Wednesday, 10 April 2013

... Indochina: Finding Nemo... To Be A Bit Of A Brat!

For the past two days my alarm has gone off at 6am. On day 1 I rather sleepily outstretched an arm to turn it off with all thoughts momentarily on rolling over and going back to sleep. I had awoken twice during the night: once because I felt like I was sleeping in a furnace having forgotten to put the fan on and secondly because the heavens opened & it lashed it down. That nanosecond of a thought of some more sleep was rather appealing. Then I remembered one important thing.... DIVING!!! It is incredibly easy to haul your arse out of bed then!!! In fact I changed all my plans today, which admittedly had included water buffalo riding (I do not jest) that could have potentially been rather fantastic, just so I could go diving again. I'm a typical Pisces and so being in the water rather than sat on something that goes in water was always going to win the day.

I was picked up around 8am on both days. There were a mix of snorkelers and divers with more of the former. Suited me just fine. I was never in more than a group of three, including the DM and today I dove with two DM's with one of them opting out of the second dive leaving me alone with one DM for my final dive. Blue Coral Diving have to be one of the most professional and well organized dive companies that I have been diving with, outside of Vancouver (love you guys at IDC!!!).  It is so well managed yet doesn't lose any of the relaxed easy going attitude and that I think is key. The boat and the equipment are top quality, the DM's and Instructors know their stuff and, unless you request to set up your own gear, they do everything for you. Steve and his team have it downpat. Plus they are a lot of fun to be around!


Both days diving were at Hon Giai North & East, of the Cham Islands. Today's viz was better than yesterday but yesterday I got a bit of a buzz with quite a strong current.

As mentioned in the earlier post, I really don't give that much of a crap about visibility and the viz here is OK! I've also adopted the train of thought that less viz means you're more acutely aware of your surroundings both for sights and for safety. You don't get complacent. Besides I have spent the last two days at a maximum depth of 60ft getting my aquanaut on!!! How fabulous is that!?! I saw some great macro life: shrimps, nudibranch, crabs plus lionfish, scorpion fish, stone fish, a nice amount of colourful fish.... The usual "tropical" kind, a moray, some nice soft coral and was attacked by a rather pissed off clown fish. Those little buggers nip at you! I had to swat it out of the way as it kept trying to assault me.

After diving was done it was a nice stop at an Island beach for a delicious BBQ seafood lunch, some local beer and sun! Wonderful! Two absolutely great days out. I am actually kind of sad I can't stay for a few more days to do more diving!

Tonight I decided it was time for some pampering before I pick up the pace again when I head to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) tomorrow. Palmarosa spa had earned a "top choice" in my Lonely Planet and so I was keen to see what it had to offer. Being right around the corner from where I've been staying, I popped over yesterday after I got back from diving. The staff were friendly, helpful and there was no pressure to sign your life away to a million treatments if you were simply just there to enquire. I had an idea of what I wanted so booked a 90 minute "deep relaxation" package consisting of an Indian head massage and an Asian blend body therapy treatment plus their deluxe pedicure package for this evening. I was in heaven... for 3.5hrs!!! This was a wonderful place to unwind, relax and be pampered quite literally from head to toe. And I was. I started with a mint, lime and ginger foot soak whilst I drank the most amazing fresh ginger tea (which im assuming wasnt from the foot soak). I fell in love with that tea and believe I had at least 5 cups before I left, if not more. After changing I was taken to a private room which smelt divine. A heated table with a bowl of flowers in my view when I put my face in the head piece, warmed oil... It kept getting better. My therapist was incredibly professional and obviously very well trained. I felt absolutely amazing afterwards. And they hadn't even tackled my disgraceful excuse for a pair of feet yet. That was a whole other story. Have you ever fallen asleep whilst having a pedicure? I did! It made my therapist giggle. I apologized and told her I was just so relaxed. Because I was. She did an amazing job and trust me that's no small feat with a pair of runner's feet abused and tortured like mine. I don't think I have ever had such a great pedicure in terms of heel treatment whereby they actually make a significant dent into my callouses. Amazingly I have no heel pain either and she removed quite literally a foots worth. You would never get this entire package for the less-than-$45CDN that I paid back at home. After it was all finished more tea came my way and I could've probably sat there until closing just chillaxin', there was absolutely no pressure to leave. It was totally worth paying a bit extra to come here compared to other places in Hoi An for the extra steps they were always taking to make you feel like you were a welcomed guest. Customer service matters!

And so after a busy day I've come back to my room and had a banana & a packet of peanut M&M'S for my dinner whilst sat on my patio watching the world to by and admiring my new green OPI toe polish. I should think about getting my bags ready for my mid-morning flight from Danang to Saigon tomorrow but that requires too much activity. I think enjoying my final night in this paradise with minimal effort on my part is in order!

Good evening Vietnam!

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