Happy New Year – Almost

I got up today around 07:00 to the sound of a machine gun fired in the air followed by lots of firecrackers, etc. My jetlag so far has been beneficial in that it gets me out of bed early. The weather here is perfect, low humidity and so sunny and warm. I ran into my friend Lisa from Germany on the street so we walked to the bus station and took a local bus for 35 Baht about 2 hours to a national park with a gorgeous waterfall. We hiked up along the water for hours and I swam in the pools under the waterfalls. They are an amazing color blue, like some of the lagoons I swam in in Maui. Since I am a newbie, I was a little cautious about jumping into random water in the national park, especially since no one else was swimming. I have heard horror stories of parasites that swim up places you dont want them, bacteria, snakes, quick-mud, etc…I spent all day swimming and so far I am still alive. The countryside that we passed and the mountains were just gorgeous. We took a very crowded bus back that could barely make it up hills and then walked about 2 km back to the Jolly Frog. It was a very fun day and food included cost about US $5.

Im doing so much walking, and the portions of food are so small (but good) here that I have already lost
several pounds. Lisa is brave, she spent a month teaching orphans in Cambodia and is a 19-year-old girl traveling alone all over. She shared her six months worth of Thailand experience with me and taught me some good things. I hate to see her go, but she leaves for Australia tomorrow.

There are so many things that I have seen I want to relay, but sitting in these damn internet cafes paying by the minute just melts my creativity. Like I mentioned, I will re-write these entries one day.

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