As we continued our descent to the valley near Sapa, Vietnam, we saw that we closely approached where the some of the terraced rice fields were located. So far we had been following a muddy path down. Then as I looked at where that path led to at the bottom of the descent, it looked like it ended at a small stream that we would have to cross. On the other side of the stream, I couldn’t see any continuing path. Instead there were the terraced rice fields.
We watched the group in front of us going through there, and it became clear that once you cross the stream, you would then walk on the narrow pathway in between the rice fields (what looked like the boundary or outline of the terraced rice fields when you see them from far away). It didn’t look too bad from far away, but when you get closer, it looked like an interesting exercise walking through that stretch while staying in line within your group. The challenge was that you need to maintain your balance on the narrow path, and on one side it plunged down to the stream below, and on the other side you have the muddy rice fields.
When it came to our turn going down there, I walked carefully crossing the stream to make sure I hopped from rock to rock and not getting wet from plunging to the stream. That was not too bad. But then as we walked on the narrow pathway next to the rice fields, at one point I lost my balance a little bit, and ended up with one foot in the muddy rice field — my whole hiking boot turned brown covered with mud. So much for trying to keep my boots clean… At least it wasn’t as bad as going to the other side and falling into the stream. We continued on our trek as if nothing happened. Fortunately it wasn’t too far until we reached an actual road / path again.
The photo below was taken before we descent through the last segment before we reached the bottom of the valley. You can see here May was already a bit in front of us and waited for Dave and Anna in front of me to start descending. At the bottom of the descending path, you can see the little stream and the terraced rice fields on the other side.