After our little elephant excursion, it was time fir the trekking part of our jungle trek. I'd asked about it at the hostel, and she assured me it wasn't too hard, and not rushed. I've always loved hiking and I've done a lot of it; I'm really trying to get back in shape because I love it but right now it's harder than it ought to be. I prefer hiking alone, so that I can stop and take pictures, or rest if I want to without holding anybody up. It's embarrassing to always be at the back of the pack.
For some reason, I had an idea of winding around trees in a nice flat Amazonian type of jungle. I don't know why; I've seen a map of Thailand.
Both misconceptions combined to make the trekking rather unpleasant. It was humid, it was hot, and it was straight up a mountain. And it was, all but a short section of clambering over boulders, on a muddy access road.
Fortunately, the group of people I was with were, although all super-athletic mountain goats themselves, were very nice about my slightly slower pace and were very encouraging. It's just a bit embarrassing that I needed the encouragement in the first place. Pride goethe before a fall, I suppose; after hiking Yellow Mountain in July, I had been feeling in pretty good shape. That wasn't too difficult at all. And last October I did just fine at Jiuhuashan; but then again, I was alone there and wasn't comparing myself to anyone. And it was a mix of up and down, instead of straight up like this one.
I am, as always, grateful I live on the fifth floor, because at least I get a lot of leg exercise that way. It could have been much worse, since I live in a completely flat city.
Anyway, we finally made it. At least tomorrow will be all down hill.
Our destination was a little village on the very top of the mountain. There we found waiting fir us a thatched bungalow with pallets inside to spend the night in. The front porch had a view out over the valley and surrounding hills that made everyone, once we caught our breath, start to feel that the long slog was worth it.