Friday, 19 April 2013

Treks, Waterfalls, White 'Rock' Rafting and Bamboo Rafting

So breakfast was at 9am again, this time it was scrambled egg, just as amazing. Then it was time to say goodbye to le elephants and head out on our trek with the Australian couple. We had a new guide today and he was mental! First we drove to collect our lunch from a nearby village, then we drove to an Akai village, to see how they live and we also saw their spirit sticks – male and female – which was meant to bring good luck and guide new spirits who had recently passed away, back to the village so they would look after their families and bring luck.

We then drove along a really really bumpy dirt track to the start of our trek up to the waterfall. The trek wasn’t too hard, but there was a lot of balancing on logs and climbing over slippery rocks, Sarah, the Australian girl slipped over halfway along, cutting her knee and spraining her wrist and ankle which wasn’t good. But luckily I had some Tiger Balm with me and so we applied that and away she went! See, who needs first aid courses and doctors, when you have Tiger Balm, it is THE cure for everything...well, almost. Once we got to the waterfall we had some time to take a dip...and some photos.

We then made our way back down, this time accident-free, meeting some Japanese tourists on their way up who were extremely inappropriately dressed; one girl even had WEDGES on – seriously?! We then had lunch at the bottom, which was mountains of Pad Thai and made our way onto the next activity, an hour of white water rafting...or rock that’s all it was really! Our guide had warned us that during dry season the river is very low, and boy was it low, so we went expecting it to be quite tame, and expecting to get stuck on a lot of rocks. But we didn’t quite realise how many rocks there would be, and we obviously got stuck on every rapid, along with all the other dinghy’s, so there was often a pile-up!

We were given our safety instructions and told our commands – ‘over right’, ‘over left’ and ‘shake’, for when we got stuck to get us off the rocks, which our captain got extremely angry over if we didn’t do them as fast as he wanted us to! And then paddle forward and paddle backward – depending on which way the Captain angrily shouted at us to go – we often went down the rapids backwards, I reckon he did this because we never did our commands right or on time!!

We encountered some very vocal Chinese tourist groups and a very happy Thai group with a very camp guy on it who insisted on screaming worse than a girl and singing and dancing on the boat, which proved highly entertaining and caused a few splash-a-thons. We then drifted down to our bamboo raft and had a quick drift on that (basically just a long raft made of bamboo) and then we headed back to the van, and back to Chiang Mai.

Said goodbye to Mike and Sarah and then freshened up back at Yellow – the sweet cleaning lady had put my bags in the room already when I arrived! Uploaded the pix and blogs from over the last 3 days and went to get a small present for Nalinrat to say thanks for everything she’d done for me over Song Kran. I went to see her to say goodbye before heading to Laos – I hate saying goodbye to people I may never see again who’ve become really good friends. Though she may be coming to meet me in Koh Tao in June as it’s her Birthday and she wants a holiday and it’s when I’ll be there. It’ll be amazing if she can make it. I then went for a massage and ended up getting into bed around 1am. Up in the morning to head to Laos – woop, new country,(almost) new month! Had some of the best 3 days ever on this trip, will be lovely if I can see everyone in Laos – as that’s where almost everyone was going.

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