The river was much calmer than it had been the last two days. The flotsam trapped at the next floating guesthouse was all cleared and there was a hint of rain. We enjoyed our bowl of cereal on the deck, with Katherine being very loud and clumsy all the while – or maybe I was shattered and everything sounded like thunder and a brass band. Maybe it was a combination of the both, but we were up at the corner of the war memorial waiting for the passing bus to take us on our way.
A local gentleman stopped and tried very hard to convince us to take his car. Nowhere was it clear if he was a taxi driver of just someone with good English. He collared in the Briton standing next to us and all he could hear was noise, he didn’t understand our Thai friend. We thought he was gone, only to find he had parked around the corner and was now trying to explain the cost benefits of his system, in English and French. Clearly we looked French. If only there was a bakery nearby I would gladly have a croissant in hand and take the stereotype.
An enjoyable short hour and a half bus journey and we were at Erawan National Park. The rangers came on to the bus to sell our entrance tickets and we cruised down the steep hill to the car park. Changing in the shower cubicles we then had a trek ahead of us to the 7 levels of waterfalls:
At falls number 7, I had a pedicure from the fish and the kissed gently on the arms by the little bees. Katherine went on an adventure and climbed up higher to see more of the area. She was missing most of the drama with the local man getting sick. He was violently ill from exertion, heat or something far worse and the family were nonchalant about the whole affair. The security card had to give out to them for not making any effort to clear up the mess. After all, there was plenty of water to wash up the stuff on the rocks and the episodes in the pool had all been eaten by the fish. Back at fall 5, perhaps could have been my favourite if it wasn’t so busy, we watched a stick thin girl scream her head off when the fish started nibbling her. Like, what on earth did she expect. With no sympathy, we watched the various antics unfold from a rock and enjoyed how the ware cascaded in the area and the fish were swimming about the larger pools.
A few hundred meters below waterfall 5, not far from the track and yet peaceful and empty, we found a slice of the national park for ourselves. Feeling a bit self conscious at the moment and especially with so many judging eyes I togged off and got in to the clear waters. The fish swam round me like sharks or piranhas before a kill and once the initial few tiny ones braved the assault, they all joined in. It took quite some time to get used to the rasping feeling on the skin and poor Katherine was unable to stand still at all, the prickly little bites weren’t to her amusement. Trekking back downwards, the swimsuit wedgie I had managed to alleviate was now back and not at all discomfortable for being a bit wet now as well. Retrieving our food back from security (one of the only few that obeyed the rules) and our deposits for water bottles returned (clever system of enforced) Katherine ventured in to waterfall 2 for a prospect swim. With loads of people around the edge now satisfying to hunger fish, she was able to escape to the cascades and float about for a bit. I sat it out, helped a lady whom had slipped badly and generally just chilled. I got a few close shots of a monitor lizard before it slinger down the embankment and swam downstream. While Katherine was having a quick shower and changing I could hear the screams – the lizard had obviously continued down the waterway to fall number 1. Hahahaha!We sat on the most comfortable seat on the bus for the journey home, although it meant being next to the open back door. We different views of the amazing landscapes it felt much quicker than going to the park. We jumped off at the train station and used the same trick as yesterday to access 20mins free wifi. I managed to upload a blog and check some emails.
Kat chilled on the river deck while I had a shower. The passing karaoke barge sounded dreadful and I could easily have done with a few flaming arrows and put everyone onboard and ashore out of their misery. To the night market again, our evening choices consisted of brand new choices again – sausage wontons for starter, fish dumplings as an amuse bouche, crispy spicy pork and bamboo chicken for main and sticky rice and mango for dessert. The hardest choice for the rest of the evening is what to watch before going to sleep.
Tuesday 13th September 2016