Twenty-four hikers took a gamble on the weather, and new hike leader, and turned up at the rendezvous point for today’s hike; our regular Dutch contingent made their way directly to the start of the hike making a grand total of 26.
Apart from missing the last turning, my fault as I was talking to the driver, we made it to the start point and began the hike at 0830 in good spirits and sunny skies! The first few kilometres took us along and over a stream,
through a small orchard (where a fruit bat was found tangled in netting so Pam and some other Samaritans took time out to free it) and up a gentle dirt track to the “Buffalo Corral”.
After re-grouping we set off into the forest, on a good trail, and started the series of easy to moderate ascents, taking a few short breaks on the way to take in the scenery, catch our breath or both! An official break was taken once the final summit on the outward leg was reached where it was relatively cool and with clear views making it a pleasant stop.
Once refreshed we began our descent and moved out of the forest into the more open countryside behind the elephant camp and were lucky enough to see an elephant browsing in the undergrowth. Not wishing to disturb it too much we quickly took some photos and, as silently as possible, went on our way.
On arriving at the noodle shop on the Mae Sa road at 1140 a leisurely lunch was had by all and it seemed that some hikers were quite happy to stay longer but, at 1230, the group resumed the hike.
After a 500 metre walk along the main road we then turned off and went back into the forest and ran into a bit of confusion as to whether everyone had turned off the road or not. As the group had spread out quite considerably it took a while to account for everyone and continue.
The trail back was a lot more gentle, which was just as well as there were a lot of full stomachs after the lunch break! The trail took us through some areas of bamboo but mainly light forest for a few kilometres before joining a dirt track back to the Buffalo Corral where we retraced our steps of the morning and finished up back at the start point at 1420.
Some of the group retired to a local “coffee” shop for refreshments and a bit of socializing while others, with prior commitments, made their good-byes and went on their way.
Apart from the advance party going a bit astray, due to a bit of misdirection on my behalf (sorry about that guys!), the hike was 12.8km with an ascent/descent of 625m.
Thanks to all who turned out, I hope you enjoyed it and special thanks to the “Old Hands” who gave me guidance and a little shove too!
It was very nice to see 4 new faces among the regulars and we hope that you enjoyed the hike and that we will see you again.
Filed under: Hike Reports |