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2018/09/09_Ban Pha Nok Kok Ridge_Trip Report

Woke at 05.00 to the patter of raindrops on the roof, which quickly turned into a roar. A heavy early morning downpour, not normally a good sign. However, the rain stopped and although the cloud sat low over Doi Suthep and the weather forecast was iffy, it seemed like a worthwhile punt.

Under the circumstances there was a reasonable turn-out of 11 humans and 2 K9’s. We set off in 3 vehicles and arrived in the village one hour later. The amount of parking space has been cut in half by a new parade of shops along one side of the square. 3 vehicles were fine, the 9 we had on the New Year’s Eve hike would have been a tight fit this time!

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View from the village before setting out

As expected the ridge was in cloud the whole way. The ridge was very atmospheric for all that and hiking conditions were ideal. This was something of an experiment being the first time the Group has done this ridge hike in the wet season. However, the feared leeches were entirely absent and although the trail was blocked in a couple of places by fallen trees and bamboo, these areas were easily circumnavigated.

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We arrived at the fire observation tower after 2 1/2 hours of hiking. Half of the Group couldn’t resist climbing to the top of the Tower up the new staircase. The other half grazed at the bottom. One of the K9’s hovered between up and down.

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A Room with a View as the clouds start to dissipate

By the time we decided to move on patches of blue sky had started to appear and we were warmed by shafts of sunlight. On the way back along the ridge we were treated to panoramic views. The sun was still shining as we changed and headed down to the Thermadoi with only the merest hint of what was to come.

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Promises of panoramic views finally honoured

No sooner had we sat down in the Thermadoi than the thunder started to rumble and the heavens opened. A few minutes later and we would have got a real royal soaking. As it was our feeling of well-being was even deeper as we ate our excellent food, sipped our excellent beer and contemplated the awesome sight of a heavy storm sweeping across the valley below.

Thanks to Jenny, Michael and Bussakorn for the photographs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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