Lets take this gig global!!
Alright folks, How goes it? Well after 4 very hard and busy days I have made it back safely (well not quite but more on that later!). What can I say? what a few days..... After my last update me, Steve and Jonass (the Danish guy we met on the bus) took it easy the rest of the arvo then took a stroll around the famous Chiang Mai night market in the evening. A real big street market with everyting you can imagine and at half the prices of Bangkok! I managed (not sure how) to resist spending tho and just took it all in. I lossed the other guys after a while (its pretty busy) so wandered around on my own and had the best pork Red Thai Curry of the trip so far in the amazing food market. Had an interesting experience on my way back to the hostel tho when while cruising along minding my own business I was suddenly mobbed by about 6-8 Thai girls dragging me and touching me in all directions and places!! Just a little overwhelming to say the least.......... but judging by the state of the guys already "captured" in the bars I'm sure it was more down to my 'western wallet' than my 'boyish good looks'!! At first I was considering going with a couple but on closer inspection I politely declined..........lets just say that a few had um...fairly firm handshakes!! haha. The next day it was an early start as we were heading deep into the jungle for three days. As is usually the case in Asia it didnt start swimmingly as the guy was 45mins late picking us up then had a free tour of the city piling more and more people in and with some not having a clue what was going on or where they were supposed to go! After stopping at a market for supplies we finally got to what remotely looked like jungle/forest. A little sceptical after the Mickey Mouse morning shenanigans we had lunch then started hiking off. But blimey were we pleasantly surprised! Theres us thinking that it was gonna be some easy stroll through some forest at a leisurely pace....hell no!.....instead we were hit with a whopping steep hill and proper jungle terrain. Now for those that know me well you will know that I love a physical challenge so I naturally got stuck in but it was seriously not that easy.... so much so that a couple of girls bottled it and had to go back down and get a lift up!! We trekked/climbed for about 2 1/2 hours in total and finally reached our camp for the night at about 5pm, 1200m up on the edge of the most beautiful highlands!! As soon as we got there, the hard work was totally worth it! What a view! We were staying with a mountain village of less than a 100 people who only speak their own language!! Blimey they must be close friends!! After a much needed rest we had a good feed and dance and singalong with the children then chatted the night away with Jonass and the three Canadian peeps from our group, Megan, Kirsten and Marc. However, it was an early wake up call the next day (whether we liked it or not with the amount of cockrels running around!) but a leisurely start as we didnt set off til about 10am. but as soon as we left camp we were faced with yet another mountain face we had to climb up!! Luckily the first part was the worst and after tackling that for 45 mins it was downhill from then on (not as easy as it sounds on dusty near vertical rugged paths!!). Again it was rewarded tho as we stopped off at a waterfall/natural pool for swim time and lunch. After that more walking, criss-crossing Amazon like streams and valleys to another (even bigger) waterfall then onto our riverside camp for the night. By now the group had got smaller as the Canadians had gone off as they were only doing one night so it was just the hardcore left with us three and 6 Polish people. After a refreshing natural bath/shower in the river (yep, the river!!) we had another good feed then did what the Polish do best.........crack open 2 litres of Vodka!! they sure like their home brew, so much so that Tomas had lugged around an extra bag for two days full of the bloody stuff!! So, many (neat) shots down the line we were well and truley ready for bed by about 10pm!! Its safe to say that we all slept well that night!! The last day was action packed with a small walk in the morning then an elephant ride for an hour (a really good experience) followed by some white water rafting and bamboo rafting. Unfortunately due to it being well into the dry season the river wasnt as fast flowing as we'd hoped so apart from a few turbulent sections it was more just rafting than proper white water..will have to save that for NZ I guess!! Still good fun tho. Anyways, by now we were all completely knackered so had a late lunch then piled back in the truck (not me tho as I got Shotgun- wahoo!!) and headed for Chiang Mai where we all said our fond goodbyes and headed off on our own merry ways. Jonass is going off to Laos and Steve and I managed to catch the bus down to Bangkok (with the Poles coincidently!!). So a brilliant if not hard few days and many more "must do in your lifetime" boxes ticked!! The only downside is that I rolled and w***ed my left ankle on the last morning. I'm used to doing it after years of skating but it still bloody hurts and is swollen up like a Granny Smith at the mo!! So I'm hobbling around Bangkok now waiting for the bus tonight down to Phuket. Will just have to rest it on the beach for two weeks.......I know its such a shame!! haha. So yeah, Phuket is our next stop then from there I'm not so sure as we have a few people we are gonna meet up with down and around so will let you know at a later time. But for now tho this is Dan aka 'Rambo' signng out.... ....next stop 'Paradise'!!