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That's right - this bridge has no handrails.

That’s right – this bridge has no handrails.

Last month, I wrote a blog post about a 3 day, 2 night Thailand mountain trek adventure I participated in. The link to this post is below:

https://aroundtheworldwithblade.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/chaing-mai-thailand-northern-mountain-trek-its-not-what-you-think-or-what-the-brochure-describes/#more-2192

As I conveyed in the aforementioned post, I was tested physically and mentally throughout the trek. Frankly, it was one of the toughest things I have done in quite a few years. I consider myself to be in excellent shape physically, so perhaps what made this trek so damn difficult was that the heat, humidity, sand flies, bed bugs, and mosquitoes, coupled with the treacherous terrain, all conspired to make me miserable during the 3 day trek. I was sweaty, dirty, and reeked of something akin to rotten eggs the entire frickin’ time, the only relief provided by the 3 waterfalls and lagoon we swam at.

The post I wrote back then had no photographs – due to losing my camera, after I fell into a river. This post is only possible because my trek buddies, Mark and Cheryl of Australia, took photos of our adventure and sent me some of them in an email today. Thank you both very much. Quite a few photos are with me in them, so I apologize for that. Nevertheless, they tell the story  . . .

The beginning of the trek should have been a clue, i.e., 8 people piled into the back of a short bed truck with everyone's gear. Actually, this turned out to be "nirvana," because at the end of the trip, the tour operator added two more people to our already tight quarters. Ha.

The beginning of the trek should have been a clue, i.e., 8 people piled into the back of a short bed truck with everyone’s gear. Actually, this turned out to be “nirvana,” because at the end of the trip, the tour operator added two more people to our already tight quarters. Ha.

Klaus and I on our elephant.

Klaus and I on our elephant.

The first village we stopped in had this rifle. It was so old that I had no idea if it even would shoot or would explode in your hands.

The first village we stopped in had this rifle. It was so old that I had no idea if it even would shoot or would explode in your hands.

Near a waterfall.

Near a waterfall.

Small child in village we spent the night at.

Small child in village we spent the night at.

Dinner by candle light.. Yummy . . .  I jest of course.

Dinner by candle light.. Yummy . . .

Village hut.

Village hut.

Multiple alarm clocks.

Multiple alarm clocks and dinner companions.

Me getting familiarized with my mosquito netting and bamboo mattress. Notice my pants hanging down? Everything I wore was drenched with a combination of sweat and water. Ditto for socks and shoes.

Me getting familiarized with my mosquito netting and bamboo mattress. Notice my pants hanging down? Everything I wore was drenched with a combination of sweat and water. Ditto for socks and shoes.

Klaus and I.

Cheryl to my right and Klaus on my left..

Me trying to play a Thai hand made string musical instrument made of teak. Klaus, who is a trained classical orchestra violinist, actually played a very nice tune on this instrument.

Me trying to play a Thai hand made string musical instrument made of teak. Klaus, who is a trained classical orchestra violinist, actually played a very nice tune on this instrument.

One of the very few times I wasn't miserable on this trip. Ha.

One of the very few times I wasn’t miserable on this trip. Ha.

Crossing a "safe" bridge (basically defined as one that had at least one handrail).

Crossing a “safe” bridge (basically defined as one that had at least one handrail).

Heat stroke?

Heat stroke? Maybe. I was a bit delusional at the time.

Cheryl and I by the fire.

Cheryl and I by the fire.

Mark and one of the village woman.

Cheryl and one of the village woman.

A village woman weaving clothes for her family.

A village woman weaving clothes for her family.

"Onward Christian Soldiers" through a corn field.

“Onward Christian Soldiers” through a corn field.

I have no idea what I am excited about. Maybe that I haven't fallen off the bridge.

I have no idea what I am excited about. Maybe that I haven’t fallen off the bridge.

Cheryl, Mark, Klaus, and I. We all are smiling because we have completed the trek and we know a nice hot shower and soft bed awaits us.

Cheryl, Mark, Klaus, and I. We all are smiling because we have completed the trek and we know a nice hot shower and soft bed awaits us.

We came, we saw, we conquered. We'll sort of . . .

We came, we saw, we conquered. We’ll sort of . . .

A bit of honesty on how I really felt about this *$^@#^%)+# mountain trek.

A bit of honesty on how I really felt about this *$^@#^%)+# mountain trek. Seriously, I wouldn’t trade the experience of having gone through this for anything in the world. However, I also wouldn’t repeat the experience either. 🙂

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