Chiang Mai – my legs still haven’t recovered

As you will know from Paul’s post we were lucky enough to meet an amazing lady  – Mrs Ellis, who we stayed with in Chiang Mai. She was kind enough to take us out to some very nice restaurants to eat eat typical Northern Thai food. Her friend’s restaurant was decked out with amazing antiques and the food was gorgeous.

Anyway, aside from our time with Mrs Ellis, we went on a 3 day trek with Panda Tours. We were lucky to get a great group of people on the tour (age range of 19 to 69!)  – hello everyone that was there!

I got off to an embarrassing start by falling out of the minibus  – almost in slow motion. I still have an enormous bruise to prove it.

Our guides were very jolly  – Bond and Bovy. Bond constantly listened to music and was singing along  – by the end of day two we all knew the tune. Bovy busied himslef making cups and pea shooting guns out of bamboo for everyone.

We started with a nice gentle elephant ride (paul got to sit on the head with his legs behind its ears (rather him than me – I liked having a seat and barrier).

The walk itself was pretty gruelling (for me at least). All I could think on day one was “will we ever stop going up hill!” I was out of breath and sweaty. Finally we reached our accommodation high in the hills. A bamboo hut has never looked so inviting! The views were spectacular. We had a good feed, and rest around the fire (the fire that was resting in the middle of a bamboo platform – god knows how the place hasn’t burned down).

Sleep was a blessing few of us experience for too long – except perhaps Linus who had brought his own 4 season sleeping bag! The rest of us managed with 1 thin blanket and a nice thin mattress. Needless to say it was freezing in the middle of the night!

Day 2  – about 6 hours of walking – more amazing views, and some nice swimming in a water fall (very cold). At this point we had to say goodbye to Michelle and Patrick (only there for 2 days) – hope you are having a great time in Laos.

This time we stayed in a similar bamboo hut, but with pigs, dogs and chickens underneath – so this time we had noise to add to the cold, but it was an experience to say the least.

Last day – a 2 hour walk – all down hill!!!! You would think that would be a blessing but I know Nic’s knees and mine were suffering. Bamboo rafting and whitewater rafting (or should I say rock rafting) rounded the day off nicely!

To everyone on the trip – you were great company. Please register on our blog and wirte some of your own comments about our trek – I know I have missed out some of the best details…

Take care wherever you are now.

becs and paul

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