We have discovered today, unintentionally, that good things are often stumbled upon. After such an amazing time in the little jeep yesterday– we were ready today to once again attempt our hands at fate and conquer new things. On the agenda was elephant trekking, waterfalls, the only rum distillery in Thailand, and Italian food. We made our way early in the morning to the Safari Park — an extremely touristy destination, that makes my heart wench when I see it. A make shift zoo where the Thai people attempt to keep you their all day watching crocodile shows, monkey shows, elephants shows, tiger shows, seal shows, and who knows what else. Then parade you into the dining area, not before tricking you into purchase a trip to a waterfall. Of course, we are the Jones’, we often steer as far away as possible from these types of outings. We do it our way and will settle for nothing else. We tell the safari “salesman” we just want to trek with the elephants and hike on our own to the waterfall. Disappointed we do not sign up for an entire day of animal shows, he ushers us towards enormous wooden platforms, two stories high. Meanwhile attempting to sell us photos and elephant paraphernalia. Tourist traps — we will have none! (Or so we thought!)
The elephant trekking was a crack up, I have not laughed so hard in a long time. Bri and Dad were on a 20 year old baby boy, a stubborn elephant attempting to test the waters of freedom. Mom and I were on a 45 year old woman who obediently followed the elephant master. A man with the greatest Thai humor I have experienced yet, mom and I called him the “elephant cowboy”. He woo hooed and sang thai pop songs the entire way, while shouting — over 1/2 a mile away to friends. (seriously check out the videos) At the resting point, the elephant cowboy’s ushered mom and dad to take the ears and steer the elephant. Bug eyed and nervous they climbed to the neck of these enormous 2 ton animals and grabbed on. Meanwhile, our “elephant cowboys” gave us an insight into what it must be like to be Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, and all their little runts! 1, 2, 3 (snap) 1, 2, 3 (snap) 1, 2, 3 (snap). I downloaded Dad’s pictures a grand total of 25 pics taken by our paparazzi! Not to mention that was one camera, they had mom’s too!
After much laughter and severe knee slapping, they dropped us 1/2 up the trail and said “waterfall 10 minutes walk”. We followed their direction and slowly began our ascend at the looming mountain ahead. We “walked” 10 minutes and saw nothing, we kept “walking” and “walking”. I say “walking” because it was more like a 75 degree incline the entire way. Brianne and I taking the lead, are beginning to think we must have missed something, until out of the trees came — Pon. A little Thai man that asked us if we were looking for the waterfall swimming. YES! Need water, need to cool off — beads of sweat streaming down our faces and necklines. Pon suggested we follow him, he knew the way. Bri and I shrugged our shoulders and followed his footsteps. We asked how much longer it was to the waterfall…5 minutes said Pon. The Thai perception of time is way off! I am not sure if it because there are no clocks anywhere in sight. Not in hotel rooms, lobbies, restaurants, taxis, I literally mean NO WHERE! We are still “walking” having to use ropes tied to trees to pull ourselves up due to the steepness of this “walk”. 45 minutes later we arrive at an 25 ft by 50 ft pool of water, that is the most enticing body of water I have ever laid eyes on. I rip off my clothes and jump in liberated by our accomplishment in this 95 degree heat and humidity level of 75% and over! We swam beneath the waterfall and into a small cave, complete with a natural made shower towards the back. We jumped 25 ft off boulders into this tiny pool of water with the helpful direction of our tighty–whity armed friend. We had a blast. Of course after the extreme “walk” and victory lap around the natural pool, we all realized we had fallen into the tourist trap. Pon was earning his living, showing people to the hidden waterfall and offering them a great time! And great time we had! We handed Pon, 600 Baht, after he led us down and played his role of paparazzi.
Drinks danced through our minds at this point. Off to cure our exhaustion with rum! A tiny, french owned Rum distillery offering a selection of 6 different rums. They are so good– you can drink them simply over ice. The french woman running the show, explained that this rum was made of sugar cane and locally grown fruit, not one single additive or flavoring. She poo pooed us Americans and our rum habits and in the end she was very right. The only time we ever drink rum is if it is mixed with Coca Cola or juices. We never order a rum on the rocks! We are missing out on just how great it can be! She convinced us, we tasted her hand made delicacies and purchased two bottles of the delicious concoxtion.
The remainder of daylight was spent lounging and resting our tired legs, but as dusk rolled over the island we were off on our next adventure. Italian food. Yes, thats right Italian food in Thailand! I have been surprisingly shocked at the amount of foreigners that have landed in this beautiful country and have brought with them a taste of their homeland. I guess everyone is looking for their slice of paradise. Via Vie, was the place — pizza and pasta was our desires. We ate what to me felt like the next best thing to either Grimaldi’s (the famous Brooklyn pizzaria) or Italy. It was utterly delicious, however the night was steamy and we were drenched with heat and exhaustion. What better place to regain our strength and energy than one of the thousands of thai massage parlors on this island. We went in for mani/pedi’s (Bri & I) and A/C. We left having had 7 thai women working on 4 of us at the same time, while we lounged in Thai style. Mom and Dad were convinced that the A/C was not good enough. Relaxation was brought on them in the form of two strong handed Thai women, massaging their feet, hands, and head. Brianne and I got what we came in for. We walked out having spent 1200 Baht, $35 for an hour! Ladies and Gentleman — $8.75 for 1 hour of pampering! This could easily become a habit of mine, while I am here!
(dear readers I am having a very difficult time uploading pictures to my blog, please check out all pictures at the following site, http://gallery.me.com/lindsey_jones1021#gallery.)