Nineteen hikers met at the arboretum and two more walked up to join us at the Wang Bua Ban trailhead, from where we started hiking at about 07.50. We made quite good progress on the long uphill section, despite needing short rests at irregular intervals for the different subgroups, who nevertheless all managed to stay on the same route for the whole hike (is this a first?), not being distracted by false trails to Mahidol Falls. Stream and log bridge crossings passed uneventfully.
One hiker decided to turn back at an early stage, citing a too-fast pace, but 20 hikers made it in good spirits to the hidden waterfall ‘branch line’ in a little less than 3 hours and all but a handful made the short detour to visit the baby leeches, which seemed most attracted to the Thai hikers’ nam-phrik-flavoured blood.
Lunch was taken soon after at the highest point of the hike at 5-ways junction and then we completed the downward part of the loop via the avenue of majestic old trees below where the two parallel trails SE from 5-ways meet. On the way down, there were a few minor slips on muddy slopes, brief confusion where a newly-fallen tree had hidden the trail and then the lead hikers enjoyed the packet of peanuts Mike had strategically left at one of the lower junctions a few days earlier. After a very humid start, we were happy to avoid rain while appreciating the cooling effect of the clouds later on the way up, but it did get pretty hot as we reached sunnier, lower elevations near the end of the hike (at 2pm).
Google Earth claims that we walked 11.56 kms (for those who went to the waterfall), up/down 887m (a little more than predicted), in 6 hours (5 hours walking, 1 hour for rests/lunch). Well done, everybody!
Thanks to Yada and Janet for photos.
Filed under: Hike Reports