21 hikers eventually made it to the starting point. Thanks to Bob and his truck for bailing us out of a tangled attempt at organising the car shuttle. Unfortunately 2 hikers subsequently had to turn back because of illness, leaving 19 to make the full hike.
At 09.00 and close to 1,000 metres altitude starting conditions were pleasantly cool and conditions stayed comfortable pretty much throughout thanks to a lovely breeze. A certain amount of burning had taken place along the initial section beside the dirt road, but there were no current fires and the undergrowth had only been singed, so it was still possible to enjoy the natural environment.
This area is still living up to its’ one snake sighting-a-trip reputation. This time it was a beautiful specimen of an Oriental Whip-snake which posed obligingly for the cameras until, having finally tired of celebrity, it slithered off slowly into the forest.
Away from the road the evidence of fire diminished and for the most part we passed through untouched forest until we started the final steep descent into the valley. Here we were exposed to the full force of the sun and were reminded of a true Chiang Mai April.
On the way down Steven became fascinated by a round bright-yellow fruit and collected a specimen for identification. Local lore holds that the skin is dried and used as a laxative, while the centre is a glue. Just as well no-one tried to eat it, the combination sounds positively lethal!
The local shop was open for business and did a good trade in noodles, beer and ice cream, consumed at some rustic wooden tables.
Hike length 10km covered in a time of 3 1/2 hours.
Since the day was still young, Anders accompanied by two other intrepid explorers decided to check out a report of an idyllic hot spring resort further along the road. Judging by the photographs they were not disappointed.
Filed under: Hike Reports