Co-leader Kurt writes:
Twenty-eight hikers assembled well before the appointed time at the Nature Study Center parking lot, raring to go. We then piled into several cars and a few motorcycles and regrouped at the large parking lot at Baan Hmong Doi Pui where two additional hikers were already waiting. The weather was perfect for hiking, cool with diffuse sunlight, and what I think of as a Marine layer.
After the group photo, we broke into two groups, referred to as “long” and “short” hikers (thus averting any bruised egos associated with the word “slow”). Off we went, near 09:00.
We walked as one large group all the way to the rocks before Buddha’s footprint and were early on joined by a four-legged friend.
After a short rest admiring the fogged-in view from the ridge at Doi Pa Kha, the 14 “thru-hikers”, led by Tom, continued on what may be a new (to CM Hiking Club regulars) route through farm fields of lychee, tomatoes, and cabbages. The “long” group logged approximately 15km in 5:10, including a lunch stop at the “Parking Area” sign in the woods, the proverbial middle of nowhere.
Those of us in the the short trek had a leisurely stroll with multiple stops for the avid photographers in the group (dew on moss and lichens were popular).
We sampled the small, green, intensely sour berries found along the trail, and Janet made the interesting observation that as sour as they were, a chaser of water was made to taste sweet (give it a try the next time you’re there, it’s quite surprising!). On the return, I was entertained by the banter of two “tween-ish” boys discussing their love life (I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be 13 years old!). We made it back to the village in 3:40 (No GPS in the group, I assume approximately 8km), enjoyed some khao soy, and then returned home when the long hikers didn’t appear.