Early in the morning we got up, had breakfast and started our 3 hour long trip down south along the sinuous mountain roads. We all four –Julia, Hector and a couple of kiwi guys- end up feeling motion sickness due to the over 1200 bends of the way. Appart from that, the first day of the trek was perfect. We started with a 4 hour rafting in the Mae Klong river, stoping aside to collect “jungle food” such as bamboo shoots and mushrooms. Then we arrived to a camp on the river side, where we prepared dinner –Thai food of course- and where we spent the night and felt asleep hearing the beautiful jungle sounds.
The second day started with another 2 hour raft down the river, entertained with the moonson rain and some more stops along the way before starting a 3 hours trek –all wet and miserable- through muddy paths in the jungle forest. It was great that they provided us rubber boots for the trek, so that we felt confident and free to step anywhere, either streams, puddles or mud. The trek ended in a kind of camp site near the National Park entrance where we spent the whole afternoon and night with other people from other trekking companies, still raining…
On the third day we visited the highest waterfall in Thailand (Tee Lor Su, which in Karen language means waterfall), it was quite impresive and full of water at this time of the year, although we missed the opportunity to swim in one of its pools due to the heavy rain and the chilled air. On the way back to the camp, where our guides were waiting for us, we had the best experience of the trek when we found a 1,5 meter long King snake –apparently quite poisonous, as our guides told us later- and played with it for a while. It was the first time we have seen such a big and dangerous snake in its habitat and it was one of the few animals we were able to see during this trek (they either don’t like rain or us).
After that we kept on walking –all the different groups separated although very close to each other- on the way to the Karen village where we were supposed to spend the night with a local family. We didn’t feel very welcomed in the village and could not interact much neither with children nor with adults of the tribe, they did’t seem very interested in us, so we respected them. We arranged a gathering though with all the non locals in town: the tourists and their guides. We spent a nice evening with an international taste: kiwis, english, danish, thais and spanish all together singing and chating for many hours.
The fourth and last day was the shortest and also the worst one since we only did the way back to Umphang on the back of an elephant, who didn’t seem to be very happy with the treatment it received from its owner (bastard!), plus the uncomfortability of this kind of transport. From there we were driven back to Mae Sot, where we spent hours chating with Mr Om and had a very good recovering night on a mattress again.