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18/04/01 Trip report Mae Jaem forest loop

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Twelve hikers and one K9 gathered on another smoky day at the rendezvous point and set of for the, hopefully, clearer air of Mae Jaem.  The air was a little clearer but still quite bad and the normally beautiful views were, alas, not to be had but it was cooler.  The group set off on the trail which leads up the go-kart track and was enthusiastically inspected by some hikers in anticipation of the return and having a run down it.  At the top we came to the newly expanded dirt road and had a leisurely walk before making a short, but quite steep, descent and after some more gentle ascents we came to the highest point of the hike on which there is a statue of the last ruler of Lua, Khun Luang Wilangka.   According to records, his empire covered much of Chiang Mai and Lamphun but he was defeated by Queen Jamathewi and retreated to the surrounding hills where he, allegedly, committed, suicide.  Legend has it that his dying wish was to be buried at the highest point in the area so he could watch over his lost kingdom.

Taking a break here it was possible to make out some of the surrounding scenery but not clear enough for photos.  After the break it was back on the wide dirt road and gentle ups-and-downs until taking a trail which took us down on to another dirt road and the lowest point of the hike and from here on it was uphill for about 2km, the last bit quite steep, before rejoining the outward route which we followed until reaching a junction.  Here we split into groups, those who wanted a shorter hike and to go go-karting and those who fancied a little longer hike.  Once decided the groups went their separate ways and managed to finish at the same time.  No photos of the go-karters’ I’m afraid but they seemed to have fun.

Fun time over it was a short drive to the restaurant where the usual post-hike refreshments were had.

Thanks to all who turned out making it another great day.

Special thanks to J for the group photo, which took a lot of patience in setting up; to B and M for the history lesson.

Hope S is on the mend as it was his hike but he had an unfortunate accident on Friday and unable to make it

 

 

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