20 May 2012

Lightning shower... literally

I just had the most wonderful day in Pai today (ok like, five days ago now).  We took a motorcycle ride towards Mae Hong Song that took about 1.5 hours to get there.  What a beautiful drive!!  The mountains are just so green and lush here!  The forests and jungle are a combination of tropical plants, pine trees and coffee plantations.  The views of the valleys are spectacular and my little scooter was doing overtime going up these mountains, twisting and turning around every bend hitting pockets of warm and cool air.  We finally get to the top of the mountains and we find that when we stopped, the sun was beating down on us and my tan lines had developed quite quickly (nothing quite like shorts tan lines!).  We descend downhill and I can’t stop thinking about all the different smells, pine, sweet grass, recently cut grass, wood, earth… Nothing can beat that drive... except for maybe the Central Highlands of Vietnam.

Later that day, we decide to go to the Pai canyon which is supposed to have spectacular views of the valley – and it does.  This “canyon” is an interesting rock formation that is sort of circular where you can walk along the ridge of these rocks and we see that we’re a bit late for the sunset but see that these big storm clouds are coming over the mountains and begin to hear lots of thunder and see some lightning.  We take some photos and then decide we should head back thinking that the storm is rolling in rather slow.  We must have had our sense of direction off a bit because not 5 minutes into our drive back into town, it starts to dump on us.  And by dump, I mean water went straight through my clothes within minutes.  I didn’t have any face protection so it started to get difficult to see and then I was worried that the roads had officially become dangerous for us to be on.  At some point, what I thought was the rain coming down really hard on us as the rain drops were starting to actually hurt my face and feel like little stones hitting me, ended up being hail.  It all ended up being a lot of fun and I was laughing hysterically the entire time.  I loved it!  I wondered what monsoon season was like and now, I’m starting to get an idea. 

By the time we got back to our bungalows, we were dripping wet.  I got into the “bathroom” (It’s basically an outhouse attached to my bungalow that might as well be outdoors since the only thing protecting me from the outside is a thatched roof and some screen with bugs all on the other side of it) and literally wrung out my clothes as if someone had taken a hose to them.  As I take a quick pee, I notice that some rain is coming through the thatched roof and start laughing again... "of course it is!" I think to myself.  I begin my shower, the lights start flickering, and then… they’re off…  hmm, the only light I have coming in is from outside from the clouds and from the lightning… again, I start laughing.  “Really, I’m bathing to lightning being my only source of real light and thunder is the soundtrack?  Now, I’m really feeling a bit out in the remote.”.  I spent part of the night writing this and reading the third book of  “The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo” series by candlelight surrounded by my mosquito net and listening to the thunder and rain.  I loved every minute of it.


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