Had plans to try and get some sightseeing in the afternoon but ended up having a 1 hour nap that turned into a 5 hour one by mistake! I think I underestimated how tired I would be but after an 8 hour day at work, 3 hours of frantically packing, then over 13 hours of traveling so it was no wonder I was a little pooped. Still have not figured out how to get a good nights sleep in economy class, if there is such a thing, without resorting to huge quantities of alcohol and/or sleeping pills...does anyone else have the same problem??
Met up with some of my expedition team members tonight at KOTO Restaurant and as was to be expected, they are all incredibly interesting with diverse backgrounds: there was Jean-Francois (JF) the french canadian pharmacist who is the proud owner of the first and only "Green" pharmacy in Quebec! The indomitable token brit, Phil, from Yorkshire an IT worker and avid entymologist on the side who kept up a steady stream of Black Adder quotes throughout the night between swigs of draught Hanoi beer. Steve from Maine USA, a Vietnam Vet who was fresh from a humanitarian mission in Danang as part of Vets With a Mission, helping build a medical centre there. And there was Lisa from Colorado, a ceramic artist and outdoor devotee, no wonder as she lives a stones through away from the Rocky Mountains!
And then there was me: Miss Corporate PA, urban, inner city chick from cosmopolitan Melbourne with far too many shoes and little/no experience of the outdoors - what skills would I be able to bring to the team?? Quickly it was established that if anyone needed to book a nice restaurant in Hanoi at the last minute then I was the person for the job. Phew!
And with that I am off for an early night, looking forward to my first steaming bowl of Pho and strong black Vietnamese coffee for breakfast tomorrow and an early morning walk around Hoam Kiem Lake in the old quarter. Beats a day at the office that's for sure :)