23 June 2012

Thai MacGuyver with a Machete

Samart peeling back the bamboo to reveal the sticky rice he just cooked up.
Mad skillz, yo.
Day 2 in paradise.  Woke up this morning around 4am… I laid there and listened to all the night sounds… crickets chirping, cicadas doing whatever that sound is that sounds like the high pitched noise of a motorcycle, roosters crowing, dogs howling, geckos saying “gecko”, the water from the river nearby trickling and rushing, and more… this place is pretty magical.  

I went for a mountain bike ride to some waterfalls close by and it was definitely a good ride up and down hill to a lovely waterfall and rock slides where the water was perfectly cool and refreshing.  I spent the morning with a couple who live in New Zealand but he’s from Alberta, she’s from Chile.  Super sweet couple whom I had a lot of fun with mountain biking and jumping around in the water with.

We came back and I left with Samart, our host, to the Karen hill tribe village to pick up a couple coming back from a trek.  To my surprise, there was another watering hole with some cool slides too.  Samart made lunch… and by that I mean, he went and cut down some bamboo, cut it all sorts of ways to make: skewers to cook the fish, our spoons, to use as a long bowl/tube to mash some roasted zucchini in with another branch then added soy sauce and some roasted peppers, to cook our sticky rice inside of only to have it come out as one long tube with a bamboo skin around it (LOVE) and finally to make a pipe out of.  If I have to go survive in the wilderness, I’m taking this guy!!!  If I have to bet on who would win on the show Survivor, it’d be this guy.  Seriously, Master Chef meets MacGuyver in the jungle.  No joke.

Prepping zucchini for mash
Karen village local -- it's a group effort to make lunch!  
Zucchini goes inside the bamboo to be smashed
by the other bamboo stick
Our lunch cooking: pork (inside banana leaf), fish, chicken, sticky rice, and
 not shown (roasted mashed zucchini)
Finished product inside the bamboo
Mmm, fire roasted zucchini on sticky rice...  mmm....
Spoons!!!  I need to learn this!
...in case I decide to be stranded in the jungle...
with a machete/knife that I would never own...
Samart showing me that a leaf along our trail is good for making it's own bubbles!
Wand and juice already included.
This sweet girl is part of the Karen village and when I first saw her,
she was petting and loving her pig like we would pet our dogs or cats in the western world.
Super sweet!

One of the local handicrafts.  Cow bell made of bamboo, but in all sorts of sizes.
Right after the rain
After lunch and frolicking in the river going down several other rock slides, we head into the village and take off for an elephant camp.  Elephants are such spectacular creatures.  Slow moving, they seem wise somehow.  And so beautiful up close.  They also seem pretty resourceful, I witnessed one snorting some mud into it’s trunk and blowing the mud onto it’s back to get rid of the flies and biting insects (or me, in my case when I later rode one.).  Today was watch and photograph elephants, tomorrow, time to ride.  (This lovely couple from Ireland did three days with the elephants!)

After a tough day of swimming and witnessing some spectacular beauty and culture, I'm now laying in a hammock watching the sun set over the valley.  Yes, all this in ONE DAY!  Did I mention this is my personal paradise?


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