Wild flowers on the trek at Mu Cang Chai

Trekking The Forest of Mu Cang Chai - Part 2

I was not feeling tired, only a bit worried about the path ahead. The trail was much worse than A Sua's calculations. The path had been deserted for a long time and the forest had totally reclaimed most of it. We had to step on quite a few bridges each of which made out of a single tree trunk to cross a ravine or a stream. All of them were mossy and slippery, and some were rotten. A Sua had to slash the bushes all the time to make the path visible.

Some nice view of a mountain from the forest
Some nice view of a mountain from the forest

 

 

More of the treacherous path
More of the treacherous path

 

 

Crossing a ravine on a tree trunk again
Crossing a ravine on a tree trunk again

 

 

The narrow path barely big enough to rest a foot at a time
The narrow path barely big enough to rest a foot at a time

It was nearly 1 P.M when we came to a boulder with flat surface big enough that we could have a proper rest. We had been trekking for about 4 hours and a half of which 3 hours and half was on the brink of a ravine without rest. I told A Sua to have lunch and to talk about what we should do next. A Sua said that if we kept on with the plan then we'll be arriving in 1 hour and it would mean we would be back very late. The former trail only went to the cardamom fields and didn't go all the way here. We'd have to blaze a new path to get further.

An extremely dangerous part on the adventure
An extremely dangerous part on the adventure

 

 

A tree trunk hollow inside
A tree trunk hollow inside

 

 

A fallen tree blocking the path
A fallen tree blocking the path

 

 

Not sure of our steps, path reclaimed by bushes
Not sure of our steps, path reclaimed by bushes

 

 

Another treacherous bridge on the trek
Another treacherous bridge on the trek

 

 

The flat surface rock that we had lunch
The flat surface rock that we had lunch

I looked to the other side of the mountain and thought it would not be possible to get there in 1 hour. It could well be 2 or 3 hours! And coming back on the path that we had been on in the dark would not be possible either. So I decided we should find a way to descend the mountain for the road and call A Chong to arrange motorbikes to take us back.

A Sua fell down once due to the slippery path
A Sua fell down once due to the slippery path

We finished lunch at 1:30 P.M and A Chong said the path down was easy and we should reach the road in one hour and a half. This time he was right. We went on the hard route a bit further and made our way down through a thick bamboo forest. The bamboo trees here didn't have thorns and the plants were soft. Though there was not a trail we could move forward without much difficulty. We got out of the bamboo forest in half an hour and came to a forest with big and tall trees under the canopy of which there was a large plantation of cardamoms.

The beautiful forest with cardamom plantations
The beautiful forest with cardamom plantations

After an hour we reached a river and I knew the road was somewhere high up in the mountain. I seemed to be much better at trekking upwards nowadays that we both made it to the top of the steep mountainside at 3:00 P.M. There were no motorbikes waiting and we hiked back along the bad roads used by trucks from some iron or bronze mines nearby. The road was clean and quiet today and the breezes were pleasant. It was getting cloudy quickly though. Hopefully it would not rain.

A refreshing river before our adventure concluded
A refreshing river before our adventure concluded

 

 

It was quite a hike up to the road
It was quite a hike up to the road

 

 

The forest that we were trekking through
The forest that we were trekking through

 

 

It was getting foggy quickly
It was getting foggy quickly

It was not until 3:30 P.M that we were picked up by the motorbike boys and we arrived back at the homestay at 4:30 P.M. It had been very foggy and cold when we passed a high mountain pass back there somewhere. I asked my hosts for hot tea and climbed up the terrace for a rest. It was sunny again and the day had been a wonderful experience. A Sua had left for some work at home. I had asked him to come back for some beers in the evening. A day was passing, a really beautiful autumn day!

A nice view in front of the homestay at Mu Cang Chai
A nice view in front of the homestay at Mu Cang Chai