Yucatan Highlights – Day 5 & 6

I don’t have any photos from day five of my Mexican adventure because we went zip lining and cave diving and I wasn’t going to risk brining my phone. But here’s a video that is axactly what we did!

Zip lining was so much fun and flying into the caves was exhilarating (and refreshing). However, repelling into the cave to terrifying! I’m glad I did it though. The whole adventure was physically exhausting and we all passed out on the ride back.

Dinner on night 5 was less than exciting. A majority of our group was really sick with the Mexican flu (don’t drink the water). Plus our dinner was not very good. But it was relaxing and nice to catch up with the few who felt like hanging out.

 

Cure for Hangover – Yucatan Highlights Day 4

It was rough going this morning as our group met up. Many people decided to sit today’s excursion out due to mixture of hangover and the Mexican flu. Although I would’ve been happy staying in bed all morning I rallied and made sure to catch the bus to Tulum!

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Tulum is a Mayan archaeological that overlooks the sea. It’s cliff top fortress is absolutely breathtaking and the ocean breeze was welcoming under the hot Mexican sun. We even got to see where the sea turtles nest on the beach (we couldn’t go near it, but we could see).

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Next stop Playa del Carmen for some much needed rest and sun bathing.

 

 

 

Halong Bay

After a three hour drive from Hanoi we arrived to Halong Bay. To board our junk boat we had to catch a ferry. Our group was split up when a bunch of Chinese tourists invaded our ferry. So half of us had to figure out which boat was ours without our local guide! After searching we eventually found it.

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Our ship!

Then we boarded our beautiful Chinese-style junk boat for an overnight cruise. Our ship was absolutely stunning. It was a five-star cruise ship. defiantly more than what I expected. The company is called Halong Sails. It would recommend them to anyone! Our room was the fanciest of the trip so far and the best was like sleeping on a cloud!

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After a bit of sun bathing on the top deck we jumped into Kayaks to explore the lagoons and secretive mountains of Halong Bay. For a while we were alone in a beautiful lagoon surrounded by towering mountains. It was so peaceful and quiet. We paddled through the stunning blue waters and past playful monkeys. It was simply breath-taking. As we were leaving several tourist boats zoomed by us and into the lagoon. I’m very glad we had the place to ourselves while we could. 1501730_10152765343290813_6595236365577869226_n

After kayaking the sun started to come out so we headed to the beach. While some people trekked to the top of a mountain I decided to take a nap on the beach. It was glorious and refreshing. I felt well rested which was important because that night we had a “Pirate Party”!

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The party was wild! I drank my weight in vodka and even got to DJ. I got a bunch of people to dance by playing mega hits like “Grease” and Spice Girls. We even convinced the cabin crew to dress up. At one point the bar stopped keeping track and we were pouring our own shots!

I woke up early in the morning with only a mild hangover. But my hangover was amplified when we went to the VERY loud Sung Sot Caves. We had to wait in a long line and push through tons of tourists before getting into the caves. Our guide neglected to mention the winding staircases and long hike. So those of us who drank a bit too much the night before had a pretty rough time at the caves. But we had a great time laughing at each other’s misery!

Under the Vietnamese sun

Today was one of the best days of my life. Early in the morning we boarded a boat and sailed to an island of the coast of Nha Trang. On the way there we sang and basked in the beauty of the South China Sea.

Our first stopped was snorkeling off the island of Hon Mun.

The water was turquoise and clear. There were little reefs right off of the beach so it was very easy to see the corals and fish. There were tiny colorful fish and big strange-looking ones too. I snorkeled nearly the whole time while others sun bathed and started drinking.

After several hours on the beach we got back on the boat  and the party started! Everyone was drinking and singing. I started downing my personal bottle of vodka! The boat really started “rocking”. We had a party break and were provided a monstrous feast. After stuffing ourselves our ship pulled up beside two others and then we hopped the ship to have a group karaoke party and music show. Our local guides were hilarious. They sang cover songs and even made some of the guests get up and sing! It was a great time.

10420205_10152771305925813_4724614631742022969_nThen we stumbled back onto our own ship where we took shots before jumping into the water from the roof of the boat! They threw us tubes and then we hung out in the stunning bay. They even set up a floating bar for us to swim to!

Eventually it was time to head back to shore. So settled back into the boat. I put on my headphones, hung my feet off the side of the ship and reflected as we sailed back to Nha Trang. It was magical, beautiful and life-affirming.  10309170_10152771305880813_4727700327185685849_n

By the time we got back to Nha Trang most people (including myself) were extremely intoxicated. We didn’t want the party to stop so we headed to our hotel pool and continued hanging out. I fell asleep (okay passed out) and when I woke up it was night-time.

We went back to the Sailing Club for dinner where we reminisced about the adventures of the day. I loved every second of the day. It was truly amazing. I think it may be one of the best days of my life!

8AM is perfect for drunk kayaking

Up bright and early after an insane binder last night at Kangaroo Sunset.

We were picked up by two tuk-tuks blaring old school hip hop music. As soon as we piled into the tuk-tuks we were all handed Lao Beers (it was 8am).

After a 30 min drive we arrived at the river for cave river tubing. By that point many people had already down 3 or 4 beers. While we waited for a cave tour to begin we downed more drinks. While we were shot-gunning I noticed the other tours around us were sitting quietly, while ours was dancing and laughing. The other tour groups also had helmets and life-vests. We did not.

Finally it was our turn to hop into tubes and pull ourselves through the cave river. Many intoxicated 20 somethings were led into a dark and ominous cave. Where we sung show tunes very loudly, people floated into dark crevasse and kept hitting their heads on the low hanging cave. I don’t think they let us go all the way through because at one point we just suddenly had to turn around. It was probably a wise decision.

Then we walked to a riverside bar where we were blessed with shots and drank wine coolers before kayaking. Our guides managed to put amps in their kayaks so we cruised down the river blaring old-school jams. One team of drunk kayakers flipped their kayak immediately. Ayal ended up dislocating his shoulder and having to paddle the rest of the way, while same passed out drunk in front. It was an amazing spectacle. Kayaking through the Laotian countryside and monstrous mountains was breath-taking. Being buzzed and listening to rap as we paddled through the Mekong was straight out of a movie. Best day of my life so far.

Urban White Water Rafting

This weekend my girlfriends and I went white water rafting the in the heart of Richmond, VA.

We used Living Social Escapes to find a half price deal for a day trip along the James river!

The company we rafted with is Riverside Outfitters. We ventured down the Jame’s River and experienced the only Class II – Class IV white water rapids running through a major U.S. city! We were given detailed instructions and a safety demonstration before meeting the water at Pony Pasture Park and Reedy Creek.  We saw Great Blue Herons, ducks and lots of fish. 10171234_10152629630825813_4431559008784995684_n 10665369_10152629630275813_6537525352180514715_n

10600441_10152629630635813_654692621325008350_nAfter a crazy fun journey down river we piled into a bus and headed back to the outpost for beers and socializing. Everyone in my group (even the most timid and inexperienced rafter) had an amazing time. I can’t wait until the weather warms again. I will defiantly being going rafting with Riverside Outfitters again!