December 11, 2012
We slept until 6am and then hurried to get going thinking we had overslept. When we went out side, we found the gate closed and no one at the front desk. We had to wait until 7am to pay. We wandered around looking for food near the bridge, but no vendors were out yet.
We decided to just get out of town and hopefully find something to eat along the way. On the highway to Erawan National Park, Chan spotted a curry stand and after using my vegetarian sign, found something I could eat. Sweet fried noodles and eggs with rice. I didn’t eat eggs before this trip, but decided I am already so limited, maybe I should include them in my diet. Thank goodness I did, everything has eggs.
We made pretty good time on the 40 miles we wanted to cover. We were on the highway, but it wasn’t too bad. Many busses passed us, shuttling tourists from Kanchanaburi to Erawan, which features a supposedly beautiful waterfall. We had been tipped off that there was an equally nice, or perhaps even more beautiful water fall on the north western side of the large Si Nakharin reservoir which saw much less tourist traffic. We figured we would push just a little bit further to get to an area away from the tourist hoards at the park.
It was already 12:30 and we were hitting the hottest part of the day, but we thought the big hill and 13km would only take an hour. Wrong. We ended up leaping up the hill shade patch to shade patch. Even the smallest shadow cast by the lowliest bush was sweet salvation from the intense heat. I thought my skin was frying off my body. It was so hot we ended up drinking all of our water and I might have cried.
Eventually, we had to take a serious break. We sat on the side of the road and ate peanuts and a pomelo, a fruit similar to the grapefruit. After about 30min of rest we decided to give one more push. Our GPS showed that there was a fire protection unit just a half of a mile further. We weren’t sure what that was, but we hoped it had some water.
When we got to the waypoint, the only thing there was a spirit shrine. However, it turned out to be the top of a pass. This was completely unexpected and a moment of true bliss. We cleared the pass and flew down the other side. It was awesome. We made it to the next town and began looking for a place to stay. This was a resort town on a lake and the first places we checked out were over $100, so we ended staying in a small family run restaurant with a room to rent. Not bad, there was a shower and a fan, and a pretty nice view.
We had a nice meal of tom yum soup with fresh fish and huge chunks of fresh ginger along with an omlette for dinner. We read for a little bit then crashed for the night.