14th December 2010: Day 5
It was the time to leave the lake :(
In the morning we had our final wildlife spotting by longtail boat which was as always incredible. We then (with a heavy heart) packed our bags and left, it was wierd despite being so cut off from the modern world we had absolutely loved our time at the Lake. Kate had left earlier that morning as she was trekking that day but as we were all headed to Arts Treehouse Lodge in the jungle we vowed to meet up there.
After our two hour journey we reached the lodge and realised our new neighbour was Kate!
Later that evening we got together for dinner and far too many beers and cocktails. We went to Nungs to experience the wierdest music I have ever heard played at a Thai bar and Kate ordered them to change the music (she was good friends with them). Ian and I decided (no we weren't drunk....not at this stage) to get the traditional Thai bamboo tattoo's we were hoping to get. It was amazing how our tattooist (Dom) made the tool. He took a length of bamboo, using string he tied five needles to it in a line and then melted candle wax over it to hold the whole thing in place. It was all very clean and so amazing. It was painful, as is any tattoo, but in a totally different way, you can feel every needle individually rather than with a gun when it feels as though your flesh is being cut.
Our tattoo's are traditional Thai tattoo's using Buddha writing, Ians is a traditional temple tattoo and they say it has magic that will protect him however there are things you can't do or the magic goes. I think Ian has killed the magic already....lol. Mine means luck in all four ways. When I get back I am going to research them more but as Kate had a Buddist upbringing she confirmed at the time what we were being told.
The tattoo's are quite incredible, very little soreness and no scabbing....woo hoo!!
15th December 2010: Day 6
After an early breakfast Ian and I went elephant trekking, Kate left for Krabi where she was going for a bit of luxury. After inviting us to holiday at her parents in Melbourne she left. Ian and I boarded the back of the truck to head off trekking and arrived at our destination about 30 minutes later. All the elephants were grazing, ready for work and our elephant was summoned. She was a 35 year old female and seemed pretty spirited, regularly making noises like predator!!
Our elephant guide was very lovely to our elephant and they understood each other perfectly. After the first half of the trek we stopped at a waterfall to rest before starting the journey back. A little in to the journey the elephant guide asked if Ian would like to sit on the elephants neck. He climbed over thinking it was just for a short way. It was about 10 minutes later when Ian realised he was there for the duration. Desperately trying to keep his flip flops on and hold on he was quite a funny sight. Occassionally his body started shaking madly which the elephant must have wondered what the hell he was doing!! The tourist on elephants coming the other way were equally amused and now Ian stars in many of their holiday snaps...lol. Eventually we asked the guide to grab his flip flops from him and he managed to relax a little the rest of the way round.
After the trek we fed our elephant two baskets of banana's and pineapple and headed back to our hut.
That evening after dinner a couple started chatting to us. They too were from England and actually were from about 15 miles away from us....wierd! We go half way across the world, in to a jungle and meet people who grew up locally. Kate and Alex were lovely and we chatted to them all evening, we realised we were on the same trek the next day which promised to be pretty punishing!!
Alex and Ian ended up getting their Chang eyes on and we all headed off to our respective treehouses.
16th December 2010: Day 7....or killer trek day as I now know it!!!
Again we had an early brekkie and at 8:30am we headed off on our trek with our guide (who was crazy!). We knew the trek would be quite a long one but NOTHING prepared us for the craziness that ensued.
Our trek went through the jungle to a couple of different waterfalls. Along narrow slippery hillside paths and through fast running rivers. There were times when we were literally hanging from trees to stop us falling down the rocky cliff faces. We both felt like we were monkeys hanging from anything that would hold us!
Our guide told us he was taking us to a big waterfall and to get there we would need to walk through the river. Kate and Alex were close behind us with their guide and we all stopped at the river that we needed to cross to walk up to the waterfall. The river was deep and fast flowing, to start with we were all rather concerned about our trainers so removed them to cross. After crossing the shoulder deep rapids (and me nearly being washed away!) none of us could care less about our shoes getting wet, all too concerned about stubbing toes we put our shoes back on. After what felt like hours of precarious and sometime pretty dangerour negotiation of the river we got to the waterfall. It was huge!! Incredible and of the 66 people who went through the jungle that day only us, Kate and Alex and another unknown man made it.....we were very proud and felt very adventurous!!
We sat down for lunch and fed some to the hundreds of gathered fish (Ian reckoned them to be Rudd). Our guide set about carving us bamboo cups and boiling water for a tea/coffee. Alex and I felt VERY British drinking Liptons tea in the Thai jungle!
The guide also made Ian and Alex bamboo beer mugs (bigger than our teacups).
We then started our killer trek back....I honestly thought I was going to die. I am not great in the heat, especially when it's so humid. My head was pounding and I felt like I was going to be sick. But around 6pm we made it back, bleeding from rubbed ankles (Ian) and leech bites (Ian and Alex suffered worse with about 10 each!). We fell in to the shower and headed for some much needed dinner and more Chang!!!
We worked out we trekked 17 kilometers up and down massive hills, sheer cliff faces and through rapids...and it took us 9.5 hours including our hour long lunch break. Pretty amazing for the people who don't walk!!!
That's it for now......photo's soon we promise!!!