8th dec 09

December 8, 2009 - Chiang Mai, Thailand

We had a horrible sleep, with hard mattresses and pillows (i think they were lined with dried out rice) and a bamboo floor that bowed time you shifted your weight.  The roosters also started crowing constantly from about 3 am.   We woke about 7:30 and got ready for the day.  Breakfast was as good as our sleep.   Inedible scrambled eggs and cold toast.  Lucky the tea was good.

We set of down to the river to put our bags on our bamboo raft.  The raft was about 20 or so metres long.   It was a couple metres wide and was made of bamboo trees tied together.    After this we headed up to the elephant pen, where 3 elephants awaited, one male and two females, the larger one stubborn as all hell, the other smaller and submissive.  We were given the stubborn female which was great.  Our elephant was second with the male in front.  The elephant trainer sat on our elephant dishing out orders to the male and our female elephant.  He used grunts and deep chants to guide the elephants, while also hitting them with a piece of metal (it seemed cruel but afterwards we found out it doesn’t hurt them cause they have such thick skin).

We rode the elephants for about an hour and half downstream. It was great. Amy loved it : )

After the elephants we did the bamboo rafting. Bee, along with his mate floated the bamboo raft down to us. We bamboo rafted for about 2hrs. It was heaps relaxing at first, then got interesting the further downstream we went, with more rocks to hit, and more rapids to go over. Amy lost her balance when hit a rock and almost fell off the raft but i caught her when she was past 45 degrees. Bee and Dinsha thought it was a great save. I was feeling ever so hero like. Later amy got her foot caught and wedged between two pieces of the bamboo and received a nasty bruise on her ankle.

After the bamboo rafting we went white water rafting. As its winter and the dry season, the water levels in the river is quite low. This meant lots of paddling by our group for the first few kms. (We rafted for bout 10kms). Once out of the calm water, we faced a few bad sections where there were many large rocks and fast moving currents. It was a great top off to the day, and the whole trek.

When we got home we were so knackered. We had dinner and were off to bed rather early.





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