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18/01/21_Report_Sakura Special

Sakura – photo by Tom

For our annual sakura pilgrimage, 26 hikers gathered at the Huay Gaew Arboretum at 07:45, and shared cars to the parking area below Wat Doi Suthep. Starting the walk from the base of the temple steps at 08:30, it took us about two hours to reach the Five-Way Junction, and a further one hour to Ban Khun Chiang Kian: very much our normal rate of progress on this route.

This year our timing was perfect, thanks to careful monitoring by Peter and Jume: we found the blossoms fully developed but not wilting. And it seemed a specially good year for them; they made a breathtaking scene in the agricultural research garden near the top of Doi Pui. The weather on the day was also perfect: sunny but fresh without being chilly. Of course, photographs can never do full justice to this kind of thing, but we are supplying a few here nonetheless.

Entrance of the agricultural research garden with many visitors on a sakura Sunday. Photo by Michael

Sakura of the agricultural research garden, Doi Pui. Photo by Tom.

As in the past few years, different variations were provided as options to hikers. 13 people initially chose Option 1 – to take a songthaew back down from the sakura area. Two more hikers decided to switch to this option, and managed to negotiate places in a songthaew hired by a different party. This left seven hikers who retraced the path to Wat Doi Suthep (seven of them along with a hike leader, and two by themselves), and four who chose the option of descending on foot all the way to the Arboretum via the Huay Kaeuw Waterfall.

The latter segment was approximately 7 kilometers, pretty much all of it downhill. The only incident was when Peter D attempted a flying lesson from a loose stone, and crash landed amongst some shrubs, and in doing so broke one of his trekking poles in half. No other damage done though. The duo reached the arboretum and there found a number of the other hikers drinking beer in one of the restaurants. Two from this group had unilaterally taken the same descent from the village down to the arboretum. Finally, Peter D then headed back up to Wat Suthep to retrieve his motorcycle, making a round trip of roughly 25 kilometers total hike for him.

Hike initiation and reporting by Peter D, Jume S and Michael M

 

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2 Responses

  1. Peter Pachyderm, what time did you eventually get back to Doi Suthep? I thought I would see you on the way down PT, perhaps you were still imbibing.

  2. Thanks organisers for a lovely hike.

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