Had a restless nights sleep, due partly to the karaoke, but also due to the spectacular storm. The lightening was consisten throughout the night, the thunder luckily only made brief appearances, but you knew when he had arrived, the rain was hammering down on the boat and still was when we awoke. We got up and had breakfast at 7.30am on the boat. We had toast with jam, egg and sliced sausage and finally banana. We than sat around the top deck, reading under cover, avoiding the rain. Such a shame the weather is so poor today, when the surroundings are so stunning, just takes the edge of it a little. After a while we cruised back towards the harbour and at 11.30am we had lunch. After lunch back onto the little boat, which took us to the harbour and our bus. The bus ride back to Hanoi was unspectacular and we arrived back in Hanoi by 4.15pm. Rather than go back to the hotel, we decided to make the most of the big improvement in the weather and go to the city view bar in the middle of the roundabout near the hotel. Where we had been on our first visit to Hanoi. From here we could watch the chaos on the roads aound us and compare it with the serene nature of the lake.
We went back and checked back into the hotel and received our usual warm greeting from the management, who had remembered Angie's slight moan about the amount of stairs we had to climb last time and put us on a floor lower. In the lobby when we got back to the hotel were a group of french girls who were thinking about going on the same Halong Bay trip we had just returned from, so we encouraged them to take the trip, much to the delight of the owners. They were also going to Hoi An after Hanoi, and so we told them about how nice the Hai Au hotel was so they were going to book that too, I feel like a proper traveler now people are taking my advice.
After sorting ourselves out in ther room we went out for our final meal in Hanoi and of course it could only be one place, the fabulous New Day Restaurant, that we used exclusively last time we were in Hanoi. We had the spring roll starters and 3 main courses with stir fry veg. Between us we had spicy chicken, chicken and cashew nuts and chicken in lemon, all up to the usual standard washed down with a couple of pints of beer, what a feast and all for less than £8. We wandered around the streets after dinner and bought one or two bits to get rid of our dong.
Oh forget to mention, while we were sorting ourselves out in the room after checking in, we were checking our emails and we got one from Sophie, informing us that my car had been smashed up by a joy rider in the early hours of the morning and another car had ended up in our garden, narrowly avoiding going into our lounge, well that put me in a good mood, especially with all reports being that my car would be a write off. Another job to do when I get home.