So, I am very hung over this morning from staying up, watching the Packers lose, and drinking to many beers. I’m on vacation, so these things happen. But, I should really consider not getting loaded the day before a trek again. As I was waiting for my tour to to pick me up, I laid my head down for a short while. When they pulled up and gave me a honk, I grabbed my bag and jumped into the truck. As we were driving around picking other people up, I thought it would be a good time to rest my tired, hungover eyes. Half way to the first stop, I realized I did not have my phone!!! “Crap”, (and a few other select words came to mind). I attempted to call my hostel and phone to make sure it was still there. I could not get through, so the tour guide dropped me off at a taxi stop and I went back to the hostel. Sure enough, it was right were I left it on the table. Funny thing, the day before there was a girl calling around looking for her lost phone and I thought, “Stupid girl!!”. Karma is a bitch sometimes 🙂 Fortunately for her, it was just on her friend’s bed. It is amazing how our smart phones have become such an important part of our lives. We use them for banking, photos, e-mail, social networking, games, reading books & news, etc. Really opened my eyes to the importance of not leaving on the table and jumping into a truck!!
Lets start this again!! I have my phone now and wasted a day of travel. After a day of sitting around and sleeping, I was ready for some adventure. When I jumped in the truck, I was greeted by three Italian women. After that, a Brit, Swede, Dutch, and Aussie joined the crew. For most of the ride, to our first stop, I had a lovely conversation about world politics, religion, history, and travel with the Italians. I miss having intellectual conversations sometimes! Soon enough though, we arrived at the orchid and butterfly farm. It was cool, but a quick walkthrough.
From here we went on a trek in the jungle to a waterfall. The weather was really nice. Though it was warm, I was not dying because of humidity. I also opted out of going for a dip 🙂
After our trek, we ate lunch and went to the river to do some whitewater rafting and bamboo rafting. (Hopefully rafting pics to come!)
The rafting was good fun. I was paired up with the three Italian women. After the rafting, we went to go ride some elephants. I felt strange riding them because I honestly don’t know how well they are treated. Similar to how I don’t truly know if the tigers I took photos with were drugged up. Here is a little more scenery as we headed to see the elephants!
Here we are riding elephants! Unfortunately, this is the best photo I have at the moment 😦
After this, we then headed off to make paper out of elephant, horse, and cow shit!! The whole shit-paper-making-process was pretty cool to see. Because of the high fiber diet, the poo does not smell! I was having to much fun eating and stirring up shit 😉
Here are a few for pics of the shit into paper making process!
While a few hung back and made poo-paper diaries, I was the only one to go to a small village to see one of the Long Neck Karen Villages. I felt really strange going here without anyone else from my group. Also, it was getting late and I was one of the only tourists at the village. I did take a photo of one of the women and bought something from her stand. This is another situation where I feel there is an exploited tourist gimmick.
I headed back to meet up with my group after the quick visit to this village and we headed back into town. Here is a picture of all of us outside the Elephant Poo-to-Paper place.
That’s it for the day! After I got back, I washed up and headed out to dinner. I had a seafood stir-fry with shrimp and squid. That hit the spot!! Tomorrow, I will be catching a bus to the Laos border. Because of my missed day debacle with my phone, I chose to skip Chiang Rue. That’s just how things go sometimes!