Sunday, January 5, 2014

12-21-13 7 Tiers of Belleza

     Jess and I drove on a very scenic road on our motorbikes, passing by a dam (I’m still surprised at how beautiful those can be!), a golden Buddha on the side of the road, red and sandy cliffs, lush, green forests, mountains surrounding us, and a lake area that I saw through the trees. We drove for about an hour or so and saw our friends at Erawan National Park!
     We explored the 7 Erawan waterfalls. I forgot my bathing suit, so I changed into the clothes I thought would be the easiest to walk around in when soaked; for anyone planning to visit, I would say bring walking shoes you wouldn’t mind getting wet, a bathing suit, a towel, and a camera. 
We started out with our friends who jumped into the pool of the first waterfall, but Jess and I decided to hike to the “best” waterfall first--the 7th one. It took us quite a while but was very fun.      Unfortunately, I didn’t bring flip flops, so I had to climb on rocks with gym shoes. Actually, that worked out quite well for me until we had to jump over little streams... which then leaked into my shoes... and when I jumped into the waterfalls. My feet, covered with dirt, little pebbles, and water would slosh back into my socks and shoes. It was so bad that after this whole ordeal, I threw my shoes into the wash with a TON of detergent... and it just continued to reek of the delicious smell of sweat, garbage, and probably something akin to putrid fish. Yuck!

Made it to the top!

I actually have a second version of this photo.
I kept shifting because there were large fish
nipping at my feet. lol

About to copy that one family and enter the waterfall!

There I go!

One of my creepers
They all ran when they found out I was 24.
Thanks for making me feel old! :D

I love this shot! Maybe I should've been in the water more though :)

When Jess and I returned to where we placed all our stuff, it
was covered. Yes, because our things are clearly a rack for all your stuff.

Those two down there are actually ATI members :)

Josh, Peter, Donny, Liz(?), and Amanda :)

We walked across a strategically-fallen tree's trunk.

My creepers were watching me go by myself into
this fish-infested waterfall. It was very uncomfortable.
And I'm not talking about the fish.

On our journey back to the other waterfalls :)

Look at them! So pretty!

It took me forever and some pain to get this picture. 
First, I had to climb across a crazy number of rocks without shoes; 
second, I had to wait for other people to move away because 
they were HOGGING this waterfall; 
third, while waiting, some fish wouldn't stop nipping at me!

If I had more time, I'd have climbed this one too... (and then
Jess would've killed me lol)

Those hungry fish waiting innocently for unsuspecting people to devour!

Pools at the bottom of some waterfalls

People decorated these and I don't know why, but I loved the colors!

These monkeys were very aware that they were photogenic.

They just loved the attention :D

The top view of one waterfall.

Even the outhouse was photogenic -.-

A black doggy in front of a very pretty area 
(although I was just focusing on the dog)

Erawan Waterfall! :)

     After our many fun climbing adventures over waterfalls, we finally returned to our motorbikes, gross and tired. Our motorbikes started dying. Thankfully, this guy that was hanging around his own motorbike helped us. :) Jess had to play with the throttle whenever she had to stop her motorbike at lights, though. :( 
     *Sidenote: Our friends left on a songtaew and they passed us up on the way back, but our motorbikes couldn’t keep up. :(*
     Still cold, wet, and tired, (this blog post is so positive, isn’t it?!) we visited a little local market where everyone seemed to be hanging out. There was cheap food, a lot of people who were interested in talking to us as we ate, an old man who was “drunk” who was maybe trying to tell me to marry someone(?).
     At this point, my motorbike started dying too, so when I started it, I shot forward and fell over from shock. Jess, looking at her side mirrors said she watched it as if it was in slow motion. I went and then toppled.
     Everyone tried to help me, but my ankle hurt a bit, so I just decided to breathe while clutching it on the floor. The villagers tried to teach me how to ride a motorbike (thanks, but no thanks!) and gave me water to rinse off the huge cut that was now on my knees. We didn’t have napkins, and while calming my nerves on the floor, I had the brilliant and slightly ghetto idea of pulling out a pad... and using that as a bandaid on my leg. It actually worked!
     However, at this time, it was now night time, and so we rode back to our place in the FREEZING COLD at 50 MPH. Just wait until you hear what we do next week in Chiang Mai for winter break! 

Mee krob and some green coconut-y rice :)

Ouch! with a panti-liner

My bad motorbike >:

At least it had Pikachu stickers on it... I guess lol

The meager decoration on our hotel's wall.

The bench outside which I would've enjoyed had 
there been light and a source of warmth.

It was actually pretty and cute :)

That was our room.

The "lobby" area

The A-frames.

I feel like my bed just always looks like this. Full and messy. lol

The light we wanted to leave on so the mosquitoes
wouldn't attack us while we were sleeping...

     Returning to town, Jess tried to get a refund from the lady for half a day, since she felt that the motorbike would have died if we hadn’t pushed it to go. The lady refused, and when she saw that I had my makeshift bandage, she had the nerve to ask if I had an accident and immediately walked over to check my bike. I didn’t even complain! Also, I know that maybe you’ve had customers give you a bad time, but do you not care for people’s welfare at all? Maybe I’m just sensitive, but I felt like she was trying to squeeze some more money out of me for damages because my friend was complaining. 
     We ended up not paying for extra damages but also not getting a refund. The next day, I woke up, Skyped with my family, and started heading home, with much relief. We had to hop off the mini-bus early because there were a lot of people at Victory Monument for the Bangkok protests. One of the teachers I know was actually there the same day and said that it took her about an hour to walk a block because everyone was just shuffling--THAT’S how full the station was!
     For the first time, I didn’t take a taxi back to my place, but instead to the Tesco Lotus on Chaeng Watthana, bought some banana bread for a reward and a mop for...well, it’s probably time to better clean my apartment. I really don’t like going into my bed with blackened feet.     Then, I walked for half an hour back to my place, which actually wasn’t so bad.
     Today is laundry day to get ready for my holiday break beginning on Tuesday!!!!! (Isn’t that sad? We go teach on Monday and Tuesday, and then it’s vacation for about a week and a half...)

Walking back... don't you just want to go for a swim in that?
Actually, did you even realize that was water?

The path is nice in itself, except for the cars that race by
and the rotten egg smell from the water. :(

I wish they would just dispose of things normally. :(

The sidewalks were not made for walking.
They were made for the growing trees!

I see home!


It's nice to feel at home where I live because I used to be so sad... but I still miss my real home in Chicago :(

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