Today was the first day of our 2 day trek. We started off our day by going bamboo rafting down the river. It was soooooo much fun. All the locals were lined up along the river banks splashing water at the rafts. It was awesome going down the river rapids too. I think today was the first day of the ‘Songkhran Festival’ (Thai New Year). Chiang Mai is supposed to be the best place to go. It’s when the whole town has a massage water fight for a week!!!
We drove to a restaurant in an open van (with locals drenching us with water on the way) and had some yummy fried rice. After our tummies had settled we started our trek to the jungle. A few of us were a little behind the group (putting on our shoes) and we went to catch up and ended up lost in the first couple minutes!! We had to explain to a local we were looking for our guide and he zipped away on a motorcycle and told us to wait. Our trek was rather difficult, going up and down hills in temperatures over 30 degrees. I was the slowest and not a happy camper being left at the back the with Thai guide who didn’t exactly have the most fluent English. Our first proper stop was at a waterfall at it was the first time in the whole trip that I actually felt cold!
After a couple hours of walking (which seemed like days) we arrived at our bamboo hut in the mountains, the whole thing was made of bamboo. It had awesome views of the jungle. Our bed consisted of a bamboo mat with a 3 cm thick mattress on top, surrounded by a mosquito nett. After relaxing our feet, a few villagers came in one by one trying to sell us stuff. First the scarves and jewelry followed by the flute man. He was like "I know sing song, you know sing song?!" Si bought a flute for 100B. We ate green curry, vegetables and rice and drank beer by candle light. I forgot to mention one of our tour guides had been on the booze all day (but he was still faster than me!!!) and he was hilarious. He showed us stick games and one memorable quote from the trek was "Same same… but different". To put this saying in context a man might be trying to sell you a Gucci watch and say "same same but different" (same as a Gucci but fake). While yarning to our other 10 trekkers we tried smoking banana leaves and tobacco (he told us it keeps the mosquitoes away?)
After a looooooooooong day we got ready to go to bed. I went to go to the bathroom but got too scared because there was a big shiney black spider in the squat toilets so I got the Colombian girl to watch over me with her torch. I had a relatively good sleep, mainly because I was so tired.
P.S. I had to climb out of the hut to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and was sooooooooo scared I had to get Simon to come with me. Kiwis are like wimps when it comes to big spiders and snakes!