Travel Blog: Week 67
Northern Thailand – Chiang Mai
Week 67: 17.02.2014 – 23.02.2014
So a normalish morning – workout, meditation and laundry (not necessarily in that order though).
I met Honor and Joel (her latest friend to visit from Australia) at the Canal Road junction and escorted them to Oceans. Today the three of us were taking a raw chocolate workshop – we were kind of on show as Ocean had two people from travel companies attending. They were going to assess the quality of the workshop with a view to adding it to their tourist options. Bless her Ocean invited me for free – it usually costs around 20 quid to attend (which is already a bargain considering the length of the workshop and the number of high quality chocolates you get to take home) . The workshop is fun and really informative. These are healthy chocolates but they pack a punch. The cacao can have quite an effect on the body and should only be taken in small servings until you get used to it. Throughout the afternoon we got to experiment with soft and hard chocolates and with unlimited flavourings – all totally natural and healthy of course! We also got to sample our own and each others flavour combinations – boy Joel’s super chilli explosion took some getting used to and a big glass of water. Anyway, this sampling meant we all left with huge smiles, a spring in our step and totally buzzed out!
By the time I met Richard for a drink later that evening I had calmed down again. It was a bar I’d never been to before – called Dash. A traditional two story wooden Thai building but with a modern spin – loved it, and the G&T!
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday:-
So, as is becoming the norm for me I woke with something else to challenge me – a cold, a bad one.
I slept for most of the morning and then I think in desperation I took a ride out to see Eezi. He had a super powerful fermented Khowtong juice which could cure anything. I bought a bottle of this potion, dropped in at the Royal Project to stock up on food, and headed home.
That’s where I stayed for the next few days willing myself to feel better. I had so many invites to things this week and really felt sorry for myself as I had to miss them.
Gradually, as with everything – it passed. By Friday I still took it easy but I did at least make breakfast with Honor.
It was another slow day but I was feeling much better and really wanted to make Clare’s leaving event along the river in the evening.
I had never been to that part of Chiang Mai, so after packing some food and drink, plus some clothing options for along the river, I set out early in the hope I’d find the place and arrive on time. Without 3G I don’t have access to maps on the move. I had studied the maps as best I could before I left but it’s not always easy to distinguish between the main roads and the small sois.
So in true intrepid weesie fashion, I got lost. I was in the right area but after 40 minutes on the road crossing two major roads I knew something was wrong. I doubled back and at last found the main gate, tucked back from the road and with a couple of rather pathetic looking balloons. It was dark by now and the mossies were out in full force. Quick change into long trousers and body covering shawl – I’m amazed I actually considered this before I left. Bonus point to me.
It was a truly wonderful evening. The house right on the river was beautiful and the passing river boats shed reflections of light on the water. The choir sang a few of their well rehearsed songs and we all clapped along. Tonight was double edged as Clare was leaving soon, but so too were my friends Marian and Irene (my natural-path and the lady who’d introduced me to the Burmese students). They had been so supportive of me over the time I knew them and I really would miss their company. I took the opportunity to spend much of the evening with them.
The night rumbled on and the non official and rather drunken singing and dancing continued.
I think I was the last non choir person to leave. Getting home was much more straightforward and thankfully quicker than the journey there!
Something different today!
I met Luise and 6 other girls I had never met for a day trip to a strawberry farm. Yes, strawberry picking in Thailand – can you believe it!
The eight of us bundled on scooters and also climbed into a red bus – always a little hit and miss! What a group. Me, the Brit, one from Ibiza, one from Madrid, one from Japan, and four from Denmark.
After some tooing and froing we all arrived at the farm – the girls in the red bus only making it part of the way. Then four up scooter ride (that’s a lot on one scooter so much kudos to the driver) got them to the final destination. For 150THB we got a small punnet to fill with strawberries but we could also eat as many as we liked whilst picking. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love strawberries, I really do. And these ones were juicy, sweet and delicious. There is a limit, I found though, to the number you can at in one afternoon. Very clever marketing! After a strenuous few hours of picking we crashed in the sun before heading one.
I had a cheese and TV evening with Clare and Leo. Great cheese bought to Chiang Mai by one of Leo’s Parisian friends, great bread from the bakery, and some BBC drama from Clare’s hard drive. What fun we had!!!
It was late when we eventually shut the lid on Clare’s laptop so Leo crashed at my place – much nearer, and I useful option under the circumstances.
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