Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cinnamon Sunset

7 January 2011, evening

After our absolutely wonderful day of eating like queens, we were due to go on a sunset river boat cruise. It was still lashing with rain and there was no sun to be seen, but the tour company wanted to proceed with the activity. We duly rocked up at the office and were taken down to the river to board the boat. It turned out we were the only three people aboard. We felt both privileged and dreadfully guilty at the same time. There's no way the people were going to make any money out of this evening. 

The staff were absolutely delightful and the food was magnificent. We had a three course banquet and decided to try and up their profit margin by buying a bottle of wine. We chose a 2006 French cabernet sauvignon, and even though it wasn't the best we've had (we're so spoilt for red wines in Australia), it was still a nice wine and we enjoyed it. 

We couldn't see too much in the way of river activity because of the rain and the mist, but once it got dark and the lanterns came on, the cruise was a wonderful opportunity to see all the pretty fairy lights and lanterns along the river bank. It was only a 2 hour activity, but it was just a lovely evening and we were pleased we went. The staff were so kind to us and we tipped them as we left.

Once we'd docked back at Bach Dang Street, we headed into a shoe store recommended by Nha, one of the lovely girls on the boat. We chose some shoe styles to have made, and then settled in to negotiate the prices. It all became a bit of a comedy of errors for Caramel, who was going to be charged $70 for a simple pair of loafers. She pulled the pin and walked away. Luckily Curry and I were able to pick up shoes for $30 a pair, and these allegedly will be made in good leather. We'll reserve judgement on that until we see them tomorrow. The shoes will be ready for fitting at 6:00pm.

We walked around the town a bit longer and took photos of all the beautiful lanterns and some buildings. It's just gorgeous to simply stroll around in Hoi An. The streets are fascinating and there's just so much to look at. There are people out walking at every hour of the day and night so people watching is an added bonus.

We had another rat alert, which could have become troublesome and embarrassing, but we decided not to make spectacles of ourselves and instead proceeded at a brisk and steady pace away from the offending creature. 

We decided to walk home, given that the taxi drivers were showing a bit of attitude this evening and wouldn't take us back to our hotel for the price we wanted to pay. Clearly we're getting a bit stingy now, as the fare is really only about $1. However, as Curry keeps telling me, "it's the principle of thing luvs!"

We also realised that after the amount of food we’d eaten today, we’re going to have to walk to Bundaberg and back to work off the calories, so we’d better use up some energy whilst the opportunity presented itself. The walk home was very pleasant, and along the way, Caramel decided to try her luck with the ATMs to see if there had been some miraculous turn of events and her card would actually work. Sadly, no such luck. Caramel and Curry had discovered a little bar not too far from our hotel, and they’d been spending the evenings there having $2 cocktails. The way we figured it, a girl only gets so many cocktails in her life, so if she can get them for $2, then her lifetime allocation should be taken up with those that cost the least amount of money. 

Back to our luxurious rooms and fall into the shower and the crisp white sheets of our king sized beds. Just heaven.  What an absolutely magnificent day we've had!

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