The buzz of ice mocha begins to eliminate the throbbing at the back of my skull after a wild night consisting of one Leo bear at Spicy Pub in Chang Mai. The crowd was sparse, to be expected for a Monday night, but conversation with a few Israeli fellows was a nice change after wondering aimlessly for hours through the crowded night market boasting every item you could ever think of not needing. Tempting as it may be to spend your baht like monopoly money, I settled on two scoops of gelato - blueberry & white chocolate.
Today is a day free from expectation. There is nowhere to be and I feel satisfied after a three day trek through the mountainous jungle North of Chang Mai. Day one consisted of an Orchid farm, village of the long-neck women, elephant ride and a three-hour vertical climb to one of the seven hilltop villages. Robyn, David and I were paired with an Australian family of five who reminded me of home. Australia seems a lot like Canada only warmer and with different animals. We spent the night in a large hut constructed of bamboo and slept on hard mats with sandbag pillows. A comfortable night for me, but the village dogs barked the whole night through.
Day two was a much more relaxed hike through the mountains with stops at two waterfalls and an overnight stay with a family of four who lived on the mountain. We told tales again of home and scared the guide with ghost stories. I continue to be amazed with the versatility of Bamboo. It can be used for piping, bridges, houses, flooring, roofing, rafting, etc. Too bad it doesn't grow as well in Canada. After our last night in the mountains we continued onwards to a white water rafting stint followed by a very short bamboo rafting ride and about two hours of chilling riverside skipping stones.
Arriving back at the BMP residence in Chang Mai, David and I jumped in the pool to refresh before heading out to explore more of the city. Chang Mai offers many of the same markets and night life as Bangkok but is not so crowded and the temperature is just slightly cooler. After a good swim and a yoga session in the sun this morning I headed out into the heat of the day well packed and ready to eat. Taking a back road off the main tourist strip I came across a crowded food stand and pointed at a few dishes with identifiable ingredients. The spice was tolerable and the food was very satisfying at less than a dollar. I quenched the heat on my lips with a roadside fruit smoothie and continued my journey to the city centre. The day has much to offer and I must be on my way.