Friday, April 1, 2011

Vietnam-Cat Ba Island-Butterfly Valley (Day 56)

We got up to wet pavement in the morning which I was unexcited about learning to ride a motorbike on but by noon it was drying up so we decided to head out to Butterfly Valley with some folks from the boat the day before if not just to figure out riding motorbikes and how to get there.  We rented two motorbikes for 70 dong each ($3.50 each) and learned to ride them on the giant and nearly empty street of Cat Ba Town.  It was easy and we both picked it up quick so we headed out to Butterfly.  Since we were not that comfortable on the bikes we just went most of the way at 20 km/h (12 mph) which I typically bike faster than but whatever we got out there.

Butterfly Valley was a pretty neat place to ride down into with the large wall at the back.  We had a day pass from Slopony for climber there normally it costs 25-50 dong ($1.25-$2.50) per person to climb there so we gave that to the farmer at the Hive and headed in. 
You approach the climb by walking out past the Hive across a cow pasture.
Since it was already late we just jumped on the best sounding climbs at our grade two 6b in the Cool Banana Section.  I lead the You Enjoy Myself and struggled but got the on-sight.  Anja was displeased when she was leading and struggled at the crux and hung but after the quick hang she finished it out.
Very Tot was the second climb to the left of You Enjoy Myself and Anja fired off on lead first.  She was again displeased to hang at the first crux.P3090699
Again after a quick hang Anja fired off the rest of the climb.  The giant fin of flow stone at the top was super fun to pitch and pull through on.  After watching her on the climb I wasn’t surprised to get the first crux and struggle but with a good bolt right there and Anja belaying I desperately slapped for a hold and pulled through the crux.  After that I kept it together enough to finish out the on-sight.  Since it was going to get dark soon and the mist was turning to sprinkles we headed back.
Anja on her hog.
Since we had the motor bikes with plenty of gas we buzzed over to Cat Co Beach and checked it out quick.  In the summer this is probably really nice.
Above Cat Co beach at the end of the day.
We were beat so we grabbed a quiet dinner at Green Mango.  The food was ok but the menu was a little pricey for Cat Ba.

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