"Slow and steady wins the race," that's how our guide helped me down the mountain on our trek. He kept saying we were turtles. The trek was so amazing; adventure after adventure. I already put a lot of these photos on facebook, but I still wanted to document them here.
The trek was 2 days and 1 night. Hike up a mountain with some fun pit stops, sleep in a hill tribe village, hike down the mountain with more fun pit stops. Here are some highlights:
We got a new camera, and Andrew is SO happy with it. He loves taking photos now, and so I'm sure we'll have a million picture blog posts from now on.
Riding elephants was super fun. Really bumpy, but really fun. And Andrew is the best riding partner.
Our elephant trainer was really into talking pictures for us. He took a bunch of the grass and trees behind us, too. Haha. We'll just showcase the best ones.
Elephants and their trainers grow up together, and they have their own language for communicating. "Hua hua" means go. That's all I remember. Anyway, when our trainer was about to take this photo, he gave a command which I guess meant "smile," and the elephant posed for the picture. Precious.
Andrew being candid and thoughtful by the river.
This is a sample of what our trail looked like. It was so beautiful, so hot, and so steep. We welcomed the three rainstorms that hit us on the first day. We got soaked, but it was so much better than being soaked from sweat. Those little dots in the above picture are hikers; another group was hiking just in front of us.
Our wonderful group! They were such troopers; I think I am the wimpiest person here. But all these wonderful students are so cheerful and helpful that I don't feel too bad about it ;)
This one is blurry for some reason, but this is the hut we stayed in for the night. We laid out our wet clothes to dry in the sun, but alas the next morning, everything was just as wet as it was when we set it out. The whole structure was made of bamboo, and even the flooring was mats made of bamboo poles. It didn't feel too secure, but it withstood our weight just fine in the end.
No picture of this part of the adventure, but once we had relaxed, changed, and cooled down, a hoard of village women came and gave us all amateur Thai massages. It was a really crazy experience that I still don't know how to put into words. It was the worst massage I've ever had, and it lasted thirty minutes. Some of the students had two women attacking their muscles. One student had never had a massage before and really didn't want to have one. "So, is this a pretty good massage?" she asked me, poor girl. I told her that now she HAD to try a real Thai massage, they are pretty great. Especially in comparison to the one we had.
This is one of my favorites. The hill tribe children came to sing to us before we went to bed. Hill tribes have their own languages. Most of the children also speak Thai and a very little bit of English. Andrew talked to them in Thai, and they all flocked to him since they could understand him best. It was so fun to see him with all the babies.
What life looks like through a mosquito net.
Our group at our mountaintop resort. The man on the left is the one who called me a turtle.
The underside of our resort. Thais really have indoor-outdoor living figured out.
On the way down we played in a huge waterfall. I lost my flipflops but Rambo, one of our guides, ran monkey style down the river and got it back! The current was pretty strong.
First pit stop after we made it mostly down the mountain. We whitewater rafted down the chocolate brown river. It wasn't nearly as fun as our rafting adventure with David and Natalie Bean.
Our team worked together and we made it safely down the river to our next pit stop:
Bamboo rafting. Weird and mostly ineffective. I love this photo though.
We had a great time, spent quality time with great people, and made it home safely! Can't ask for much more.