We are in Nha Trang, a beautiful seaside city bustling with activity. Our "day off" has been packed starting with a boat trip to Mieu Island. First stop, a local market. Most merchants display their wares artfully on the ground and hunker behind waiting for customers. We sample sweet rice cakes served in tiny bowls, a breakfast staple. We stroll a meandering path through the settlement and get a glimpse into the houses, many have store fronts on the street and small living quarters behind. I am struck by hơw lucky we Canadians are, living in opulence by comparison.
After a visit to the aquarium, we continue on the boat to Mue Island. There ís an esthetician on board offering pedicures, manicures and massages and she is not going to take no for an answer. She strong-armed Sharon into having her whiskers removed. On landing at Mue Island, we enjoy an hour in the water, snorkeling near the coral reef. The water is warm although a little murky. Eleanor emerges from the water looking a little bemused. Her right hand has swollen to twice the size of her left. Diagnosis - jelly fish sting. Anyone else might have turned this into a medical emergency but Eleanor reacted with her usual aplomb and carried on unphased.
Continue on the boat to Se Tre Island for a light lunch of shrimp, squid, oysters, mackerel, morning glory (green vegetable), eggplant, hot pot (beef stew) finished off with pho (soup) lightly flavored with lime and chilies. We are not going to lose weight on this trip.
After a visit to the Oceanographic Institute, what is left of our "day off" is filled with trips to the market, and massages at the hotel. Michael reported that his masseuse was an expert although she got "closer to him" than is usual or necessary. After she walked all over his back, she offered other services which he claims he declined.
A few of us finished off the evening at Louisiane, a trendy looking club with live music. After studying the menu, we all admitted to a secret craving for pizza and beer. We were lured onto the dance floor by a lively rendition of La Bamba and a precocious six year old boogied with us. A great end to the "day off".