January 2017
  • Day10

    Beach time

    January 22, 2017 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We kayaked to this idyllic little beach, where we hanged out for the morning. We watched the clouds disappear and the sun making a bold appearance to show off the bays extravagance. It was so peaceful and relaxing compared to the city's craziness.
    {Issy}
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  • Day10

    Kayaking in paradise

    January 22, 2017 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Here we are kayaking in paradise, its breathtaking to be on such a small craft in such a secluded part of the world. All you hear is the splashing as your oar hits the water, in the distance you can hear a fisherman's motorboat engine dimmed by echoing barks of his dog.

    Yes kayaking is not the greatest thing for my back, but the experience of being one with nature was unreal!

    I will pop a couple of voltarens back at the boat and get another massage tomorrow when we are back in Hanoi. I am not missing this opportunity for a little bit of pain.

    Isabel have been wanting to kayak since we missed the opportunity to kayak in the Abel Tasman in NZ, ironicly we found out that she was not any good at rowing today. We kept on going in zig zags, when I rowed alone we went straight but when she rowed or we rowed together for some reason the kayak would go left and then right and left again and so on. Loads of fun to figure it out.

    This is one of those experiences that photos or words would never do justice, it was almost a spiritual experience, that will best be remembered in you heart.

    {Roedolf}
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  • Day10

    Sunrise and Tai Chi class

    January 22, 2017 ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    We dragged ourselves out of bed for a sunrise and Tai Chi class on the deck.

    From the tiger to eagle pose we did it all. Not really the most intense workout I have ever had, I did not even break a sweat in the 15 minute workout.

    However we can not complain about the venue and scenery!

    {Roedolf}
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  • Day9

    Vietnamese fine dining

    January 21, 2017 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    The food was exotic. Here and there is discreet Western flavors to complement the Vietnamese cuisine. A delicious seafood lunch and local fruits for dessert. The sea bass was a tad too wild for me but the rest for really tasty.

    {Issy}
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  • Day9

    Cooking lessons

    January 21, 2017 ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Learned to make Vietnamese spring rolls!

    Isabel was pretty good at it, I sucked as my spring rolls kept breaking. I put it down to the fact that I was barely able to get my hands into the plastic gloves. I did not have the full range of motion with my hands hence I will try this again at home where I can do It with bare hands.

    {Roedolf}
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  • Day9

    Afternoon dip

    January 21, 2017 ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    To top of this amazing day we went to a secluded beach to go for a quick swim.

    {Roedolf}

  • Day9

    Seawater pearl farm

    January 21, 2017 ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Isabel and I just had an argument about seawater vs freshwater pearls yesterday and here we are visiting an actual seawater pearl farm. 😜

    Seeing the process helps me understand why these pearls are so expensive.

    Basically every oyster can only produce one pearl in their lifetime as the oyster has to be killed to harvest the pearl.

    A pearl is formed if an oyster gets a grain of sand or a rock stuck in the oyster, and as the oyster does not have the ability to get rid of the foreign object it basically builds this pearl shell around the foreign object to protect it self.

    The pearl farmers use this ability of the oyster to create beautiful pearls. They open the oyster slightly, and implant a round little ball into the oyster to ensure the oyster produce a nice round pearl, then they let it grow the pearl for up to 8 to 10 years. The oyster gets cleaned and x-rayed every 3 months to ensure the existence of the growing pearl but the farmer can't see the quality of the pearl until its harvested.

    When its time to harvest the pearl, the farmer simply open the oyster and cut into the flesh of the oyster to release the pearl. Seeing this was unreal as it basically come out as a perfect pearl which needs no further work to be sold. The only thing they do with the pearls after harvesting is rate them between level 1 and 4 and drill a hole in the pearl if its going to be used in a string. If they polish the pearl it actually lose value.

    Experiencing this made me think of my mom as I know she would have loved to see this.

    Isabel was in heaven, and was looking and trying on necklaces. The sales lady was convinced she will make a sale today. The joke is she did not even bother with the cheap pearls she went straight to the best quality pearls. I am going to get more than one job it seems 😥!

    {Roedolf}
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    Martie Van der Westhuizen

    Lieflike string grys perels wat Isabel aangepas het!! Sou dit baie geniet het het!!!

    1/23/17Reply
     
  • Day9

    Vung Vieng Fishing village

    January 21, 2017 ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    The afternoon excursion takes us into the primitive floating fishing village where over 100 people still live today on bare basics.

    Their houses float on large empty drums, they have no running water and electricity. They share a generator between a couple of homes for lights at night.

    These people are born here, grow up, grow old here and die here.

    On the one hand they have the most peaceful place to call their home but on the other hand it must be a hard life, or call it just survival.

    {Roedolf}
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  • Day9

    Halong Bay

    January 21, 2017 ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    After settling in we visited a nearby settlement and the local pearl farm. An interesting "some infomation" ( like the Vietnamese say without the r) tour on the production and grading. They mentioned a grading 1-4 when its usually A-D which made me wonder- anyway its not wrong its just different-I guess. 95% of all pearls on the market today are cultured pearls, meaning humans played a role in pearl formation. Natural, wild pearls from the ocean are very rare and have a premium price. We watched the bloke insert a small piece of mantle tissue (with tweezers) from another donor shell to serve as a catalyst for the pearl sac. The sea pearls takes around 8-10 years till its ready to be sold the Akoya variations take around 2 years and therefore are less pricy. l had the sales people all very excited with relevant grading questions on the quality. I had a lot of fun trying on pearls and banter with Roedolf because according to him I no expert on pearls. They wanted to sell me a $70 000 string of Tahitian pearls bahaha🤣. At least I look wealthy or maybe Roedolf does? Well Roedolf conveniently left his credit card in the cabin so no pearl purchases today😭. We left the shop personel in devastation.

    Too proof I am perhaps NOT entirely clueless.
    Tahitian and South Sea pearls are primarily graded according to Shape, Surface Quality and Luster. Variations in pearl body color, overtones and color saturation levels (with as many as 80 “official” variations!) mean that the value factors for Color need to be evaluated individually. Tahitian cultured pearls MUST have a minimum nacre depth of 0.8mm per side (so 0.16mm total) in order to qualify for export.

    Apparently Luster is the biggest value factor to look out for. Luster measures the rate of reflection (how crisp and detailed it is) on a pearl’s surface, and the amount of light reflected on the pearls. Beautiful luster makes or breaks pearls as a gemstone. Basically, the brighter, sharper and more reflective a pearl is, the more valuable it will be.

    Cultured Akoya and Freshwater pearls are graded according to Surface Quality, Luster, and perfection of Shape (roundness and symmetry). Akoya pearls are also graded on Nacre Thickness, which is a visual inspection completed by the grader rather than via x-ray analysis.

    Pearlgirl
    {Issy}
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  • Day9

    "Signature" huis

    January 21, 2017 ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Ons huis vir die volgende paar dae, dis absoluut hemels hier ; die 5ster hoëhakskoen meisie xx