Published: October 6th 2010October 4th 2010
A very leisurely morning as we did not have anything planned until this afternoon, a late breakfast in the exec lounge and then back to the room to relax before lunch. After lunch we made our way down to the lobby and waited to be picked up for our afternoon ATV tour around the mountains of Mae Rim.
After the one hour drive we made it to the office of Chiang Mai ATV where after signing a few documents and handing over some money we were given a quick overview of the beast we would be riding and turned loose on the test track. After a quick single lap I was waved off the track while Colli and the others were made to go again. I sat and waited as the others finished their laps and then it was time to get underway.
It was just our guide, Colli and myself for the 42km 3hr mountain view tour, the other 3 who were also from Australia were going on a more adventurous 50km 3hr trip in a different part of the mountain range. We set off along the road at a very leisurely pace with
the guide at the front, Colli in the middle and me playing tail end Charlie.
We stopped after a very slow 45 minutes or so at the top of the road at vacant block next to a local shop for about 10 minutes where the guide pointed out the village on the side of the mountain that we were heading to while we took some photos. It was about another 15-20 minutes by road again at a very slow pace before we turned off onto the dirt and started making our way into the forest.
It was all very sedate at this stage and I was hanging back giving Colli and the guide plenty of room just in case and becoming increasingly bored with the pace of things so started making my own fun as you do, I must have got a bit further behind then I thought after a while and came around a corner further up the road to find Colli and the guide waiting for me, he gave me a thumbs up to check everything was ok and I indicated it was all good and we were underway again.
As we got further up the
track it started to get a bit more rutted and Colli was handling herself pretty well. As we got closer to the village we broke out of the forest and back onto the road, we were part of the way up the hill heading through the village when the guide’s chain snapped causing an almost instant loss of forward momentum which Colli was lucky to avoid running up the back of him. We waited on a flatter area further up the slope while he carried out a changeover with the help of some of the locals.
We got underway again and stopped at the top briefly to take some photos before heading off road again through the village. Although technically it was a dirt road it was deteriorating in places and almost brought me unstuck at one point when I was paying more attention to the scenery on my left than I was to the road. I turned just in time to notice the hole I was heading for where part of the makeshift timber bridge had fallen away. After narrowly avoiding putting a wheel in the hole I was much more attentive for the rest of the trip.
There were several more gaps like this over the next few K’s before we reached the next viewpoint for some more photos and a drink.
Heading off on the next leg of our trip we were going along a track across the side of the mountain watching a local tend to the crops on her farm before the trail started going downhill. That’s when everything almost went pear shaped I had got to the crest and seen the ruts in the track down the other side and decided to give Colli and the guide some more breathing room.
From my vantage point I had the perfect view as Colli lost control and started heading directly for a massive rut which brought her to a very sudden stop and was perilously close to seeing her go over the handlebars with the quad bikes back wheels in the air it was a miracle that she did not go all the way over and have the bike land on top of her. After the guide checked she was ok he got her out of the hole she was stuck in and we continued on our way after I recovered from my near
heart attack and being glad Colli was not badly injured. It was only a short distance from here back to the road for our final leg of the trip back to the centre which was mostly conducted at a slightly faster pace than on the way to the mountain. Colli told me that she had injured her leg in her close encounter but there was not much we could do for her, she had badly bruised it and not broke it thank god.
After our long trip back to the hotel we decided to go to a Thai/Chinese restaurant just next to the Hotel. We ordered a couple of dishes and a drink each and listened to the band that was playing. They did a half decent job of a Bee Gees song and waited for our food to arrive.
I had ordered a Papaya Salad which I knew would be spicy but not full of seafood..... YUK! For all that know me I don’t do seafood, Paul didn’t even like it he thought it was too heavy on the fish sauce and the seafood that was in it was definitely was not fresh. We had ordered a
Beef Red Curry with noodles and Chicken Satays and stir fried Pork with garlic and pepper with rice, total bill 450Baht ($11Aus) the only good thing about this place was the price. This was probably the worst feed we have had so far and coming in second was the hotel dinner the night before which was Served Cold and I had ordered my steak well done and Paul ordered his medium rare as usual, both were bordering on blue when they arrived. When we were asked if we enjoyed our meal we told them it was cold and not very nice but we still had to pay for it.
We decided to have an early night as we are being picked up fairly early in the morning for our trip to The Elephant Nature Park although we did still manage to have a massage, Colli was feeling very sore and sorry for herself had a shower and heading to bed.
Till next time
Paul and Colli
There are more photos below