Jungle treks and living with the Karen Village Tribe

My first ever hiking experience and i choose a 3 day jungle trek up a mountain with a bunch of semi-pro’s…gotta start somewhere i guess!

Day 1 started with a long car journey and meeting the rest of our group, then we stopped off to see the elephants again briefly and the hiking began!
I slowly started to realise that i may have jumped in the deep end here. A combination of asthma, unhealthy eating, lack of hiking experience and just pure laziness don’t mix well with a 3 day hike up a mountain!
I can do this though!

Our first hike took us through the trees and the forest to a beautiful waterfall which was to be the background of our home for the night.
First things first…i’m going swimming!
You know those pictures you see of people under waterfalls looking glamorous and relaxed? Yeh i’m pretty sure they’re all fake as waterfalls are absolutely freezing!! Heres me trying to look relaxed…

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After dinner we all sat round the campfire.
We met 3 others who were on a trek before but couldn’t make it any further up the mountain…that could be me tomorrow!
Tonight i met my first Canadian. He was an older man named Mel and he was frikkin awesome! Even though he was from Canada he was the perfect image of an all around American cowboy with that cool calm nature and husky gravelly voice…note to self; i need to go to Canada!

Sitting here watching everyone talking to eachother i can’t help but feel a bit guilty that i don’t speak another language. So many people can speak English nowadays that i think i personally have gotten lazy and i just assume that everywhere i go someone will speak my language…i need to change this!

This is my bed for the evening

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Day 2 and i wake up to the sun shining and the waterfall splashing – beautiful πŸ™‚
Outside the campfire was lit and there were pots of tea and coffee warming, one of the villagers made us toast on the fire. I was amazed at how he did this!
Who needs a toaster!

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After breakfast we left for our next hike…straight up hill! Not gonna lie i almost had an asthma attack and i’m not ashamed to say i was pretty scared and almost turned back. Everyone was so sweet, they waited for me to catch my breath and they even carried my bag for me.
I’m gonna do this!

2 hours later we stopped at a little shack in the middle of nowhere for lunch and a rest, then it was time to carry on.

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Finally we made it to the village where the Karen tribe lived. It’s so beautiful and i’m so happy i made it!
As we walked in some local kids shouted hello and waved…even they know some English!
Bags dumped, shoes off i went to explore.
It was a big reality check seeing how these people live. They have so little but they are so happy.
No running water or electricity but the children are running round laughing and playing, they couldn’t be happier. It makes me sad to think of all the things children back home in England take for granted when they’re having a hissy fit about not getting the latest smart phone!

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After stuffing ourselves with a delicious pumpkin curry that was made by 2 local village children we all sat round the campfire which was literally on the edge of the mountain, and watched the sunset.

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This is when we were properly introduced to SumPong, the only way to describe him is absolutely batcrap crazy!
He was hilarious and had us all laughing. Then he brought out his homegrown natural marijuana, a bong made of bamboo and some banana leaf to roll with…would be rude to say no (sorry mum n dad!)
One of the best experiences of my life!
All of us sitting round a campfire watching the stars and talking about SouthPark and Bob Marley.
English, French, Dutch, Swedish, American, German and Thai and the 1 thing we all share a love for is Bob Marley! SumPong’s favourite song is Buffalo Soldier.
And just when i thought it couldn’t get any better he gets us all up to dance around the fire and sing the Elephant song to make the fire grow.
Elephant in Thai is Chang.
I wish i could remember the words but that moment will stay with me forever.

Day 3 and this mornings wake up call was an actual ‘cockadoodledoo’ from a rooster…every 20 minutes from 3am!! Finally at 7am i got up and went outside to be greeted by a herd of cows and a family of pigs…very strange!
Breakfast over and it’s time to say goodbye to the Karen tribe, i didn’t want to leave 😦

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One thing i won’t miss is our lovely toilet/shower…

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Bamboo rafting was the reward for the last part of the hike and then after swapping facebook and email addresses we all said goodbye…meeting up for dinner and drinks later though πŸ™‚
I’ve only known these people 3 days but we have some amazing memories and private jokes together that i will never forget πŸ™‚

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4 thoughts on “Jungle treks and living with the Karen Village Tribe

    1. Hey πŸ™‚ yeh its amazing out here and im loving the whole backpacking life, even though i smell and im really dirty! Yeh i think mikes loving it too πŸ™‚
      Hows everything back home?x

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      1. Ha ha, you big smelly backpacker 😜. Things are Ok, I’m at Gatwick off for a week of work in Dublin, Char’s at home getting bigger by the second, and Dad bought himself an iPad 2 because his tablet broke. Keep up the blog, it’s been really great to read and is almost as good as being away myself x x

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