A handsome group of 15 hikers turned up at the impressive standing Buddha meeting place on an overcast and somewhat sticky morning.
We strode out gaily through the forest and over the stream to the dirt road up to Chiang Khian village. At this point two hikers decided they had better things to do and returned downhill for a swim. The remaining 13 continued in low gear up the steep hill with occasional diversions onto short-cuts through the forest. Having reached the top of the hill time out was called in a hut to catch breath and plot a future hiking strategy.
The views along the ridge are beautiful and all the more impressive in the wet season with the complicated cloud formations and the broody sense of menace as one waits for the next storm to move in.
After duly considering their options, 7 of our number decided to duck out of the planned hike at this point to take a lower level short cut. Little did they realise that they thereby missed the main natural highlight of the trip, which was a huge swarm of perfectly synchronised bees settled on a pommelo tree.Bee choreography heroically demonstrated by Stephen with the aid of his stick.
Having gone steeply uphill for several kilometres the remaining 6 hikers in the Leader’s group then set off on the inevitably steep downhill section past the no novices warning sign and thence back to the cars. 12.5 kilometres in 5 hours, a very decent time for the conditions.
Post-exertion refreshments for the re-united group were taken at Nong Frook restaurant off canal road, where a good time was had by all.
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