I’m writing this blog with legs that feel like jelly and blistered feet – and at the same time, absolutely buzzing after our Thai jungle trek! There were nine of us in the tour group and we got to know them all pretty well on the journey to Mae Tang (we were practically sitting on each other’s laps in the truck!) We were with two fellow Brits, two Canadians and three Germans, and we couldn’t have trekked with a nicer bunch of people.
Our adventure began with an elephant ride through the jungle which was an incredible experience: the scenery was stunning and it’s the closest I’ve ever been to Dumbo! Poor Hanna drew the short straw and sat on its neck, and unlike the other elephants in the group ours wasn’t playing ball! We were dangled off the edge of cliffs a few times and we also took a detour into the river (yes, we were squirted with water and mud!)
The next leg of our journey was a four-hour trek up a mountain, where we passed through dense jungle and when we had the energy, admired views I never imagined I’d see in my lifetime. None of us were expecting the trek to be of this scale and magnitude, and we agreed that it blew last year’s Mount Snowdon climb out of the water! The sense of achievement we felt when we reached the top was as amazing as the ice-cold bottle of Chang waiting for us!
That evening, we camped in a bamboo hut with the Lamu hill tribe who cooked us some beautiful Thai food. It was great to get to know everyone in our group over a few drinks, and we were even treated to a guitar performance by our tour guide (we ended up singing along to Ronan Keating – they love him out here for some unbeknown reason). Staying in camp was totally out of my comfort zone, as was the shower which was a hose pipe surrounded by bamboo screening! We also had to share the toilet with a huge spider at one point…
The following day we went trekking again (downhill this time, and after it’d been raining) so the Fred Perry plimsolls I wore were obviously the perfect footwear for this type of activity. Although I did only fall on my backside once! We went to see two waterfalls and then that evening, we camped in another bamboo hut by the river and sat around a fire with the other guys in our group.
As incredible as the trek was, I was pining for the final day because I knew it was only an hour’s walk to the white-water rafting base. My legs couldn’t take much more! I was quite apprehensive about rafting at the start, especially as I’m not the biggest fan of water, but it was so much fun and it’s given me the urge to do it again – and somewhere a little more extreme next time.
All in all, the trek has been undoubtedly one of the best experiences of my life so far. I feel proud of myself for putting myself in situations that were way beyond my limits, and I had some truly incredible experiences because of it.