Alrighty, I’m back in action after my bout of illness. Let’s just say the last 48 or so hours were a blur of bushes and bathrooms. I did, however, manage to push myself (quiet literally) through a bike ride around some rice paddies in Chiang Mai. A lot of which was torture, but once we made it to our destination for lunch – a magical little secluded bamboo shack beside a sparkling lake with an acoustic guitar playing in the background, it was pure bliss.
But finally it was time to head out of the city and into the mountains to be “monkeys”, as our bike tour guide so aptly described it. Arriving in the tiny, remote town of Sappong was a treat to the eyes. Finally, it felt as if we were on holidays and in an environment completely different from our own. Jumping in the tray of a pick-up truck, we ventured through lush forest to arrive at the Cave Lodge – our home for the next few nights. It’s an awesome set-up, owned and run by an Aussie. The main house is like a tree-house with a fantastic view of the surrounding forest and stream below. There is a fire place and a multitude of swinging chairs and hammocks. Posters cover the walls advertising the many activities and tours available to guests. And the bungalow we are staying in is like something out of the Lord of the Rings set.
For our first activity we did kayaking down rapids and through some of the most amazing caves I’ve ever seen. As an extra, our guides took us caving. It was so unlike anything I’ve ever done before. The caves were magnificent and I had to continuously pinch myself throughout the whole experience just to remind myself I was awake. My words really can’t do this justice so I’ll have to upload some pictures. While we battled on the rapids, it was so much fun, especially with a few drops included.
The plan for tomorrow is a sunrise tour, followed by a two-day trek through the forest and an overnight at a hill-tribe. Should
be exhausting but well worth it. Another ‘once in a life time’ experience to add to my life time!
Til then, take care.