Day 2 – Snakes in a drain
Tentatively jumping in the boat once we’d distributed our belongings around the boat so as not to capsize it, it was 8am by the time we’d dragged everything from the temple down to the waterside.
We set off, zig zagging our way down the river like seasoned amateurs. A very quiet and concentrated hour from the both of us along the banana tree and bambu-lined river, eventually stopping for a boiled egg and handful of peanuts-5 minute break.
The moment of truth was working out for the first time, what sort of speed we would average…and therefore giving us an idea of how long our journey might take.
5 kmh on our first attempt! We’d take that. With a day of paddling being between 6 and 8 hrs, that would put us between 30 and 40 kmh per day! Result.
Although this would be in an ideal world, as from time to time you are faced with such obstacles like a dam or a weir. Unfortunately we’re not quite trained enough to go over the top of a dam just yet! So this means pulling the boat over, unloading it and transporting our kit and supplies, as well as the boat by foot to the other side and then dropping it back in to the river where possible. This can add an hour to your day, and although it’s good to get out the boat, it’s some pretty physical work when you’re doing it in 30 degree heat.
So round we went, got it all up there and decided to break for lunch.
Loz being Loz, has all the hardcore camping equipment you can shake a stick at, including some weird gas burner designed to be able to operate up Everest, which cooks your food fast but also sounds like a jet engine taking off. (Another way for us to avoid attracting attention…not)
Finally, back on the river post some local family laughing at/supporting us along the way and feeding us a couple of shots of Thai whisky to help us on our way, we re-commenced the zig zagging, only this time I’d put that down to the whisky, not our inexperience.
A few hours later, the end of the day was in sight, slightly sore, quite sunburnt and a little bit more savvy, we pulled into our next chosen destination. Again, down by the banks of the river, only we think this was a community-owned area, as we probably had around 25 people come and visit throughout the course of the evening while we tried to cook.
We also had a large friend turn up in the shape of a 3m python, with a thickness of a coke can. Spiders I can deal with, snakes I cannot. Loz obviously scoffs at these types of threats
Our evening ended with the Thai police arriving in a pick up truck just as we’d gone to bed. Again, in our best/worst Thai and with a considerable amount of gesticulation, I think we’d persuaded him that we weren’t a threat and we’d be gone by 8am the next morning. We weren’t and we did.