The hotel business can be quite a headache, but also quite a joy at times. I find that many guests are hard to say goodbye to. We only know each other a few short days, but become friends quickly. I am always interested in hearing their stories, and they in turn are interested in the experience I have with this country and how I can add to their vacation. To hear it is time to check out is a bit sad. Some leave saying they will be back again, and others sadly will become distant memories. I truly hope they enjoyed staying with me as I have enjoyed hosting them. It is these people who are making this working retirement worth while.
There is something odd going on. Last night my British guests checked out and now the Hotel sits empty. It is not only me, but almost all of the hotels. Business seems to come in spurts with a week or so of chaos, and then
another of quiet. I went into the main tourist area today and saw almost nobody there. I dropped in on some friends of mine and they were complaining of there being no customers at all for them. HuH?…. I wonder if the ash cloud from the eruption has cancelled many flights here.
Today I will tell you about one of the tours offered in NhaTrang. I had the pleasure of spending a day with Mandy, Britt, Lloyd, Lee, and Carl on a snorkeling and Scuba adventure. As a hotel owner I get a few perks, and enjoying the trips with my guests at no charge, or reduced cost is one of
them. Britt decided to do 2 dives, and all of the others decided a day of snorkeling was just the ticket. We were picked up at our hotel at 7:15 am and driven to the main office to be fitted for gear. We met some other people who were going for diving and snorkeling and off we went. The van became crowded with people and seeing my displeasure, they offloaded a person and some gear for a motorcycle to deliver. I have to give them credit for taking our comfort seriously. A short 5 minute drive and we were at the port area. Also to my pleasure, we were loaded on to our boat with no problems or confusion, and we departed promptly. (I am hoping this is a standard practice and not
staged for my benefit) The boat was in good condition and it took about 45 minutes to reach our destination of Mun Island. Fruit and drinks were served on the way. Britt was taken to the rear of the boat and geared up for her dive and we were all given equipment in new condition. The first reef we stopped at was OK but not spectacular. We spent an hour swimming and enjoying the new coral growth and the colorful fish. Back to the boat and we moved a few hundred yards to another area of coral. Like the first, it was new coral on top of dead, but in much more abundance and much more marine life. It was pleasant. We spent another hour exploring the reef an the surrounding rocky slopes. There were lion fish, Trigger and Angel fish, sea urchins and sea cucumbers, and many varieties of parrot fish. There were also a few oddities such as trumpet fish and others that I do not know the name of.
News Flash!! At this moment the police have returned to the hotel next door. I do not know what is going on, but a couple of the guests headed out in a hurry. Probably because of the short term arrangement the hotel has. I hope they are not shut down as many of my fun evenings are watching the goings on of the place……. Anyway,
The second dive ended and we all were back on board. The boat headed back to NhaTrang and a very good lunch was served consisting of curried chicken stew, grilled pork chops, and mixed vegetables. We arrived at the docks without hassle and were driven back to the hotel about 12:30. All in all it was a good day The people with me were hoping that it would have lasted a bit longer, but they all seemed happy. I will use this company again. By the
way…. If you want to become a certified diver, here is where to do it. It is inexpensive and fun. A snorkel trip is 18 dollars, a 2 dive day is 40. To become certified is 250. Try and get that deal in your own country!!
I mentioned dead coral in the preceding paragraphs. I will talk a little about that tomorrow. An interesting and sad bit of Vietnam history.