Teams of 4 for the rafting, Jay, me and a Belgium couple and our guide”God”… off we set, God has the gift of the gab and we are soon all hitting it off. First stop is a series of water falls and its time for a swim and a small rock jump… continuing on down river we hit a few little rapids, as we passed one of the other boats ‘god’ lent out with his paddle handle slipping it under the neck of Tane’s life jacket… tug…. splash…. and it was on… 4 boats at war… our boat never lost a passenger for the day “PADDLE HIGH 5 “… Lunch was chicken fried rice at a forest ranges hut on the bank where 2 rivers joined, we were promised it got bigger after lunch, which it did but it was no New Zealand. Into the bigger rapids with me and jay in the front possitions ‘God’ did every thing in his power apart from tipping the whole boat to get us to fall out…. ‘God’ – 0 v Simon and Jay – plenty… Our next stop was a rock jump into the river, no i’m not talking a wee little hop off a rock, this was 12mt in the air into brown fast flowing water… haha got to do this… Ok Jay first, then me… arms working like crazy looked like i though i could fly… hit the water at mach 1 Next person was a 16yr old dutch girl… much respect… THE PERSON AFTER THAT WAS HER 14 YR OLD SIS… this is 12mt in the air, higher than an olympic dive tower… credit girls… more rapids and another hour or so on the river till we get to the exit point.. With only one truck they want us in and out of the showers fast we do and leave, to find out later that night that Tane, Ollie and Hayley where left there for 3hr not knowing what was going on… We all meet up back in town and head back to the bungalows, to relax and watch a movie, the movie ended up being ‘the beach’ so the opening scene about people in Thailand ending up watching movies in their hostels brought a round of laughs.
A relaxed day around the bungalows for most today after 45km of rafting the day before, time needed for tired muscles and a big night ahaed. Stacey a long term stayer at Darling view is leaving tomorrow, Ollie turns 25 today and our whole group is moving on, with me leaving the group to head home, so Anna and Peter put on a big BBQ night.
They hired a local to cook roast pork, bbq chicken rice etc, music video’s on the big screen, camp fire (yes I know its the tropics and probable still 28º) and was just a perfect night to finish our travels together. After dinner into town to party… some of us even risked the dodgy bridge in the dark (see picture), a night of cocktail, dancing and merriment was had by all.
My mini bus left at 9 and so after breakfast I started my goodbyes, Darling Anna burst into tears saying “when you came her there where only 3 people in the resort and now your leaving there is over 30, thank you thank you”…. it was beautiful although I only brought a few to the resort…. Back over the mountains to Chiang Mai and enough time for a relaxed lunch and a couple of brews before I headed to the train station for my over nighter to Bangkok. On board at 4pm and train pulls out at 4:30. My sleeper is great, plenty of room and comfy, 2 chinese guys and a dutch bloke, we chat away until the stewardess comes around for dinner and drink orders then its back to chatting and looking out the window. We arrive 1 hour late into bangkok after a great nights sleep and its into a taxi and off to Khao San Rd and back to the DD Hotel for 2 nights and a day of shopping to fill my backpack with cheap knock offs. Check out 10am and off to the airport for a short flight to Singapore and a 6hr stop over and fly into Adelaide at 6:50 am…. Home….