Have just arrived back from 3 days trekking in the jungle. It's the best thing anyone could ever do, I'm sure of it. Had a group of 11 really nice people and 2 great guides (Chai and Nong) to take us. First day (friday) I was picked up at 9am and we drove for about an hour to a small village in the mountains just south of Chiang Mai, there we had elephant rides and ate lunch before being taken further up the mountain where we were dropped off and started our trek. The views were beautiful and we passed several different villages where people were growing and making rice, making clothes and jewellry and cattle farming. Stopped at a waterfall to have a well deserved swim and then carried on. We walked for several hours until about 6pm where we reached a small village where we were to make camp for the night. People from the village and our 2 guides cooked us a very tasty meal and bought us beer and water. The guides gave us some rice water to try which is a spirit they make from rice (obviously) which actually tastes like tequilla, but stronger. One of the old men from the village was smoking tobacco in banana leaves, so naturally I asked to try, and could not stop giggling at EVERYTHING. Turns out it contained a fruit called Tamarin and gets you high. Sorry mum but when in Rome... (one of the many phases I will remember from the trek.) Same, same but different, is another, Thai's love to say that!
All in all an exetremely eventful night which wrapped up at about 3am after 13 BOTTLES of rice water (Nong said it's a new record for one of his treks! Nothing to do with me, however), 40 beers and several trees worth of Tamarin!
Woke the next day at around 9am for breakfast and a quick wash before trekking for 2 hours solid up hill. I don't mean a slope, I mean rock climbing but without safety ropes. Bloody hard work especially when you are suffering from the night before. I'm sure I wasn't the only one. Stopped for lunch when we reached the top of the mountain which consisted of noodles and veg Nong had prepared that morning, in a banana leaf container and chop sticks made from a plant stem Chai made for us along the way. Then we started the decend, where I decided I needed a pretty sturdy stick to help me after falling 3 times and earning the nickname Bambi because of my shakey legs and disability to balance. We walked for another 2 hours until reaching our hut by a river which we were staying in for the night. We lit a fire and sat chatting but were all asleep by 10, absolutely shattered!
Final day of the trek began with breakfast and a quick swim. Walked for 2 hours and waited for a lift to take us to have our lunch. After lunch we drove a bit further to a nearby river where we did some bamboo rafting. Such a laugh! It was 3 to a raft and the aim is to get the other people off their rafts and everyone gets absolutely soaked! Hillarious!
A jokes end to a fun weekend. Made some good mates and had some good laughs (not just as a result of smoking too much Tamarin). I recommend it to anyone. I would go again tomorrow. I didn't shower for 3 days, just washed in the river. Didn't brush or wash my hair for 3 days nor did I have a mirror to look at myself in, it was bliss. I lived out of a small backpack and wore the same clothes everyday. Who needs material things?