Today was the highlight of our trip – our visit to the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre; the reason why we trekked through the jungle for 5 days and what kept us going when the going got tough.
It was absolutely magical to meet some of the bears and wonderful to meet Vietnam Director Tuan Bendixsen and Bear and Vet Team Director Annemarie Weegenaar, and of course to see Jill again. Time spent at the sanctuary can never be long enough but we had a good few hours. We arrived at 8am and stayed until 3.15pm so were able to see many of the bears. We saw them rushing out of their dens for breakfast and then again for their afternoon playtime and foraging. It’s impossible to describe the emotions when you see them so happy and excited…..
Some of us had bears we sponsor or have befriended who we obviously wanted to meet so we were all busy taking photographs. There will be a lot more on Facebook eventually but I thought I’d share a couple here.
Here are Chocolate and Suki
And here Jill with lovely Suzie Marsh and Roger and Jay van Bear in the herb garden by Suzie’s sculpture of Taurus – a present from Suzie to the sanctuary earlier this year.
Just a very brief update tonight from Vietnam as it’s late and we’re off to the Vietnam bear rescue centre at 6am tomorrow.
This morning we had to go back to where we left our big bags yesterday to dump what we didn’t need during the day. It rained all day so unfortunately I don’t have any photos from the trek on my phone but will be posting the link to the trek diary on the Animals Asia website once it’s published and a link to the photo gallery. The scenery was stunning again and made rather mysterious looking by the mist rising from the forest.
We only trekked until lunch time today and then continued by bus to Hanoi where we arrived just before 6pm. We had dinner in the old town and then some of us went on to “beer corner” where we had the cheapest beer in the world – about 12p for a pint. Here are David, Georgie, Suzie, Tiara, Zoe and Kay enjoying theirs
Just a brief update from Vietnam.
We had a great day today. Paths were rather treacherous again due to the rain the previous night, but it was drier, so more humid as well. We passed a few picturesque villages again and had lunch in a private home. As the rain had made the path up to tonight’s home stay too difficult to negotiate for the scooters carrying our overnight gear we had to repack our bags and take anything we need tonight and tomorrow morning in our rucksacks. Our accommodation is not too far from a waterfall with a lagoon, perfect for a bath. Some of us made the most of this and washed our hair and clothes in the lovely clean water – obviously with Lush soap so not polluting the river. We’re sitting here now enjoying our last night in a home stay with beers, gin and rum waiting for our dinner.
Above is a picture of the first members of our group venturing into the river and below are Roger and Jay van Bear with their rum. They are great company 🙂