"The path down into the valley wound its way through one village after another, often through the individual huts themselves. No one but the dogs took offense as I opened courtyard gates and ducked under clotheslines or skirted pigsties.
Eventually the foot trail took me to the river's edge. I could see it pick up again on the other side and zig-zag up the hill, but the rushing water in between was thigh-deep and filled with slippery, moss-covered stones. Under the amused eyes of several small boys, I dropped my pack, took a camera in each hand and waded in. It was steep and treacherous, the water tugging at my legs and the rocks shifting underfoot. I thought to ask for help, but didn't really trust the boys with either the heavy pack nor my expensive cameras. Halfway across my sandal caught on a rock, the Velcro tore open and I watched helplessly as the current whisked it away. The kids went after it like bloodhounds, their feet barely touching the stones as they hopped, cricket-like, from one boulder to the next. They returned it to me in less than a minute, their teeth flashing in impudent grins. I surrendered my bags, far safer in their hands, and watched them scamper to the far shore."
Excerpt from Hitchhiking Vietnam