Day 20 .... trekking day 3 ... and Bamboo rafting!

Chiang Mai Travel Blog

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Me corssing a very dodgy 'bridge'

After a relatively quit night on the beer, today was our last day of the trek. The nights sleep before wasn't great as the dogs in the village seemed to fight well into the early hours of the morning and then about 6am the roosters started to call out like an alarm clock that didn't have a snooze button! It wasn't too bad as we had to be up early to leave the camp that day.

 

After our scrambled egg, toast and coffee breakfast we left the village for the last stage of trekking. At that point we had trekked 30km the previous 2 days and we had about 8km left to trek that day. The trekking was a little gentler with more road sections and less steep inclines and declines that the previous day. We passed the neighboring village where the school was based and Mr Sam got to visit his 2 kids in the school before continuing on the trek.

The girls trying to get on their raft .. see how easy they were to sink!!
The very last part of the trek was all the way downhill getting closer and closer to the village civilisation. The truck was a welcome sign at the bottom of the hill as the downhill section at the end again had taken its toll on the muscles on the front of the legs.

 

After about 20 mins driving we ended up back in the village that we started in and back into the same restaurant for lunch as the first day of the trekking. It didn't take long to have all the hammocks occupied around the restaurant as the group relaxed before heading to the bamboo rafting!

 

A 2 minute walk around the corner took us to the bamboo rafting site. The rafts were about 25 foot long and consisted of 10 bamboo sticks of about 2 inches in diameter.

The entire trekking group. Great great bunch of people!
The bamboo sticks were tied to 3 cross members with what looked to be lengths of old bicycle tires ..... A very reliable structure altogether!! The groups were split up into three 3's and one 4. I was on the 2nd last raft with Tom and Jamie and our aim at the start was to try and capsize the raft in front that had Jessica, Anika, Maria and Daniel on it!

 

We did manage to catch up with them but managed to capsize ourselves first before capsizing them. At this point I had lost my flip flops and was floating down the river in my bare feet on an 'iffy' bamboo raft soaking wet. After catching up with the raft in front again and attempting another capsizing maneuver, everything was going well until 2 of the guides jumped on to our raft ... A raft designed for 3. After about 30 seconds our raft found its naturally buoyant point about 18 inches under the water, leaving us  knee deep in the river, scraping the odd rock on the bottom and trying to steer an overweight raft through some of the fast flowing sections of the river.

The group on their last night together on the roof top bar!
We did manage to come off the raft twice after that and ended up losing all the other groups and just coasting down the river on our own.

 

On arriving at the end, soaked and flip flop-less we got dried off, some of them changed clothes and we grabbed some nibbles at the shop before taking a group picture!

 

Tired and mostly still wet we spent an hour heading back into Chang Mai and back to our accommodation where we all got a highly sought after hot shower and change of clothes.

 

We had arranged to assemble the group 1 last time that night for a few beers in one of the hotels.

The art around the roof top bar!
Myself and Caroline grabbed something to eat ... A highly sought after burger and chips for me (and god was it nice) and a sweet and sour dish for Caroline.

 

At 9 we all met up in the lobby of Hotel Serenity and had a few cocktails there before heading to a roof top bar in the middle of Chang Mai. Here the big bottles of beer chang and singha flowed freely as well as the buckets of Sang Son, redbull and coke. We stayed here for about an hour before Mr Tom told us of a good live Thai band that were playing in a disco bar in town, and with the offer of cheap whiskey for the group we all headed down the street.

 

The bar was nice but quite quiet with only about 20 Thai people in the place other than staff. When we arrived though we did spice up the place with a bit of dancing, singing and quite a lot of drinking! The lived band were very good, the lead guitarist was amazing though. He managed to play the guitar behind his head, on the table and with his chin!

 

At about 2 am all had stopped and we all left, said our goodbyes and bundled into taxi's to get back to the hotels and guesthouses after a very memorable night!

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Me corssing a very dodgy bridge
Me corssing a very dodgy 'bridge'
The girls trying to get on their r…
The girls trying to get on their …
The entire trekking group. Great g…
The entire trekking group. Great …
The group on their last night toge…
The group on their last night tog…
The art around the roof top bar!
The art around the roof top bar!
Me and Phil enjoying a drink toget…
Me and Phil enjoying a drink toge…
Pierre looking relaxed after 3 day…
Pierre looking relaxed after 3 da…
Phil passing Jamie the chalice!!
Phil passing Jamie the chalice!!
Caroline, Tom and Pierre on the wa…
Caroline, Tom and Pierre on the w…
Caroline with one of the locals in…
Caroline with one of the locals i…
Some more of the locals!
Some more of the locals!
Pierre pleading with Caroline ... …
Pierre pleading with Caroline ...…
Caroline and Pierre getting closer…
Caroline and Pierre getting close…
Me and Phil ... both well on!
Me and Phil ... both well on!
Mr Tom Tom and Caroline
Mr Tom Tom and Caroline
The group dancing for the local ba…
The group dancing for the local b…
Jamie, Maria, Mr Tom Tom and Phil …
Jamie, Maria, Mr Tom Tom and Phil…
A really really cool Thai guitarist
A really really cool Thai guitarist
Here the guitarist playing his gui…
Here the guitarist playing his gu…
Caroline, Some local, ME (Drunk Da…
Caroline, Some local, ME (Drunk D…
Mr Tom Tom, Caroline and Pierre ..…
Mr Tom Tom, Caroline and Pierre .…
The group at the end of the night …
The group at the end of the night…
Caroline (and not his one) and Phil
Caroline (and not his one) and Phil
Chiang Mai
photo by: Stevie_Wes