Hill Tribes,Elephants,Bamboo Rafting and Pythons!

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March 31st 2008
Published: April 1st 2008
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Hey Guys - we survived 3 days of the Jungle! So, where do we start!? lol Well, we met our Guide for the Trek just after we last spoke, and to be honest we were a little unsure of how he was going to be as his English seemed a little limited! His name was Singh - and he turned out to be Fab!! We also met Karyn from New York who was the only other person on the trip! We left on Saturday at 9am and began the drive to the local market to pick up food supplies for the next 3 days! The Market wasnt very impressive but sold all of the vitals and had a surprisingly clean toilet! With a proper loo seat! :-) Next stop after this was the Waterfall!! We hadnt been able to get the 'private' Trek that we wanted as people had pulled out so we were on a 'Tourist' trek and suspected to be surrounded by English everywhere we stopped, and there were a fair few milling around when we arrived but luckily they were on their way out and we ended up with the place to ourselves! :-) This place was ace, the waterfall itself was quite small (we guess as it is our first one! lol) but it was SO powerfull and cold! - see pics! lol It was so peacefull, just on the outskirts of the Jungle so gave us a taste of what was to come! We stopped for a rice and soup lunch on the way to Pong Duat Geyser & Hot Springs. After a good half an hour on very bumpy, single track hillside roads, giving way to the odd passing Elephant or two, our trusty big red Land Rover made it! (So the English are good for something! lol ) This was where we were to begin our days 2 hour Trekking session! The hot springs were amazing, we started half way down where the water temp was about 40 degrees, it was hot! The view of Doi Mon Lium was also amazing from here (see pics!) The Geysers themselves were also amazing but we decided not to test the water temperature here - under ground the water is 170 - 200 degrees and on the surface it is 90 - 100! lol It stank of Sulphur or Chicken Eggs as Singh put it! We trekked for around 2 hours only stopping for the odd water break, to look at wildlife, and to make Bamboo walking sticks! We passed a Fig tree and Singh proceeded to climb up it like a Monkey to grab some of the fruit for us to see! The trees and stuff were amazing, huge Banana trees, huge vines twisted around everything and massive amounts of enourmous Bamboo!! The sound in there was deafening! Made up of mainly tonnes of Secada (search for them on Google) who have a real high pitch sound that resembles a parking sensor on a car! lol You do get used to it after a while tho thank god! Afer about 2 hours we reached our Karen Hilltribe which was home for the night. It was amazing, they had a mental amount of animals roaming aorund, cows, buffalo, chickens, cats, dogs, pigs, you name it, they had it! lol The people were also great and so welcming. We had our own dorm which was a bamboo hut on stilts lined with duvets and Mozi nets which was cool. We took ice cold showers and went exploring! As with all the Hilltribes, we were shown an array of handmade crafts to buy and we bought a bracelet each for about 10p for a girl called Poddy! Well, we didnt sleep too well to say the least! In the pitch black of night we could hear something wrecking the place beneath our dorm and it sounded like it was snarling and all sorts. Things kept falling from the trees and landing on the tin roof which kept making us jump too! Afetr what must have been a good hour of freaking out and driving ourselves mad wondering what the hell had broken into our camp, we heard a door squeaking open which we thought was ours! lol It turned out to be someone going to the loo, and after surverying the area by torch light from the window, we decided to venture down ourselves! It was so freaky at the time but ws a great little midnight adventure! lol We went back up to bed after realising that there was nothing untoward going on, and awoke for breakfast woth the calling of the Cockrel! Once down at Breakfast, the snarling noise became apparant when the DOG came sniffing around the table, and Singh rekoned it was, as he put it 'the little tiny chickens' that freaked us out! Yeh right mate! lol We treked for around 2 hours passing some cool stuff like dried up rice fields, huge spider webs, leaves which close when you touch them and a random water pipe made of Bamboo leading down from a spring! We also passed through a Karen hilltribe who didnt seem all that friendly and when Guy asked to take a picture of one of them, she asked him for 10 Baht! lol We had another 2hour trek until we reached the Elephant camp and had a noodle lunch! The gys at the camp were cool and the Elephants were amazing - and HUGE! We rode the Elephants for around an hour admiring the views and how amazing the Elephants were at walking along such narrow hillside pathways without falling off the edge! We got to feed them bananas too which was cool. Once we finished the ride it was about a 10 min walk to yet another Karen Hilltribe where we had our Bamboo raft made for s which was pretty impressive! The entire thing is made of Bamboo and nothing else! It was great! We rafted for around 2 hours, passing bathing buffalo and random hill tribes until we reached the Lahoo Tribe we were to call home for the night! As they have no electricity or showers, we had to bathe in the river and walk around by candle light! It was a fab experience tho! We had the best dinner of the trip so far but had to cut it far too short as we were invaded by giant bugs who just kept dive bombing into the bowls :-( After a few games around the fire with the locals, we hit the sack. For our 3rd day we had a bit of a lye-in and after about 8 rounds of French Toast and jam, we hit the raft again for the next 3 hours! Well, after the previous days peacefull trip punting down the river, we were in for a shock today! lol We hit rapid after rapid for the entire journey! So it came as no surprise when it all ended in tears and we crashed the raft! lol We all went flying - vicky rather spectacularly into the river grazing both legs and feet in the process! Battered and bruised however we refused to give up - to be honest there was no way we could! lol And continued on our journey until Karyn managed to get her foot wedged through the raft between two of the bamboo poles! It could have been a whole lot worse as the water level was so low and we were rafting over countless rocks! After a fair bit of panicing we managed to stop and release her foot which was a little black and blue but unharmed besides that! From here until our destination there seemed to be little more in the way of action and we stopped off for a lunch of Pad Thai. On our way home - on dry land!, we stopped at a Snake farm - much to Guys disgust! lol And after surveyng what was in the number of cages, we sat down to watch the snake show! lol Well it was mental, guys picking up poisonous snakes in their mouths and all sorts. There were prob about 7 of us in total watching the show and who was the nutter who agreed to have a Python put around their neck and give it a big old kiss!? Vicky of course! lol We managed to sneak into the Monkey part and shake hands with one quickly which was cool! :-) After this we heasded back to the guesthouse and a nice hot shower! Oh by this time it had started to rain!!! Not impressed! So today is our final day as we fly to Bangkok early tomorrow to spend 2 days in Kanchanaburi and visit the Brige over the River Kwai and the Tiger Temple which should be fun - if not a little touristy! After that it is on to the island of Koh Samui for sun,sea,sand,tan and Scuba! :-) So until the next instalment love to all and take care! V & G xxxx
Vickys Shout Outs! -
Shophie - Thanks for the text Cus, it is great to hear you have your Red belt I hope you wear it with pride as you well and truely deserve it! I saw some cool Boxing gloves here y'day but on closer inspection they were a bit rubbish but I will keep my eyes open!
H - Heard about the Chicken Pox mate hope your getting better and losing the spots! :-)
Callum - Happy Birthday!!! :-)
Aunty Sue - Enjoy Chessington! lol Dont forget to keep your hands up on all of the rides! :-)
Emma - Happy 21st Huni!!! Im gutted I cant be there as I know you will be celebrating it well and truely in style!

Guys Shout Outs! -
Hi everyone, hope that your all well, and not missing us too much!!!! Keep reading the blog, hope that you are enjoying being part of our trip too!!!! See ya all soon Guy x

Additional photos below
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1st April 2008

dear me what frightful creatures they are! look forward to the next update did you manage to keep the leaf hats to bring home?
1st April 2008

Great fun!
Hi there you two. Great blog..........looks like you are both enjoying yourselves, sorry to hear you had a bit of a tumble off of the raft Vic but hope not too bad! What an adventure, you need a bit of a rest after that tho. I am really excited for you with what you have planned as it sounds great. I hope that is a bracelet on your ankle Vic and not a tattoo? You two take care of yourselves, thanks for all the news, keep it coming......Fondest love and hugs, Mum xxxxx
1st April 2008

3rd April 2008

Great Blog!
Wow looks like you two having an amazing time!! thanks for keeping us updated-Vicky Walker kissing a snake what were you thinking of!!!!!hope your having a lovely time in Bangkok x x
9th April 2008

Avec straw hat!! hahahahah Miss You Vicky Luv!! xx

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