We had booked a 2 day trek out into the National park to see some of the countryside around Chang Mai as it is spectacular. We were picked up from our hotel at a reasonable hour and were then off in a group of 15 people - all of differing nationalities. The first stop was a market to get food for the trip - not too exciting. It was then into the hills for another hour or so until we stopped for lunch, which consisted of rice with the odd vegetable thrown in. We then went off walking to a waterfall - a short walk of about 10-15 minutes. The waterfall was quite pretty and you could swim in the pool underneath it. I decided to take some photos of it, lost my footing and slid slowly but not very gracefully into the river beneath the waterfall. I was taken by the current downstream but managed to regain my footing. Unfortunately I was soaked and so was the camera. Fran was already to jump in but fortunately didn't. The was no real damage done - except to my ego and the camera! This was not the way to impress the other people on the trip. After I had dried off and changed, we moved on to a temple with a large Buddha which overlooked the valley - views were spectacular (sorry no photos - just take my word!). It was then off walking into the forest. We had a couple of hours walk to our overnight stop via another waterfall (I was not allowed anywhere near the edge!). The walk through the forest was enjoyable but plenty of steep parts mainly downhill - lots of good views.We arrived at our accommodation at about 5:00 - this was a series of huts in the jungle by a stream. It was what was left of an old village that had been renovated. The sleeping was fairly basic - on raised bamboo platforms with blankets. After dinner, we sat round the fire, drinking beer, waiting for the new year and being entertained by a couple of the party who could play the guitar that the guide had brought along. Unfortunately, a lot of the songs were from the 80s so were far too modern for us to know them! There were a few celebrations for the Australian New Year (at 8:00 pm). The beer started to kick in and a few of the party went out looking for some food for the barbecue - all they came back with was a crab and a frog! At this point, we decided we would celebrate the English New Year the following morning (7am) to went to bed!We had a fairly miserable nights sleep as it was cold in the huts (down to about 14C), the bed was hard and the pillows were tiny and seemed to be made of rocks. I was warm enough as I had brought along a sweater but Fran was cold so could not sleep - which meant I wasn't allowed to sleep either! When we got up, everybody was complaining about the beds as much as the cold - we must have been toughened up by travelling hard class on the trains. The party split at this point - some were spending another 2 days trekking - we were going back. Those that were left were wondering if they would get any sleep the following night as well. We left and had a walk through some of the hill tribe settlements - these were Karen people who had come across from Burma. They were very similar to the hill people we had seen in China and Vietnam - except Thailand is doing a lot of work to bring them into the 21st century. All the villages had electricity, hospital provision and schooling as well as agricultural projects to wean them off their previous cash crops of opium and marijuana.We finished the walk at lunchtime and after lunch had an elephant trek. The elephant keepers looked at Fran and I and decided we should have the largest elephant - can't think why! The ride was a little scary as there was no seat belt and we were hanging on for dear life at some points. The highlight for Fran was that she got to feed the elephant with bananas as we were going along - the elephant would put it's trunk on top of it's head and you put the banana into it - a little dangerous if the elephant moved. After the elephant ride we had a ride down the river on a bamboo raft. We were expecting some serene trip down the river sitting in wicker chairs on the raft. The reality was that you sat on the raft and got wet every time we went through any turbulent water. In addition, the Thais were out in force and had decided to practice their new year's customs (they celebrate the Buddhist new year in April) - this is throwing water at everybody. It meant that we ended the trip rather wet. Still it was good fun - the Thais certainly know how to have a good time.We went back to Chang Mai and I found out the bad news about the camera -it needs to go to Bangkok to see if they can fix it. So it was off shopping for a cheap camera.