still in chiang mai and still just about alive!
monday we spent having a preparation day for the trek - ie doing nothing. actually in the monring we went to 'monk chat' - which is fairly self explanatory in that you chat to the monks! the main wat (temple) in the city is huge and there is a little section of the garden with tables where you are encouraged to talk to the monks so that they can practice their english. i thought it may have been a little awkward seeing as us and monks don't have huge amounts in common (morals, virtues and an all round holiness aside!) but it was actually quite fun - they were very nice and i think they liked us too until zoe asked them to recite the whole story of buddah (rather lengthy and difficult to explain when you're not talking in your own language!) Also the surreal moment was slightly ruined when the elder monk got a text message and whipped out his mobile! all very strange. after that we just sat around all day at julie's playing cards with an english guy called sam who has been travelling for 8 months (!) and was sharing our dorm.
yesterday we went on the trek (feels likes so much longer than that). it was awesome if not a little tiring - it was all up hill climb on day one and some of it was properly steep. luckily after our first dip in a waterfall you could no longer tell what was sweat and just water - bonus! its also so exciting cos its proper jungle - really really thick and dense with leaves as big as us and lot of creepy crawly things (tobes - you would have loved it with the old macro on the camera - so many things to take pictures of!) we spent the night sleeping in a bamboo house in a hill tribe - mighty exciting and we had a brilliant guide who was such a joker (in his limited english). there was ten in our group - 2 men and 8 women - 4 dutch, 2 french, 2 irish and us 2 english - we were the youngest but it was still a good laugh. today we walked downhill which was a bit more pleasant but it did just invite plenty of slipping over. we did another water fall and then white water rafting (which was just amazing fun) and bamboo rafting (very chilled and relaxed). all in all a very exciting excursion. cant believe we only left yesterday tho and we are already back - feels as tho we were away for days. also we have come back slightly worse for wear - not jsut smelly, so so dirty and tired but also scratched and bitten and battered. zoe in particular looks like she's been to war but she had a particular knack of falling in streams and at one point she actually flew!
so more massages are on the agenda for tomorrow! haha i love it. tho maybe something a little more gentle is required!
load and loads of love to everyone - hope everyone is happy xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
charlotte - how amazing is julies - great tip! - so chilled and relaxed it makes it hard to even bother to move and go anywhere. plus i was particularly excited when they greeted us on our return from trekking with 'zoeeee, feliciteeeee, ow was your trek?!' they know our names which is awesome. just heading back there now for some dinner - i'll have a banana milkshake on your behalf (attempted a banana pancake the other day but it just dominated me!) ! xxxx