Worrall Travel R's

Worrall Travel R's
Roz and Russ

Worrall Travel R's - Kicking the Bucket List

My photo

We are the Worrall Travel R's Roz and Russ Worrall. Our goal before we "kick the bucket" is to see as much of the world as we are able, learn about world cultures, experience making friends around the world, and share goodwill and what we learn with others. WE HOPE YOU JOIN US VIA THE BLOG ON OUR TRAVELS.

We started our world travels in 1969 in VW camper van in the USA, Canada, and Europe, but didn't actively blog about our travels until 2009 aboard our sailing vessel SV Worrall Wind, a 44 ft Nauticat Ketch.  On September 5, 2009 we left San Francisco and took a left at the Golden Gate to Explore the World.

From to Sea to Land
After almost 4 years of cruising Mexico and the South Pacific, we sold our beloved boat in Australia, 2013. The Worrall Travel R's are continuing our travels around by many other means of conveyance -boats,trains, planes, sometimes camels, elephants, rickshaws, and hot air balloons.. 

Russ is a retired engineer, optometrist, professor from U.C. Berkeley. Roz is a retired computer programmer/analyst, educator, (teacher, administrator, professional developer). 

Our Mantra:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Halong Bay and Goodbye Viet Nam and Goodbye Worrall Wind

Wednesday-Friday, February 27-March Day 19-20-21,  2013

HaLong Bay


You can leave luggage behind at our Hanoi hotel and pack an overnight bag. It is a three-hour drive to famous Ha Long Bay, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is one of Vietnam's most spectacular natural wonders. Views of sailing junks navigating past over 3000 limestone islands and rocky outcrops jutting out of the bay are nothing short of spectacular. We travel to Bai Chay (Halong City West) where we board a boat for an exploration of the bay, enjoying a seafood lunch and dinner (non-seafood also available), as well as spending a night on board. We visit one cave in the area and, in the warmer months, there is a chance to enjoy a swim. Conditions may be somewhat more communal compared to staying in a hotel, however it is a wonderful experience to be spending a night on the bay – weather permitting, the views at sunset are incredible. Bedding and towels are provided. All boats used by Peregrine have twin-share cabins with en suite facilities and air-conditioning. There may also be the chance to do some kayaking (optional and extra cost involved) on Halong Bay. 

Today is Friday and we are back in Hanoi after a two day sojourn  to Ha Long Bay, UNESCO World Heritage site.  Last night we bid farewell to our hearty group of traveling friends.  We also received word that the proceeds of Worrall Wind are in the bank and our beloved boat is now in the hands of new owners.  This is the first time in 4o years we have been without a boat.  Feels both sad and for Russ liberating.

We just finished breakfast, Russ's is off to mail some packages at the post office so that our luggage for South China Airlines is under the 20 kilo max.  Our taxi arrives At 10 and then we are off to the airport and Nepal.  Our Indochina adventure is ending.  Viet Nam has indelibly left an imprint in our memories.  The rice paddies, gardeners, quaint shops, wonderful food, Buddhist Pagodas, historical sites where so many of our Americans died in an attempt to prevent communist take over of Viet Nam, and the craziest traffic we have ever seen.

Millions of motor bikes and cars vye for space and ignore laws.  In Viet Nam green light means go, yellow light means go, and red light still means go.  Why there are cross walks, one can only wonder, as pedestrians have no more right away here than anywherelse, which is basically none.

 Motor bikes don't make 90 degree turns on cross streets, they start a block away moving into the on coming traffic to make the turn, and if it is too busy or one way street, they pop upon the side walk.  Honk, honk.  Horns are continually sounding to warn others to get out of the way.

We've learned to cross streets in horizontal lines, walking slowly and deliberately forward with mo quick movements as the traffic gauges our moves and weaves around us. I gave up watching our bus driver passing cars on narrow two lane roads with obvious oncoming traffic.  It was too disconcerting so I sat farther back and tried to ignore all of his weaving, and horn blasting.  It is truly an amazing feat to have survived the traffic here.  Definitely and adventure.

 We've learned  much and appreciated our local guide's candor and knowledge of the country.  He was very small when the war was over.  His father was in the South Vietnamese Army and left when the Americans pulled out.  Today his mother and older brother and family live in Texas while he makes his home here in Viet Nam with remaining siblings, his wife, and children.  He dreams of sending his two small daughters to America to study when they are a little older.  He wants them to broaden their perspectives beyond the politicized history and limited freedoms in Viet Nam, today.

We leave for our next leg of our trip, but not without sharing some of our photos of the last few days.  Fortunately or unfortunately the weather was foggy and we did not get the stunning photos of greens and blues one would expect in travel brochures.  Instead we captured the silhouettes and layers of the craggy limestone mountains in an ethereal mist.
On Our Way to Ha Long Bay

Artist at Work - We bought a an embroidered piece just like this one.

Junk Passenger Port

Boats in the Mist

Captain Russ Couldn't Resist a Pose by the Wheel

Our Stateroom

Gliding into the Mist

World Heritage Caves

We spent the afternoon kayaking in protected bay, but first we had to glide through a cave opening

Monkeys jumped from rock to rock, and swung from trees.

All is Well with Worrall Travel R's

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hanoi, Viet Nam

Presidential Palace

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Day 18: Hanoi
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch

We are transferred to the airport for a morning flight to the capital. Hanoi is one of Asia's pmost enchanting cities. This northern capital is a quiet, contradiction of its southern counterpart. Its relaxed ambience is a joy, with exploration best on foot or bicycle. The shopping is fun and the many lakes and parks provide enjoyable escapes. We take a guided half-day tour of Hanoi, visiting the major sights, including the Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda, and paying a homage to Vietnam's most famous revolutionary, Ho Chi Minh. We also include lunch at KOTO restaurant – an amazing project aimed at providing vocational training and experience in the hospitality industry for underprivileged young people. All the staff you meet at this cafĂ© have come from poor backgrounds. In the evening there is an option to enjoy a performance of the unique Water Puppets.
It's been a long day with an early start.  We were boarding the plane from Danang to Hanoi by 8:30 a.m.  By 10:30 we were in Hanoi and visiting the Temple of Literature which is a shrine to Confuscious as a great teacher.   Graduating high school students often have photos taken here.

Original Flag of Viet Nam on Left

Shrine to a Great Teacher - Confucius

Chinese Greetings

Posing for High School Graduation Poto

We visited all of the above plus the Hanoi Hilton, French Colonial prison and site of POW camp in Viet Nam.  The propaganda of how well US POW were treated was so thick, we should have worn muck boots.
Mausoleum where body is preserved for viewing

One Pillar Pagoda

Hindu Influence

"Hanoi Hilton"

John McCain's Flight Gear

With Folded Arms these Pilots do not look like this was a voluntary photo

Lots of Photos of the Hanoi Hilton's Hospitality

We walked around Hanoi last night enjoying the sites, sounds, and northern cuisine.

This is where we are going today, Wednesday, February 27, 2013. There will be no Internet access, so we will catch up later with blog.  Looking forward to being on  the water.

All is Well with the Worrall Travel R's