Cát Hải 1/undefined by Tripoto

Cát Hải

Jemima Durnford
Once in Haiphong we asked locals where the ferry crossing was and arrived at the port and got on a small boat with a bunch of locals with all their animals and produce and I looked around feeling really excited and amongst the culture. We arrived at the other side only to discover that we weren't on Cat Ba island at all but on Cat Hai island. Slightly concerned by this as it would be getting dark in a few hours, the man at the dock frantically pointed in the direction we needed to go saying "hurry...leaving". We needed to zoom along to the other side of Cat Hai and catch the last boat going to Cat Ba! We raced along the roads and were surrounded by open countryside and people waving, it was so good to be in the countryside and drive along the empty road. Unfortunately, dusk was approaching so I wasn't able to totally relax and enjoy it as we were manically riding along to be in time for the last ferry. We made it just in time but as we were about to drive up to the boat I lost control of the bike and fell off. Luckily it only happened from a stand still and I just turned too sharply and lost my balance. I wasn't hurt as had sort of leapt from the bike as it fell but the it landed on its side and the front brake broke and the rack as well. So we carried all the parts onto the boat who patiently waited for us and helped us on.It had turned into a really, really, really long ride and we were relieved that we only had this short boat journey left, or so we thought! We found ourselves arriving on the wrong side of the island and we had to cross to the other side where the town was! We were in the middle of nowhere and by this point it was nearly dark plus I had no brake and we had to secure my backpack to the bike and Liam secured the broken rack to his. One of the golden rules of riding a motorbike in Hanoi is never to ride at night, it becomes even more dangerous. So we had already broken that rule! It was difficult to see the road clearly especially with the visor down as the glare of oncoming traffic made everything looking fuzzy but when I pulled it up I had a million bugs flying at me. We finally got there, only 11 hours later! Relieved and exhausted we crashed out. Our hotel, as always, was cheap and good and food was yummy too.After a good lay in we rode to Cat Ba National Park and went on a walk up through the forest. On the way up Liam spotted the biggest spider ever which we later found out was a mango spider, it was right in the middle of a web spanning about 4 metres. We also heard the craziest noise from this bug which we couldn't see but I think was a secator. After about an hour we made it to the top of this hill with beautiful views all around. There was a tall fire tower with a sign saying Danger No Climbing, so of course we and another friendly couple climbed up. Liam tried to conceal his nerves as we walked up, he doesn't seem to like heights. We had a great view all around and could even see the sea.