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Trekking & Rafting

That was the sleep from hell!! It wasn't as cold but our platform must have been on a slope and we kept slipping downhill all night, with our blankets nearly falling outside except they were caught by the mossie net. I felt like I tossed and turned all night. I checked the time once and it was 3.30 am. I got up at 6.45 am as it was light enough – although I still had to light the candle in the toilet. We are in a deep valley with mountains all around. It is so peaceful – just birds and the sound of the waterfall. It was nice not to hear the roosters.

We went and sat by the fire and had a cuppa and Nathan a hot chocolate. Mack (the 19 year old) had bamboo sticks in the fire and one of them shot a missile of rice out of it missing Nathan by cms! He had put rice and coconut milk in bamboo pieces and then stood them up in the coals. After they have cooled he strips the outside layers off with a machete to reveal a column of sweet cooked rice. It was so yummy. For breakfast we had hard boiled eggs, fruit and toast. We cooked our own toast over the fire wedged between 2 pieces of bamboo.

We set off trekking and walked about an hour through forests of trees with big teak leaves thick on the ground. These are the ones they weave onto their rooves. Toy got a couple of green ones and made Nathan and Lara a hat each, pinned together with twigs. At the top of the ridge we could see all over the valley below that was green with crops. The start of civilization. We walked downhill and arrived at the "Jungle 7-11" where we could buy drinks.

We waited about half an hour for our songthaew. Nathan, Andy, Toy and Jamal all played foot soccer with a bamboo ball. A guy arrived with a BB gun and set up some plastic milk bottles on a ledge. You could pay 5B a shot. Nathan had 3 shots and on the third go hit it and was the only one to do so. He was pretty excited. We piled into the songthaew and drove about 10 mins to a village for lunch. We had noodles and fruit. While we were there elephants came past taking people for rides. Some came over to us and we fed them pineapple and watermelon skins. One had a really small baby that was so cute so we all went to feed and pat him. I bought a 50B water bottle cover as it had the weaving on it that we had watched them do in the village. I also bought two small zippered cases for 40B.

We then drove 10 mins to where we went bamboo rafting. Three of us went per raft with one driver with a pole and one of us used the other pole. It was very long and had about 8 big pieces of bamboo strapped together. Kath and I sat in the middle on a raised section so that our bums weren’t in the water which comes up between. Mind you, when you go in some white water you get wet anyway and when you went down the big rapids you got wet to your waist as it all went underwater. Nathan stood at the back pushing with a pole. It took him a little while to get the hang of it, but soon was powering until he lost his balance and fell overboard! Luckily he caught onto the back of the raft and pulled himself up. However, his thongs floated off and we lost them.

It was so idyllic, floating down, watching bright blue and green butterflies, going past homes, dodging big rocks and low branches. Amwan our driver was a cheeky 14 year old who would yell out 'monkey’ and when we turned around would make a big splash with his pole to wet us and say it was a crocodile. If we got close to people on little beaches they would splash us. Periodically we would hit a bit of white water and go much faster and then we had one big drop down a mini waterfall where the whole raft went right under water. Was so much fun. As it was Saturday there were lots of families sitting on platform huts along the river having picnics and some children were swimming. It was so pretty. We rafted for about half an hour and then pulled in. They untied the rafts and then put the bamboo poles on a ute to drive them back to where we started and then re-assemble them. We all changed out of our wet pants and I bought a photo for 100B. We drove an hour back to Chiang Mai, calling in at “Trekkers Company” where we gave back our bags and picked up a map of where we trekked. We started near Samueng and finished near Sampatong. We said goodbye to Toy and Mack our guides and invited them to join us all at Riverside Restaurant at 8.30 pm for drinks.

We got dropped back at our guesthouse, Baan Orapin, and we were in an upstairs room in the new villa. It is 2400B!! but is very beautiful and even has a jug to make a cuppa.

After a shower and call home we walked over the footbridge and there was a festive atmosphere along the River Ping with food stalls and music and all the locals out buying dinner. The food looked so good but didn’t think I’d risk it.

We walked up to our massage place in the bazaar and both had a ½ hour shoulder, arm and head massage for 50B each followed by ½ hour foot massage 50B each. It was so good – my calves and upper back were really sore when he massaged. After that we had a game of pool which we both played so badly but I ended up winning. It was 8.15 pm so we caught a tuk tuk to the Riverside Restaurant. We met up with the whole crew, including the guides. It was a great atmosphere on the river with the bridge all lit up and a band playing. Had some dinner, said bye to everyone – may meet Andy and Noella in London and walked home at 10pm to collapse in our beautiful 4 poster bed with the best white doona.

Cooking Rice in Bamboo

Cooking Rice in Bamboo


Cooking rice in campfire

Cooking rice in campfire


breakfast time

breakfast time


Nath outside our hut

Nath outside our hut


The toilet hut

The toilet hut


How to carry a rooster around!!

How to carry a rooster around!!


Ready to go

Ready to go


Leaf hat made for him

Leaf hat made for him


Playing with rattan ball

Playing with rattan ball


Only one to hit the tin

Only one to hit the tin


Finished trek

Finished trek


About to go rafting

About to go rafting


Rafts being disassembled & then re-assembled

Rafts being disassembled & then re-assembled


On our raft

On our raft


Nath

Nath


Group on return

Group on return


Map of where we hiked

Map of where we hiked


The UK couple

The UK couple


Meeting up for dinner in town

Meeting up for dinner in town


Lunchtime

Lunchtime


Nath rafting before falling in!!

Nath rafting before falling in!!


Rafting

Rafting


Nath rafting

Nath rafting


Dinner with everyone

Dinner with everyone


Back in town

Back in town


Back in town

Back in town


Foot massage time

Foot massage time


Foot massage for Nath

Foot massage for Nath


Playing some pool

Playing some pool


Our new room

Our new room


Baan Orapin

Baan Orapin


Baan Orapin Gardens

Baan Orapin Gardens

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Thailand

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