A rather large group of eager hikers showed up for this beautiful hike, 23, with only 2 new to the group. The number starting out is important because the number returning is not always the same, and in this case that was 20. The good news is no one got lost nor inadvertently left behind. As we hiked up the road from the starting point at the barrier, one of the new hikers found the pace and gradient too difficult for his weak heart, so he and a friend turned back, something we only learned after they were on their way back to the starting point. Since there was no reception we couldn’t tell them to go to the coffee shop and meet us there later. We only knew at the end of the hike that they had done just that, and then gotten an earlier ride back to the arboretum. (We all added a bit to the agreed upon fare to make up for their non-payment.)
The top of Doi Pui was just that, a sign marking the elevation of 1,685 meters and no view; however a surprise awaited us at the “big picnic table” area. A large group of young campers were there with much equipment for a competition at making short wave radio contact. They claimed to have had contact with Italy using an aerial which they had now stored, and were now contacting provinces within central Thailand.
After spending some time talking with them, we began the steep descent of Doi Pui. The views were beautiful even though the weather was overcast. We all stopped often to look across the valley and also at a large white orchid blooming high up in a tree.
We arrived at the coffee shop area at lunch time and found a new coffee shop just where we take a short cut to the original one. Yes, they are both CMU coffee shops, so not in competition. The cherry blossoms were still out, but perhaps a bit past their prime. One intrepid hiker decided to leave us then and hike all the way to the bottom alone after paying his fair share of the transport.
The remaining 3 km. back to the waiting songtaos brought the hike to an end. There had been much chance for conversation on a wide road, and we had walked just over 9 km., taking 5 hours to do so.
Filed under: Hike Reports