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Running away from Home

A late start, then off to the hot springs

THAILAND | Wednesday, 3 February 2010 | Views [268]

The last time I had elective surgery I swore to myself never again because I hate the after effects of the general anesthesia so much. The feeling that I woke up to this morning was quite similar to those after affects. I felt as though lethargy had been introduced intravenously. I also felt as though someone had put a blindfold on me, spun me around a bunch of times and then told me to brush my teeth. Oh well, at least my nose smelled minty fresh. I didn’t feel too dehydrated, with the pounding head and the fuzzy tongue, but I knew that I needed to get out to breakfast so that I could get a large bottle of water and a cup of tea.

I had not decided to move on to Chiang Rai. I was enjoying the company of V and R and we were finding things to do that were inexpensive and adventurous. I had asked Malee for a third and final night, and she said that she only had room in the dorm. That meant moving again, but the dorm was half the cost of the bungalow so my tightwad side said, “DO IT”. The three of us had planned to rent mountain bikes that day and go find the hot springs. I was hoping that no one wanted to go really early this morning because my equilibrium was messed up and I didn’t know how well I would be able to keep a bicycle vertical.

I was surprised that I actually felt hungry for breakfast. V had already ordered by the time I showed up. She admitted to feeling some effects of the alcohol, but it hadn’t diminished her appetite either. She was absorbed in a Henry James novel so I made polite chatter with an adorable French couple who were planning on taking a long hike far up the mountain. “To zee flags.” I looked up at Doi Chiang Dao and I saw the pair of flags high on a ridge. Not at the top, but high enough to make me feel tired. My tea arrived with my scrambled eggs and toast not far behind. One terrific thing about Malee is that she knows how to prepare toast which seems like a really trivial thing, but so many times in Thailand I have asked for toast and received two slices of warm wonder bread.

I felt better after two cups of tea and a brisk walk. We didn’t set out for the hot springs until well after 11:00 and even then we stopped about two kilometers away for lunch. Despite my embarrassing biking experience on Doi Suthep, I was excited to be back in the saddle today. It’s tiring to always be on foot and you can cover so much more ground on a bike. It was refreshing to see a different side of the mountain as we biked to the south side of it. I was noticing the shape and it looked as if it might have been a volcano at one point. The strong sulfur smell of the hot springs seemed to confirm my suspicions. Earth sciences was in the eighth grade and that was a pretty traumatic time for me so I have blanked most of it out. If anyone out there knows if the two are connected, let me know. Sulfur smell or not, I gave my feet a good soaking in the hot water and it felt delicious.

After checking out the hot springs we all went in separate directions. V and myself both went towards town with different errands and R went back to Malee’s. The trip to the hot springs was not an earth-shattering experience, but I enjoyed the ride, and I am just thrilled that we found it, considering that there are no signs for it in English anywhere. I think the locals are trying to keep it a secret. I don’t blame them.

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