once in a while we would run into locals who were walking through the stream as well, like this woman, who was lugging this heavy load on a traditional Vietnamese carrying apparatus!

Within about 15 minutes, we had finally made it to the waterfall!

We had come at just the right time too, because the sun was just beginning to go down, which cooled off the air for our walk back!

Mark and Aaron.  Mark is from Manchester and was traveling on his own for 3 ½ weeks!   We were so happy to have met him, and he was happy to have some travel companions to enjoy the scenery with!

We invited Mark to come with us back to the red sand dunes!  We felt like we didn’t really get to see very much of them yesterday and wanted to go back to get a better look. So, we all rode scooters the 5 kilometers to the dunes.

Where we were tonight, in the sand dunes, was so much better than yesterday!  We climbed the dunes towards the middle, and were able to see them in all directions,
with the ocean as the backdrop on the east side.

Parts of the dunes get REALLY steep and your feet sink in pretty far, which makes it really hard to keep your balance!

Aaron was busy snapping pictures while Mark and I chatted nearby!  There was a storm off in the distance that he was hoping to capture. J

We stayed until the sun went down and we were the only people left… sort of an eerie feeling to be honest! We rode with Mark, back into town, and planned to meet up at 8:30pm for dinner. Why so late you ask? Because Aaron and I were going for massages!

We chose this spot, because it was close to the bungalows where we were staying, and it was CHEAP! The prices here are NOT the real prices! Basically cut them in ½, and that’s what you’ll actually pay! We both paid $8.00 for an hour long oil massage. Funny story actually…

As soon as I walked in the room, I took off my shirt and skirt, so I was left wearing my bathing suit. This is normal, right? But then, the girl motioned for me to take off my top. 5 years ago, I would have never been able to do it, but after visiting public bath houses in Korea, and having to be naked in front of random women, I’m not as much of a prude! Haha. So, I took it off and she motioned for me to lay on my stomach. Then, she crawled on top of me to massage my back and literally pulled my bathing suit bottoms down below my butt!  HELLO!!  Can a girl have a little privacy!?  haha
Turns out, Aaron’s girl did the same thing to him! We had a nice little laugh about it later!

We finished right in time to meet Mark for dinner. 
We all excitedly agreed on this fresh seafood joint on the water.

You literally chose your fish, prawn, crab, eel, lobster, or even gecko if you so choose, and they kill it, cook it, and serve it to you!

Aaron and I shared a red snapper and some prawns, and each got some fried rice with vegetables and some fruit, which was delicious, and pretty cheap!  For that, plus 2 beers, and 2 bottled waters, we paid $14.00. Mark opted for 2 crabs, which he had never had before!  Aaron taught him how to crack it open and suck out the meat… quite a funny experience actually!

The restaurant was probably owned and run by a family, because the hostess and this little girl were sisters. She was the sweetest little thing! Her older sister said to me, “My little sister wants to take a picture with you.” Such a shmooch!
We were sad to have to say goodbye to Mark, but were so happy to have gotten to spend the day getting to know him, and experiencing Mui Ne all together. We’re all facebook friends now, so we can at least keep in touch that way, right?! Tomorrow we’re jumping on the 9:45am train from Muong Man (That crazy train station where we got stuck at yesterday, and heading to Nha Trang, another beach town! We just can’t get enough of the beaches on our vacations!

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