Ba Bể Lake in northern Vietnam with surrounding mountains stretching out forever (Photo: author’s own).

The Rock

I count to five.

Then I count to ten.

Every so often I open my eyes and turn around mildly concerned that a stray tourist was making their way through the woods behind me, but it’s just a breeze rustling over the fallen leaves and branches that have littered around the small clearing. I was safe on this side of the lake, no access other than from the lake…