Update from Toby

Toby here, unusually.

1. send emails if you wish, we love hearing from folks.
2. Don’t send our own message back to us! We have poor to abominable connections and we know what we said.
3. Don’t forward things, send them to our home addresses and we will get them when we return.

We are in Sapa Vietnam with one of those good news/bad news things.

The good news is that our guide saw snow for the first time in his life. The bad news is that we were with him.
We have packed for a visit to a semitripical country, in the spring. All climate reports were for general temps of 60 to 85 with maybe a couple of 50-55 degree mornings.
Well there is sleet in the steet outside for the first time in years and the first time EVER in March. It’s maybe 38 and we have been to the market and bought gloves (good news: $2.00 pair) and a parka for barb ($16.00)

The ride over the mountain pass in the Russian jeep was interesting (drolly delivered) in hail and fog, so the precipitous drops, and looming trucks were hardly noticable. Barb was wrapped up in everything she had including her sleeping bag. Russian jeeps have a low gear that could climb up a wall, and a defroster that works adequately, but they leak air like a sieve (so they drain quickly after fording rivers I think).
We have canned walking in the sleet for the afternoon, the valley is invisible, and no-one but stupid westerners are on the street.

Prior to today’s ride we had a couple of great days going over a totally unused (by westerners) road. Much interesting construction over some amazing passes. Spent the night in Than Uyen.

That’s all for now, we aren’t keeping up, and Barb is not sending out her usual entertaining missives. We have little good access to the net, spent an hour getting in 4 emails yesterday.