Sunday, 18 November 2012

In the jungle the mighty jungle

the lion and the tiger and the monkey and the squirrel and anything else that might be there sleep today (and every day I suspect).

We went on a jungle trek, which as a walk through banana trees and bamboo was fine, but as an animal spotting event was a bit of a let down! We saw some butterflies, a big hairy caterpillar, some spiders, and that was about it, save for the pig we heard grunting as we just set off and 'mad' dog who suddenly came crashing out of nowhere and followed us back and forth to the lunch spot. Well he knew we were all carrying chicken for lunch!
We were in the minority, the only British couple, a young Belgian couple, a very entertaining German and two older French couples. (Brian wasn't the eldest, not by a long way!) Listening to a German who speaks German and a Belgian who speaks French talking about Swedish films in English was all slightly surreal though!
We ambled through the 'forest' till we reached a waterfall which was our lunch stop, sadly another group had overtaken us while Ping (Pong) our guide had been rolling himself a cigarette of tobacco rolled in banana leaf, looked like a huge spliff, but he claimed it was all OK. I just wish it had had more smoke to keep the mosquitoes away that were bothering us all, I guess we'd sweated off the DEET.
Dog waited patiently at the bridge till someone carried him over to the eating platform, we waited slightly less patiently while Ping tied the foot section of the bridge together with bamboo, before we could cross, rip all our clothes off and get in the water!
Ping mending the bridge for the 'old people'
After a lovely swim and a pleasant lunch, we'd all been given a piece of fried chicken bought in the market (sadly not knowing this was going to be lunch B and I had chosen to have some as breakfast, though it was better fresh) and a banana leaf containing vegetable fried rice collected from a house in the last village, which was still warm, an orange and a banana that we'd also bought in the market, we set off again. This time up to a Karen village where they tried to persuade us to buy friendship bracelets, but I was too busy interacting with the 'wild' life!

Eight little piglets bouncing around together, playing as you'd expect puppies or kittens to play, and five little puppies, who were too little to play and just wanted mum.
We finished off with a trip to the 'bat cave' but sadly we'd forgotten (as had everyone else) to take a head torch, so by the light of the camera flash we stumbled around briefly in a dark smelly cave listening to some squeaking. By this time everyone had had enough, including Ping whose new shoes were too small and obviously giving him some trouble, so we legged it back finishing off at a 'bar', well shack, with some cans in an ice bath. All in all no one seemed to find it terribly authentic which was a shame, but at least we felt we deserved the beer when we got back, after a wonderful shower!

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