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Sunday, 5 August 2012

Day 8 - To Raft or Not To Raft...That Is The Question

After a long uninterrupted sleep, by uninterrupted I mean, a pack of wolves didn't try to savage me or a thousand mosquitoes didn't bite the legs off me, I woke, fairly refreshed.  I was really looking forward to getting onto a raft and floating back to civilisation.

It was the last day of the trek and I am not going to lie, I couldn't wait to get back to a soft hotel bed and sleep..I wanted to soak in a long bath and get locked drunk and put on clean socks and jocks and watch a crappy comedy on the hotels overpriced film list while sitting in a pool of left over take out boxes.

I still wasn't eating all that much, so when the guide handed me a piece of stale bread that was mouldy...and I mean mouldy...It was not far off that blue furry creature in Monsters Inc...I half expected it to talk to me, I just sighed and said I was grand.  I mean how can they serve this crap to people. I had to keep telling myself that this is my fault.  I paid to come on this "life changing experience"...well I defo got my monies worth, it was defo one of the most life changing experiences I had ever had.

I went back to my hut and packed my bag, put on my plastic shoes and walked straight to where we were supposed to be setting off.  When I got there one of the river guides was there speaking to another local in Thai..there was much pointing and throwing of leaves into the river.  I knew what was coming.

My pal ran down...."The river is too wild..we have to walk".. I didn't even look at her, I just asked "how far is the walk".."Six hours......Are you OK?" she asked.   "Grand" I said.."Not a Bother"...In my head I was just saying...OK 6 hours...I can do this..then we never have to do this again...

I felt real sorry for the German, who at every step cried a little bit more.  He was starting to slack off but I was arsed if I was going to hang out with him if his girlfriend couldn't be bothered...she was off with the English chap.  We stopped half way for some refreshments..a young Thai kid gave me a stick of vanilla...or sugar or something..it was so sweet..It was delicious, I sucked on it for ages, giving the little kid a bracelet I had on.  It was a fair trade.  The poor German dude only got about 5 minutes rest by the time he limped to the group.  I felt so bad for him.

After an eight and a half hour trek we arrived at this mountain restaurant.  It was an actual restaurant. It even had beer.  We were delighted. No body mentioned that it was supposed to be a six hour walk and not eight and a half.  The German was in agony.  He and his girlfriend had a massive row.  There was all kinds of language used..I wasn't sure what it was they were saying but I knew it wasn't good.

The gammy little truck arrived at the restaurant and we all sang songs and counted our bites on the journey down to the city.  I counted 32 on one leg....no lies....32 and some of them looked like saucers.  The German cried occasionally on the bus back and when he wasn't crying he was staring at his leg.  I was terrified for him, it was all swollen and red.

When we pulled in at the pick up point there was a huge cheer..We all promised to stay in touch and went our separate ways, knowing that we would never stay in touch.  We walked the short journey back to the hotel all laughs and smiles.  Already we were laughing about the landslide and me walking barefoot through the mountains.  When we reached our hotel room I ran to the bathroom and ran the shower.  I didn't even undress.  I stepped straight into it and watched the filth of the mountain run from my clothes and body.

I called my pal to look at the muck and dirt in the bath tray...we were laughing again.  That night we ordered a heap of beer to the room, had mountains of food ordered...I still couldn't eat but I tried a little.  I think I ordered it because I could.  I was starting to worry about the fact that my stomach still felt closed.  We put on a film...couldn't tell you what it was now and fell asleep on a soft fluffy pillow only waking when I realised I had spilled the beer I had in my hand all over me.  I drifted off again and was out for the count.