I failed to mention in my last entry that we were about to embark on a 2 day jungle trek in northern Thailand.  So yesterday (Thursday) we got picked up at 9am and headed out in our little jeep out of Chiang Mai. There were 7 of us in total- Me, Vic, Kimmy and Paul from Scotland, Alex and Casey from Isreal and Ronald from Holland. After about 1.5 hours of driving we arrived at an Elephant sanctary and had a 1 hour elephant ride through jungle. Naturally me and VIc had the naughty greedy elephant who wanted to lead the group but wouldnt move unless he was fed a steady stream of bananas. The jungle path was a bit like, well, jungle really, and the ele’s made their own way through which was pretty interesting in places. After our ride and taking lots of piccies (sorry- again to follow) we stopped for lunch then drove about an hour further into the jungle where were were booted out of our car and started walking. And it was proper walking. We are talking through jungle (even if the track was slightly beaten) with the afternoon heat beating down on you. Alex nominated himself the leader of the pack so our guide just trailed behind making sure we were ok whilst Alex barked orders from the front. All in good nature of course and hilariuosly funny. Walking up a near vertical jungle track with a a bag on your back whilst almost cryin with laughter is not easy I tell you.

We trekked for about 1.5 hours then arrived at the most amazing waterfall- and naturally we all jumped in for a swim! it was so refreshing just at the point when we thought we couldnt walk any further. The current was so strong that I was swimming and swimming and not moving anywhere so Paul had to literally drag me under the waterfall itself. I managed a few minutes before i was dragged back to the otherside. Then it was out and more tekking.

After another hour we arrived at our camp for the night- we were all staying with a family who live in the jungle.  Tanikka their daughter was so cute and although she couldnt really understand anything we were saying i think we got a few things across in sign language. They cooked us a nice Thai Red Curry for dinner and we sat in the darkness with just a few candles and played cards and drank beer. About 8pm a campfire was lit as it was getting cold and we all just chatted until we retired to our little wooden huts for the night.

The next morning….. after about 4 hours sleep (its hard to sleep in a wooden hut when the mattress is 1 inch thick and you are shivering maddly even with 2 sleeping bags, not to mention the strange noises from all the animals and bugs) we rise to a breakfast of banana pancakes and fruit then our group is split- some are on the 3 day trek and some the 2. We are on the 2 which is great because that means that the day will basically be all downhill. Music to our ears.

We trek for about 3 hours then stop for lunch in a small mountain village. We then get picked up from here and are driven to a river close by where we try bamboo rafting. Bring a change of clothes they said. I might aswell have gone in my bathing suit becasue the sole aim seemed to get us as wet as possible. At one point we passed a school where all the children were playing in the river and they too seemed to know that it was their job to get us as wet as possible. Mmmm.

Oh yes- Mid way through the morning trek Marie (Japanese girl who joined) decided to befriend a stray dog that she came across in the jungle- and carry it with her for the rest of the tre.a It even sat with us at lunch, where she bought it a bloody neckalce. Then it came to the river to raft, and sat in the truck while we rafted. THEN she decided to bring it back to her guest house, in the truck, and as far as we can understand from pigeon Japanese she wants to either take it home or make it live with her friend in Chiang Mai. Christ alive. Has she never heard of fleas and rabies and the wierdness of stray dogs??? Anyway, she didnt get it home because after about 30 minutes of Thai driving on bumpy roads the dog threw up in one corner of the truck (nice) then about 15 minutes later pooed all over her and the floor. A french lady Silvy who trekked with us smelt the shite and just started gagging. We managed to get the driver to pull over just in time. At this point her husband kicked off about the bloody dog and what the girl had in her head she was doing with it, the Japanese girl was cleaning the poo from the truck and Vic and i were just sat in the corner thinking is this actually happening?! Whatever Bernard the French guy said worked because the girl accepted her fate and left the dog, with its new collar, on the side of the busy main road into Chaing Mai. She didnt speak for the rest of the journey…..

Its now 6pm and we are back in our guest house in Chiang Mai old town looking forward to a yummy dinner and an early night- our taxi is picking us up at 5.30am to take us to the airport…. then by mid afternoon its hello beach! Oh the thought of 10 days of lying on the beach soaking up the rays… But which beach? And on which island? The choices are endless and if that is our only worry then all is good and we are smiling.

We’ll be sorry to leave Chiang Mai so soon as its MUCH nicer than Bangkok and its somewhere you could easily stay for a week or more, but we dont have the time so we have to move on. Plus the lovely Rosie is in Krabi waiting for us so we cant be late!

The next time i email ill be in paradise…! x