Thursday, March 31, 2011

Trek Day 2

In the morning we got up and had hot chocolate in our bamboo cups and watched the sun come up over the mountains. So beautiful!!!!
This is one of the villagers - they all sit like this which seems uncomfortable, but it works for them. Again - check out that view!
Before we left the village we all got our lunch - pad thai in a banana leaf - I am beginning to believe that anything cooked in a banana leaf is amazing!
Today is a trekking day - we hiked about 10 miles today. Doh had brough along some fresh pineapple for us - again, some of the best I have ever had.
Trekking through the dried rice fields.....
We walked through a couple of villages as well, where Katherine snapped some pictures of the little kids - had to convince her that she could not steal one....hehe.
The trek was interesting because the jungle we walked through change all the time. We had pineapple in a dense part of the jungle and then walked out through this more desert like area. The landscape changed dramatically several times a day.
We stopped and had lunch at this little hut by the river - heaven. We were pretty tired at this point as there were several huge hills to climb and the Thai people (just like the incans) don't believe in switchbacks apparently. So we were glad for a break.
After lunch - more trekking. Let me set the stage for this pic. Rosey and I have climbed up on a rock to have Mel take a picture for us and Katherine comes over and is going to sit on that log that just moments before had been perched on two rocks. Well, she sad on it and it was like slow motion that it slid off the rocks and she fell backwards into this stagnant part of the river. We laughed pretty hard about that one.
A little later we had to cross the river - which was very refreshing.
After we crossed the river and everyone had their shoes back on we realized there was a long puddle to cross, and so everyone didn't have to get their feet wet again, Doh got a log and dropped it over the water so we could cross. The funny thing was that this sent mud splattering everywhere - especially on Katherine. She was our main entertainment for the day - thanks dear!!!
New kind of jungle.
Do you see this bridge!!!! Creepy! We had to cross this to get to the village that night. I honestly can't believe it held together.
As soon as we got in we quickly changed into our bathing suits and headed to the river, which felt amazing after a long hot day of hiking.
This is Debroan - one of the little local boys who obviously loves flirting with all the tourist girls when they are in town. He didn't speak any English, but loved to poke and tickle everyone.
That night we had popcorn for dessert - soooo yummy!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Trek Day 1

Here we are, all crammed in the back of a truck getting ready to make what we later found out was a 4 hour drive into the hills, not exactly comfortable, but very fun.
Doh cut up fresh mango for our lunch - probably the best mango I have ever had.
Katherine and I on our elephant.....I really like elephants after this experience. They just seem like happy animals.
So we set off on our elephant ride - you can see that our elephant has already figured out that we have some bananas for him, he was a hungry little guy.

Check the facial expression on Darci's elephant - so cute!
We are all out of bananas by this time, but he's still looking for hand outs
So at this point, our elephant has found something very tasty off the edge of a cliff!!!! Katherine and I are getting ready to jump. We were honestly nervous.
What an amazing view! Such a beautiful place.

We trekked through all these rice fields and since it is dry season and they have not yet planted the rice, the cows were out grazing. They had these wooden bells around their necks that sounded amazing.
We took a quick pit stop in a little village along the way.

Trekking through the hills.
Doh found a local strawberry field on the side of a steep hill and picked some for us. This must be where all the Hmong people in Visalia get all their know how on strawberries.
We took a quick stop at this little house with one farmer in it and the farmer and Doh cut down a couple of bamboo stalks and started carving us out awesome!
And very functional - we used them all during the trek.

This is the view from just outside our hut - incredible!!!

Here is Doh making dinner. He was such a great guide!
These are some of the houses in the village we stayed in that night.
This is a little old lady we saw walking along. I wish we could have caught a picture of her smiling. She had this huge, toothless genuine smile.
Here are our sleeping quarters. Bamboo mats were not exactly comfortable, but it was certainly a cool experience
Doh and some of the other villagers had made us amazingly yummy - Doh had picked veggies all along the trail during the day. He is from the hill tribes so it was easy for him to spot things.
The ladies in the village were selling handicrafts when we got there - we of course automatically assumed that Svenja and Mara wanted in - they were such great additions to the group.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chaing Mai

So the flight over to Thailand was about 16 hours or something rediculous like that, it was daytime the whole way - so we essentially skipped Monday. It acutally wasn't too bad considering we each had our own tv with movies and tv shows.

We got to Chaing Mai Tuesday Morning and had to get out and sight see immediatly so we wouldn't fall asleep. These beautiful and intricate temples are all over the place, so we dropped by to check one out.

We finished out our day getting a 5$ thai massage.....once we got in there we totally felt like we were in that place in the movie Taken.... Really great massage though. Darci and I were in the same "room" (more like a sheet fort) so she snapped this shot when we were finished.