Eight stalwart hikers shrugged off the early morning showers and met up at Mechok Plaza at 0730 and, after some coffee and snacks, we set off for Huay Jo and managed to get there without losing anyone.
We began the hike at about 0830 with a moderate ascent up to the first of two ridges and, although there had been a lot of rain, the trail was in good condition and good progress was made. After about 3km we made a descent and left the main trail for a smaller one which passed through some fairly thick vegetation and took us to the valley floor where we joined a dirt track for few hundred metres. After a short break we took another small trail and began our ascent up the other side of the valley on to the second ridge. The weather was still being kind to us, cloudy and cool, and our optimism was high but, as we got higher we could see the hilltops shrouded in cloud and that it would only be a matter of time before we got some rain. It wasn’t hard enough for us to stop and take shelter but it lasted for about an hour and it did spoil the views as we were now on the part of the hike where the best views were.
Wet, but still smiling, we progressed along the ridge and made the turning point of the loop and the start of our descent; it was also getting near lunch and, due to a technical hitch (i.e. I had forgotten exactly where the lunch spot log was!) we had a little bit further to go than I had told everyone. Still, we found it, the rain had stopped and lunch could be taken in relative comfort.
After lunch we continued our descent on a rocky trail through the forest which, after a few kilometres, led us on to the valley floor and a firm dirt trail used by the mushroom and bamboo-shoot harvesters although we did not see any today. The trail comes out on to the road and the last kilometre of the hike was alongside the reservoir, which is still very low. The distance covered today was 17.5km with a total ascent of 680mtrs and took just under 5.5hrs. Photos are courtesy of Richard
Thanks to everyone who turned out and we hope you enjoyed it, Richard and I did.
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