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Trekking & Elephant Riding

<b style="">10/2/06 &#8211; Trekking Day 2 &#8211; sunny and hot</b>

When I woke at 7am I saw Nathan had no blankets on so I covered him up. I felt like I'd been waking all night from cold and the hardness of the bed and needing to change position. The roosters started crowing at about 5am &#8211; it was pitch black and they just don’t stop. I got up and braved the toilet &#8211; quite an experience!

Toy had the fire going and water boiling so I made a cuppa and tried to catch up on my diary. I wandered around the village and watched it come to life. Some children came to sit around the fire. Toy cooked us a great breakfast &#8211; scrambled egg, toast and fruit. We set off at 9am to a chorus of five little children yelling bye from their house. So cute! Trekked past paddy fields, remote homes and little streams.

Walked half an hour till we got to the elephant camp. Paid 20B for a bunch of green bananas to feed them. Their trunks are like alien vacuum cleaners. We boarded our elephants &#8211; 2 per elephant on a seat on top and you are so high. A trainer sat on its neck as we started off but soon got off and walked. Our elephant was No. 4 and No. 5 had a 2-1/2 year old baby that followed along behind, but no rider. They walk very slowly and amazingly manoeuvred around boulders in narrow tracks and steep inclines down to streams. One part was a narrow track with a cliff on my side that was really freaky and I hoped his big feet wouldn’t slip. There was much pooing and weeing in huge volumes. It was quite relaxing and slow and we went up a huge hill with just the sound of the wooden bell clanging around their neck. Nathan and I took turns to sit on the neck. They have really long prickly hairs on their heads. We rode for an hour and pulled up at a sloped platform for us to disembark.

Our bags had been hooked on the seats behind us. We then walked about 40 mins. &#8211; mostly uphill to the next village. There were some long killer hills. We had lunch at this village &#8211; noodles with veggies, watermelon and pineapple. As usual we could buy drinks and chips. After lunch we explored around the village &#8211; they actually had some rice growing in the paddies and two big water buffalo were wallowing in the mud. Met a girl who was pounding the rice and wanted me to have a go. You put your foot on this big wooden lever and then it dropped on the rice in a wooden stump. She was dressed in a white tunic which means she’s not married. Most girls get married at 14-15. This village had 70 people and were Buddhist Karen. Also watched some women on looms weaving cloth for their clothes. They use beautiful bright colours and made great patterns. They sat with their legs apart with a wooden pole between their feet and a strap around their back and moved several wooden poles around. It was so clever.

Then we walked another hour to our waterfall camp. There is no village here, but a village of huts built for trekkers. I was disappointed that there were no villagers to meet. This time we have individual huts &#8211; holes in walls and floors everywhere, mosquito net and thin mattress and a blanket hanging down for a door. We are beside a stream and waterfall where we had a swim in the freezing water. There are five huts for doubles, guide’s hut, cooking hut and kitchen. There is a fire area beside the stream. Nathan and Andy went off to gather firewood. Anna is a big joker and loves to tell jokes.

Dinner was a feast &#8211; turnip soup, omelette, curried tofu and potato and rice. After dinner we sat around the fire, some played cards, we did tongue twisters and the families went to bed at 8.30 pm. Our little hut had so many holes in the floor that when we dropped the mosquito net I tucked it in all the way around so nothing could crawl in from underneath

Breakfast time

Breakfast time


Waving goodbye as we leave their village

Waving goodbye as we leave their village


Wobbly bridge crossing

Wobbly bridge crossing


Wobbly bridge

Wobbly bridge


Nath

Nath


Passing village homes

Passing village homes


Baby elephant

Baby elephant


Feeding elephants - they inhale the bananas

Feeding elephants - they inhale the bananas


Fighting over bananas

Fighting over bananas


Patting an elephant - they are prickly &#38; rough

Patting an elephant - they are prickly &#38; rough


Walking up the platform to get on

Walking up the platform to get on


Nath having a go sitting sround the neck

Nath having a go sitting sround the neck


My turn around the neck

My turn around the neck


Sqeezing past big boulders

Sqeezing past big boulders


Lady weaving

Lady weaving


Lunchtime - meeting the locals

Lunchtime - meeting the locals


Pounding grain

Pounding grain


Nath pounding grain

Nath pounding grain


More weaving

More weaving


Waterfall we camped beside

Waterfall we camped beside


Our individual huts

Our individual huts


Camp kitchen

Camp kitchen


Dinner time

Dinner time


Keeping warm around the campfire

Keeping warm around the campfire


Keeping warm &#38; dodging the smoke

Keeping warm &#38; dodging the smoke

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Thailand

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