Saturday Ethan woke up fairly early and pushed the bike down the road to the repair shop. Turns out there was a whole in the inner tube that the guy was able to patch for only 30baht! After he got back we got ready to head out to Pua (We never made it to the bus ticket agent, which was annoying, but more about that later). We were going to Doi Phu Kha national park with the Pua gang and were super excited. Right before we left Caitlin found a seriously nasty scorpion outside her room so naturally Ethan messed around with it for 15 minutes before we left. I seriously hoped we didn't run into any more over the weekend.
|B.E.A - utiful!|
|the falls that claimed Ethan's ring :[|
After a while, we noticed that the guys had been in the same spot for quite a long time. We wondered what they were doing. Then Ethan came down with a strange look on his face and held out his left hand. I realized immediately that his ring was gone, but Ethan likes to joke that it's lost all time. So I didn't take him seriously at first, but he definitely wasn't joking. He had slid down a rock and it slipped off into the water. He felt (still feels) awful about it, but there was nothing we could do. It could have been anywhere. The boys had been looking for it that whole time and came up with nothing. I was sad, but it also was only $30 and easily replaceable, although the sentimental value might be lost forever. :[
We were bummed, but weren't about to let it ruin our weekend. We trekked back up to our bikes and after driving through a teeny tiny hill tribe village, headed to the park. We checked in at the park headquarters and decided to rent two bungalows for the night. (Ethan- There is usually a 200 baht entrance fee for farangs, but we brought our work visas with us and got the 40 baht local price. SCHWING!) When we pulled up to the set of bungalows I was pleasantly surprised. They were relatively modern and really clean. They consisted of one big room with 4 twin sized beds (two were pushed together to form a "double bed" a toilet room, shower room, sink area, closet, and refrigerator. There was also a shared patio area that overlooked some really awesome views of the park. We decided to chill for a while and catch the sunset before we headed back down to the restaurant in the park for dinner. We had a delicious meal of chicken fried rice and stir fried veggies.
|giant moth! Ahhh.|
In the morning, it took everyone a pretty long time to get it together, but eventually we did. We ate lunch at the restaurant and then headed out to hike the nature trail. We didn't know anything about this trail other than it was 4 kilometers long. While I wasn't too happy about hiking that far, I was excited to explore the jungle. That excitement quickly faded after the first few hills, but it didn't get terrible until we figured out that there were leeches everywhere. At first, we thought they were just weird worms because they were so tiny. After we continued walking I felt something sort of sting my foot. I looked down and attached to the back of my ankle was a tiny little leech. I flicked it off, but then wondered if any more had gotten stuck on me. I took off my shoe and there between my toes was a leech getting fat from sucking my blood. I screamed and flicked him off, but it was too late. Blood came pouring from my foot and wouldn't stop. It was so gross. I started crying and told Ethan I didn't want to keep going. I was wearing my Keen sandals that have holes all over them and just couldn't keep walking in the leech infested jungle knowing that they were just going to continue sticking on my feet. (We had been told that they can carry diseases as serious as AIDS in places in Thailand and had been warned that there might be leeches in the park, but that the likelihood was slim, so we didn't take it seriously). After I gathered myself, I borrowed Kelly's socks to help protect my feet and made it my mission to get out of there without any more leech bites.
|Ethan's wounds! Only a quarter of them...|