Lollygagging Mode Shut Down
Trip Start Jun 26, 2013
16Trip End Jul 24, 2013
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So we seldom ever rush, usually perfecting the art of lollygagging in the places we visit. Yesterday however, we were forced to switch gears.
We woke up at our usual 6:00 and spent some leisurely time on our private deck overlooking the beach. As we listened to the waves crashing onto shore, we researched where to go in Chaing Mai and what things we wanted to be sure not to miss. Then, with our homework done, we headed to breakfast....WOW! Talk about a fabulous setting and presentation! We were greeted as we entered the pool side restaurant and given a tour of the most amazing breakfast buffet we have ever seen. There was everything from cereal in white ceramic vessels of varying sizes set out like a waterfall, to fresh squeezed juice, French toast and crepes with cinnamon
sugar and maple syrup, all the fresh fruit one could ever hope for to a pastry station complete with banana bread, pound cake, muffins, croissants and more
Our flight out of Phuket left at 10:30 and we figured we were at least 45 min from the airport, so we wanted to be on our way no later than 8:30. ...but it was SO hard to hurry! We enjoyed our breakfast, putting a rush on at the end when we caught a glimpse of the clock. Yikes! We arrived at our car at close to 9:00, and set off on the winding two lane road. And promptly got behind a pickup truck that maxed out at 10 mph. It was impossible to pass so we inched along. Eventually we passed him and sped ahead arriving at the airport a few minutes to ten. Where to go? We had no idea where to return the rental car. There were cars everywhere and long lines. We asked at the first ticket booth we came to and were directed to a place through the parking lot and across the road. We booked over there as fast as possible. The guy came out and indicated for us to look a t the car with him. We did that, then Joe disappeared inside while I shoved all of the rest of our belongings into our two backpacks. Total disorganization. Joe was taking forever as i watched the minutes tick by and thought, " we'll never make it!" Finally Joe came out saying that the guy was punching numbers over and over into the calculator making no progress until Joe said" I've got to go!" And the guy agreed and that was that
The guy sped us back across the road to the airport where there was a long line of cars waiting to get to the drop off zone. Minutes later, we jumped out of the car, rushed inside, made it through the first set of x- ray machines, checked in, then ran towards the metal detectors. joe got through but I was stopped. " spray can?" The lady kept saying to me. I couldn't remember any spray cans but emptied my day pack in haste as the woman watched me in amusement. Out came the camera, binoculars, novel, glasses, journal and a handful of other stuff in zip lock bags. Sure enough, at the very bottom of the pack was our spray can of bug repellant. !!
In fast forward I stuffed everything back in my pack and sped off in search of Joe and our gate. He was in line and to my amazement, so were a lot of other people, all of them in leisure-mode. Apparently the 10:30 was not super important! We boarded and took our seats, thrilled we made our flight. Ahhh,we could sit back finally and revert to lollygagging mode. We are so much better at this!
We arrived in Chaing Mai with no problems and went straight to the rental counter
But no map. How could we navigate in totally new territority without a decent road map? We tried Seven11 but they only had Thai maps. We thought maybe the rental car places at the airport might sell maps, so back we went. Visited all three with no luck. By then it was a torrential downpour outside but we headed out, with directions to a nearby mall and bookstore. Ten minutes later, Gold! We found the bookstore and a map in English! ( and several interesting sounding novels for the long trip home)
We drove west towards a national park called Doi Inthanon, finding a nice place to stay just before the park entrance.
This morning we got up at 4:30, wanting to be at the top of the mountain-- and the highest point in Thailand-- for sunrise. We drove the long winding road to the summit, needing all of our clothes by the time we reached the foggy parking lot. It was cold! I donned my sweater, fleece, rain pants and jacket, winter hat and mittens( the same ones Joe laughed about when he saw me packing them!) I was still cold, but warmer than Joe
The top was shrouded in clouds, with a light mist falling from the heavens. We saw some great birds and explored a short nature trail thick with moss and lush ferns. No view for us today. sigh. that's just the way it is sometimes. We have not had any good lighting yet for
Photography, but we continue to try. ...like chasing rainbows. We headed down the mountain and ended up on a road to a waterfalls called Mai Ya. Birding along the road was great so progress was so slow a snail would be embarrassed. But we saw some fabulous birds!
Late afternoon we arrived at the parking lot for the falls, then walked the short trail to the falls. My gosh, talk about spectacular!!! WOW!,,, the most amazing falls I probably have ever seen. So many cascading waterfalls, it was hard to take it all in! After our fill of pictures, we stripped down to our skivvies and went to sit beneath the pounding water. What a joy! And a shock! And we had it all to ourselves! It was cold and refreshing and maybe the best thing I have done so far in Thailand. Such a thrill. After getting pummeled by the cascading water, Joe sat behind me on the rocky ledge in the middle of the falls as water showered down around us. In the roar of the pounding water, we watched hundreds of amber- winged dragonflies dart round in the sky above us, their clear wings shining like gold in the sunlight. .....it doesn't get any better than this.
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