Sorry its been such a long time since we last wrote a blog but we have been so busy doing everything from cooking classes to bamboo rafting, so we will try to remeber everthing and fill you in as much as possible.
Well we arrived in Chaing Mai after a great train ride and decided to walk to the centre to find a guest house (turns out it was alot further than we first thought), on the way we met Grant and Erica a couple from Canada and we all tagged together as its always more fun that way! We alked for what seemed like an eternity with all our backpacks but eventually found a cheap and good hotel to stay in! Which is situated in a moat which is really cool! Of course we went off exploring straight away and came across a few temples which were, as always, spectacular looking! We had lunch and dinner with Grant and Erica and arranged to do a cooking class and go to the Muay Thai (kick boxing) with them the next day!
The cooking class was amazing, we got to do a tour of the local market and pick up all the ingrediants we needed for the day. There was only us four and a french girl so the groups were kept small which was even better! The first thing we made was Fried Rice which Adam loved as its his favourite and is always a safe thing to eat if the restaurant looks a bit dodgy! After this we made Spring rolls and papaya salad and then after a break we made green thai curry and deep fried bananas. Of course we got to eat everything we ate so we were stuffed and couldnt finish alot of it! I think it was the best way to see the Thai culture as we were doing everthing exactly as they do on a daily basis and the teacher was also teaching the women how to be good thai wives and how if the husband ever really annoys you, you can club him with the pestel (as we were using a very heavy pestle and mortar). In the evening we skipped dinner and went straight to the muay thai kick boxing which was more brutal than i expected, which is silly the clue is in the name i think! We saw blood from the very start and some of the boys fighting were no older than 12 or 13 so that was actually a little sad as i didnt want them to get hurt! The next day we were off for 3 days on a trekking tour which all 4 of us were excited about, until we saw our mode of transport. That was to say there was 12 of us piled in, day packs and all into the back of a truck with 2 benches for the 1hr journey which in thai time meant at least an hour and a half! We did arrive safe and sound though and the rain had already begun to fall, little did we know that shortly we would be taken far from our comfort zones and lead across a path that took you to your boudaries (especially me). We trekked for just 2 hours on the first day in order to reach ourt place to stay, which was with the Karen hill tribe village. We all stayed in one big room (a family from Holland with amazingly well behaved children, a couple of honey mooners from Israel, a couple from Sweeden and us 4). in the big room was bamboo, that was our bed! It actually wasnt that uncomfortable but the snoring coming from someone down the line was very loud and kept us awake most of the night! lol! Up early the next day to start our 5 hour trek, of course it was till raining so all weather proofed up we set on our way. The trek started very well and we were all enjoying it alot but when we got higher up into the hils the edges we were walking on got smaller and slippier. We walked across a brdige made out of bamboo with no hand rail and it was over a very steep fall, it is at times like these you could have a panick attack because you have suddenly realised that bamboo is slippery in the rain and you are scared of heights or you could jsut be brave and walk across it holding adams hand for safety, so after a minute to regain my composure i did it! (even the children were less scared than i was). Alot of the walk was down hill which sounds easy but mud, leaves and rain dont go well, virtually all of us slipped at one point but none of us off any edges thankgod, i came out with a few bruises and scrathes, and as if that wasnt enough adam thought he would squish my hand with his foot! (obvioulsy it was only an accident!) We got to the point where we thought the trek would never end and our tour guide kept saying 5 minutes (even though we walked for another half hour) but it did and i was very impressed at what we had achieved that day! Having no real hiking experience it was quite tough and with the weather being so bad even our water proofs werent water proof anymore! But on the trek we saw the most amazing views and waterfalls, so it made it all worth while. The trek wasnt physically exhausting for either of us which was great but with the constant concentration to not fall on your arse we were quite tired at the end of the day. We stayed with another hill tribe viallge that night and it again it was great to see them all in their own environment, there were all age ranges that lives there from babies to an old lady who seemed to be about 90 years old but she still tried to sell us the bracelets she had made. After watching a little boy of about 3 trying to sell bracelets to us he eventually succeded in selling 2, when his dad came home he seemed very proud to hand over the money he had earned and informing his dad of his good work. Believe it or not these children of the viallages do actually attend school so we were very pleased to hear that!
On the last day we trekked for only half hour along a road (so no danger this time), we had lunch which became quite eventful as Grant has his hand under the table and this spider bit him, so he squished it but it was massive it had legs the size of twigs! The tour guide said that it wasnt poisonous and compared to the others that one was pretty small! Arggggggggg! After lunch we went bamboo rafting which was the most fun, we even went down a small water fall in it! Adam fell off which was hilarious to all but he certainly wasnt the first or the last to do it! For those of us who didnt fall in the tour guide made sure we were wet enough to have looked like we had! Then came the elephant riding which was great but very sad! The guy driving the elephant was very mean and wouldnt even let us feed him! he kepf waking him on the head with his metal pole thing! We heard scream coming from the Israel girl as their elephant had decided to have an itch and it almost tipped them out of their chair! We had another elephant tied to the back of us and at a fork in the mud one went one way and of course the other went the other way! The tour guide sorted it our before it got too far though! It was actually quite scary being up that high and sooooo uncomfortable and knowing that the elephant was walking in the slippery mud, but it was such a great experience we loved every minute of it!
And that was the end of our trip, we went out for a good bye meal with Grant and Erica and we were very sad to leave but we have arrived after 33 hours of travelling to Ko Samui (one of the islands in southern thailand) and we are gona spend a week island hoping and sunbathing, i think we deserve the rest! Hope everyone is well back at home, we miss you all lots! Sylvie the pictures are great, they made me cry!
Love to all! x x x x