So... Matt and me have been spending our days and nights relaxing in the river bank bungalows of Pai Village, Chiang Mai. This is certainly a little hippy hub of the world, veggie yummys and rasta bars on every corner. They have a night market every evening which is full of such tasties as deep fried fresh potatoes crisps, banana nutella waffles, BBQ'd sweet corn, and even Pai's very own Sushi chef who slings his rolls road side. So here we are fattening up so we can starve again for the two days of bus journeys to Loa. We've been trying to leave for three days now but this sleepy little village apparently has a strong grasp on us, we find ourselves full of excuses every day of why tomorrow will be a better day to travel.
Besides the lounging days and the camp fire nights Pai is surrounded by beautiful rolling mountains that are brimming with forests and rivers. We heard that about 7 km down the road were some very nice hot springs, so Matt and me rented a Motor scooter for the day (100 baht = $3.30) and scooted our selves out to them. The swimming was lovely, one pool after another which allows you to pick your temperature, Matt and me hung out about 5 pools apart. Other than the swimming though there is something very special that goes on at the source. The Thai's, being wonderful people, have come up with the rather silly but truly delicious thought to use the springs to boil eggs in. Where the water bubbles out from beneath the earth the pools are lined with people who all have a long bamboo poll with a bag of eggs tied on the end, all cooking away in the water. Of course we had to try this ourselves and after a 1/2 hour wait we had the best boiled eggs that have ever crossed my lips. Perhaps it was the anticipation? An idea I will certainly bring back to California springs soon.
Riding though the warm mountain air on our little scooter has been so liberating. Singing born to wild at the top of our lungs, hair blowing in the wind. You know... Easy Rider minus the chopped Harley and replace it with 120???80 cc scooter that is sea foam green with rainbow speed stripes. Great fun. Besides the hot springs we've visited a few waterfalls... very nice, but for those of you who have kept up with our blog 'after Plitviska in croatia i don't think i'll ever look at a water fall the same way.' We haven't really done any swimming due to our knowledge of the lack of sewer systems around these parts; though you do see other tourists, usually quite drunk, floating down the river in inner-tubes.
One thing that we saw here that is truly unique to me was the Pai canyon. The sediment is some kind of sand stone that must either have little creeks running though it or be victim to horrendous rain storms. The effect is that you find your self on little trails, big enough for 1 person only, that stand alone; on either side the earth has fallen away leaving gaping canyons and cliffs. You weave though the forest canopy like this on the trails trying to battle off the vertigo and to defiantly keep your footing. Really stunning, never seen anything like it.
I'll leave you with that and the photographs of course, we're going to make our way from here Chiang Rai then Chiang Kong and then Lao. So until then we'll be safe and hope you enjoyed the reading.