First Stop: The Jungle Market For Much Needed Provisions
A pick-up truck collected us from the hotel around 9am, collected a few other trekkers on route and then we drove several KM out of Chiang Mai to a Jungle Market. This sells everything (and more!) you will ever need for a trek into the jungle: from raincoats to mozzie spray to bottles of water and bandanas, they sell everything. We quickly picked what we needed (a check sheet was provided by the trek organisers) and then set off for the first part of our 2-day adventure.
From the market, we immediately encountered some great fun: bamboo rafting! Our 7 strong trekking team were split into 2 groups, and we boarded a bamboo raft and were introduced to Tuk, our 12 year old driver. Tuk was great: he stood at the front of the raft for the duration, and used a bamboo pole to steer the raft - often shouting "snake" and "crocodile" and hitting the water - as we tranquilly floated down the river to the foot of the hills. Delightful, and so peaceful.
Lunch At A Local Village
After fun rafting, we were driven another few KM to a local village where we were given rice and vegetables (it was not very gourmet!) and told to sunscreen well.
The Trek From Hell!
The trek was tough. It was great fun, and a personal challenge for everyone, but by jove it was hard work! Although it began in an easy and picturesque fashion by walaking through some amazing rice paddy fields, and crossing a stream, we quickly realised what we were up against as the paths quickly ended and we began to trek up hill nearly all the way to camp, in the peak of the sun for several hours.
But the scenery was breathtaking, and we knew there would be a camp, waterfall, dinner, and beer at the end of it, so this drove us on!
Camp And An Amazing Waterfall
At very long last, we made it to the final waterfall - just he log bridge to cross and we're at camp. Needless to say, first thing we did was jump into the waterfall - clothes and all - to cool off. What an amazing and fun experience. The best big of all was the chance to have a shower under the waterfall the next morning.
After a well-deserved cooling down in the waterfall, time to pick a piece of wood to sleep on, chat, play cards and generally settle down for the evening. Amazingly, by 8PM we were all in bed!