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Seema Does SE Asia! Come and see what I see on my first trip out to SE Asia...

Jungle trekking and my first mosquito bites

THAILAND | Friday, 15 May 2009 | Views [752]

So I thought giving up the Crackberry would be hard.... but no longer does Seema sleep with a BB next to her pillow, the phone within arms reach and a laptop by her side. These days I seem to fall asleep and wake up clutching a bottle of insect repellent (50% deet if you please) and a flashlight. Welcome to the world of jungle trekking, or my life as it has been for the past 3 days!

So on tuesday morning, I was due to start a 3 day 2 night jugle trek, including something with elephants and a bamboo raft. Part of the aim was to meet some fun people too. The tour guide assured me it was made for tourists, nothing too strenuous, a bit of a stroll through some tamed jungle, visit a waterfall, go swimming, another short walk, ride an elephant, short walk, waterfall, have some beers with the group, camp fire etc etc. Was it hell. I don't think I mentioned that when I checked my rucksack into the airport on my flight out, it weighed 8.9kg. Yes, you heard right, 8.9kg. There was no trekking gear in there. I only put my trainers on at the last minute just incase....

Tuesday started out with meeting the group. Just my bloody luck that I ended up with THREE couples. Again, THREE couples. Need I say more? Anyway they were nice enough, 1 Quebecois (seem to be alot of them about here this time of year!) 1 french, 1 dutch. Nice to speak french but seriously. These women all had their men carrying their bags for them. Just sucker Seema had to man up and carry her own rucksack, in 30degree heat up the sodding hill. Call me cranky but it was hot, and humid, and generally gross. Not quite the light walk that the guide had sugested. That day the walk was all uphill, we stayed in one the tribal villages, all very nice, aside from the fact that I had to share a room with the three couples. The guide cooked food, we hung out, managed to sleep ok on the bamboo floor and thin mattress. I took photos of the toilet/shower combi, I'm sure you can imagine how it was so I shan't dwell on it here...!

Day two we split up, as only one of the couples were doing the 3 day trek like me, the rest were on 2 days. We actually had a blast with the guide, who shwoed us tarantulas en route, knew every type of plant, insect, animal living in the jungle and knew the tribespeople too. The walk wasn't too strenous and the temperature cooler up in the mountains - in the evening, we sat with him as he cooked and I actually made the thai yellow curry, on a wood fire! Afterwards, he lit the bonfire and then left the three of us alone, in the jungle, in the middle of nowhere, to go and hunt for some frogs.....1 hour later he came back with about 30 frogs of all sizes in a basket. They were for his breakfast.

Last nights camp was next to a waterfall, this time we had individual rooms, i slept wonderfully (albeit clutching my insect repellent and flashlight) and woke up for our usual breakast. And of course had to try the frog too! It actually tasted amazing, cooked with fresh chillis. Oh and another thing I've discovered a taste for - green mango with fresh red chilli and a bit of fish sauce - tastes amazing!!!

Todays walk wasn't a long one, only an hour he said... but it was raining. Not just a little pitter patter, but a full on storm brewing. We walked, soaked to the skin (no waterproof helped in the slightest!) slipping and sliding in the mud... it was quite the experience! Lunch was decent, then bamboo rafting down a muddy river... hilarious, mucky but lots of fun. Got back to Chiang Mai late afternoon, was dry for a bit but its been chucking it down here since. I made it across the street to a salon for a much need pedicure, and then an oil massage. One hour cost me 4 quid - bargain! Then it started raining again, so have been hiding in an internet cafe since... think I need to buy some books!

Tomorrow, thai cookery course, then onto Chiang Kong, slow boat along the Mekong river to Pak Beng and Luang Prabang in Laos....

A bientot!

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