Day tripping

Trip Start Mar 13, 2008
Trip End Apr 03, 2008

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I rented a motorcycle and made the day trip to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep today.  It was a really beautiful ride. I'm so thankful that Terra taught me how to ride.  The ride up to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep was great.  The road was in great condition and there were 2 waterfalls I stopped at on the way up the mountain.  After hiking to the top of the first waterfall I sat on a rock with my feet in the water and just watched the kids playing in the water.  The parents had spread out blankets on the grass and were having picnics, it was really nice.

In order to get to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, one must either climb 360 steps or take the electric tram.  I choose the steps - stupid, right?  It was a long walk up but I made it and in the end, I was glad that I didn't take the tram because I met some nice people on the way up.  Everyone was struggling to make it up, young and old.  About 3/4 of the way up I had stopped to take a breath and an old chinese man offered to hold hands with me the rest of the way up!  I declined but thought it was so sweet of him to offer!  I met a pregnant thai woman who spoke some english and we talked a bit on the way up too.  She was mad at her husband for making her take the stairs - I'd say!

Unfortunately, the ride back from Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep wasn't as pleasant as the ride there.  By the time I left, the mid day sun was out.  Although I had applied and reapplied sunscreen all morning, I felt like I was being burned alive once I started driving home.  I stopped and zipped on the bottom half of my pants and put on my rain jacket but my hands remained uncovered and it was like they were on fire.  It was almost unbearable and I actually pulled over 3 times on the way home to sit in the shade.  When I got back to my guesthouse I took a cold shower but the pain was still there.  I laid down for a while, put aloe on, but the pain persisted.  The blistered had started to come back too so I finally decided to go to the clinic - but I waited until the sun went down!!  All I ended up with was valium and the advice to stay inside for a day or two. Grrrr!!!  But here is the best part, doxycycline, which I've been taking to prevent malaria this whole time, can cause photosensetitivty - increased likelihood of sunburn!  I'm kind of glad to know that because I just knew this wasn't all the result of one afternoon without sunscreen in Koh Tao!  I've never burned like this before, it's really bad.  I've decided to stop taking the doxcycline and just continue to be safe and drinking bottled water, etc.  If I get a fever, which is the first sign of malaria, I'll rush to the hospital! 

The trip there and back pretty much took all day.  I had a really nice thai dish for dinner at Ratana's Kitchen here in Chiang Mai and met a couple from the U.K. We talked for a while and then I headed back to my guesthouse.  I really do like the Sarah Guesthouse. It's really quiet and laid back and doesn't seem to cater to the early twenty's crowd that I can't stand! 
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