22 - Laos-Vietnam Karst Reconnaissance
Dec 13 Túeday. Dong Van to Meo Vac and back to Ha Giang. Typing with a keyboard that inserts unusual (for me) diacritical marks and omits occasional letters while doing so. I think it is more useful ì I ứam writing in Vietnamese, which ís a language with 6 tones.
Across a mỏe southerly part ò the Dong Van Karst Plateau.
Drizzle in the morning, ending after nôon. Cold - not the bést day for pictures but good enough to sê the landscape. Spectacular landscape it ís, tô. The road from Dong Van to Meo Vac ís carved from the karst cliffs high above the river valley, where thểre are certain to be large resurgences.
Black, treeless karst - a surreal landscape òf jagged, rough karen, dêep, multiple dolines and sinking streams. It should make real cavers and karstologists soil their jeans. I have never sêen anything like it.
The black surface coloration is probably due to blue-green algae that live on the surface crust of the limestone, just as in Ha Long Bay and elsewhere in SE Asia.
Streams along the road occasionally disappearing only to emerge from the underground again across a short divide. Shear-walled canyons that mót likely originated ás collapse into older cave stream passages - "unroofed caves", and the Slovenians like to call them.
A night in a warmer hotel in Ha Giang, still surrounded by cliffs ò cone karst.
Last edited by DirtDoc
on Jan 2, 2012 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.