More Dirt and Sweat

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After talking with Mai late Monday night, I crawled into the bamboo hut where the others were sleeping beneath misquito netting. The misquitos here aren’t any worse than home, except that some of them cary the deadly Malaria virus. Eric and I both took a vaccine that is supposedly very effective at defending against Malaria; but not 100%. However, the misquitos were the least of my problems. I’ve slept on wood planks before, but never on bamboo. Round wood hurts more. It was impossible to get comfortable. The heat was still swealtering. There were animals moving below us. There were still tribe people up talking. I fell in and out of sleep. At one point i woke to a dog barking. A small dark. It was barking and barking..and barking. Non-stop. I’ve never heard a dog bark for that long. Eventually everyone in the hut was awake. People started yelling to do something. Suddenly there was a sound of someone moving, the dog made a very loud screaching sound for about 30 seconds and then it stopped. The next morning the others said they had heard a gun shot, but there were too many stray dogs in the village to know whether one was missing.

Mai was our guide the next day for our trek. He took us through trails that hadn’t been used in some time. Our guide Eddy was marking the tree with his knife by chopping three nothches into them…so he could find his way next time. Mai brought his daughter with him. She was probably 5 years old. She wore yellow rubber rain boots and he wore flip flops….Eric and I had our Gortex high top REI Hiking boots on. We had our camel pack backpackis with 3 liters of water…they didn’t carry anything. They hopped skipped and jumped up and down the trails…we sweat and dragged our feet. They live in these mountains….so obviously it’s easier for them…but i couldn’t believe it.

We swam in more waterfalls, we walked through rice fields and we came to the second hill tribe at about 4pm…dinner was to be served at 7. This place was a disaappointment. We were sat at the picinic table,confrotned with jewelry and clothes for sale…and then given chips and water to buy again. The “tribe people” had a somewhat modern and very newly constructed house next to their bamboo hut. It seemed they spent their time in the Bamboo place, but slept under the metal roof and behind the glass windows. It was a small family. I saw them twice for about 5 minutes. I think there were 3 of them Eddy cooked our dinner, which wasn’t too good…but we ate lots because we were hungry as hell from climbing the hills all day. At dinner the group asked Eddy when we were goign to see the “longnecks”. He looked confused. “Longnecks in the east… we no see longnecks my friend. Ha ha. ” We all instantly knew we had been screwed by the travel agency that we would see them, but we wern’t going to. I was pissed for about 2 minutes, until Tristan said…”we’re toursists, that’s what happens to tourists here”. I chalked it up as a leson learned. Get everyting in writing.

The bamboo sleep the second night was a bit better, because we had 1 inch mats to put down. The walk back on wednesday was uneventfull except for us stopping to watch Eddy eat a bird and frog that some tribe guy was cookin in a pot in a small hut near a rice field. I’m so perplexed by these people that live in the woods, hunt and farm everyday, but wear watches and drive motorcycles.

When we got back to civilization, a downpour started. We had a quick lunch of rice, chicken, veggis and pineapple, which as we found is the staple hill tribe trekking meal. Next we were driven about an hour to the river where we boarded the bamboo rafts. This was a pretty touristy thing, but it was super fun. The rapids wern’t too big, but going down a class 1 rapid on eight stiks of bamboo is quite an adventure. THe setting was pretty awesome too. Neither of our guides spoke english…which made it more interesting becayuse we had no directions at all on how to stear the raft or anything. Just a lot of pointing and yelling.

Overall the trekking adventure was well worth the money and time. Yea i’m pissed we got sold something we thought was soemthing else, but i’m smarter for next time. I got my first experience in third world conditions. I apprecaite what i have a lot more. And Eric and I have made two good friends from England now…Tristan and Ben.

One Thought on “More Dirt and Sweat”

  1. ksunturtle Says:

    Hi Its Just Me!OK lets not write about killing stray dogs anymore, Thanks. I am sorry you lost sleep but no more talk about killing things.England Buddies, Fun!I would die to be near a waterfall right now…

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