Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hot to Trot

Day 307
I was up early again and it hurt a bit despite my early night. It was all for naught thought. I thought I was getting picked up at 8 am, but it turns out that it wasn't until 9. So after breakfast I spent some time writing in my journal before the bus finally did come.

As it turned out I was not on the tour I thought I was on. I thought that I would be walking up 1,200 steps to a temple and then trekking a bit to see some waterfalls before going swimming. The first stop was the Tiger Temple, but we didn't take the staircase, instead we checked out some of the caves at the base. There were also some monkeys around. They were quite tame though, only trying to steal someone's water bottle. Apparently there used to be some tigers in the area but for some reason they went away. The guide didn't speak English very well and I was usually at a loss for what she was saying. There were several stray dogs around. One of the accompanied my group for the duration of the tour, he even posed for a picture with me, I didn't even have to ask.

The next stop was not trekking to see waterfalls as expected, but rather a dip in an easily accessible hot spring waterfall. The morning was a bit cool and the hot water felt nice. For a bit it was only my group, but then a big tour group showed up. The group was mostly old men who thought speedos were a good idea. It got crowded and I got out to take pictures. None of the other people in the group were alone and they were all non-native English speakers. I was the odd person out for the whole day and it was rather lonely.

Our next stop was lunch. It wasn't terribly good. It was weird to be sitting in a group, between the German and French speakers, and not to have anyone to chat with. It wasn't just weird, it was boring. The people in the group were rather rude. I tried to introduce myself and they all spoke English, they just didn't want to.

After lunch we took a short walk to a mineral spring called the Emerald Pond due to it's coloring. It was extremely slick around the edge of the pool and I really don't know how I managed to not break a limb. The water wasn't hot, but it was still warm and easy to get used to. The pool, although natural, was surprisingly flat on the bottom. Still, with no one to talk to hanging out in a pool isn't all that interesting, so after a bit I got out and tried to check out some of the other pools in the area. They turned out to be too far away though and I headed back, I didn't want to be left behind.

The rest of the trip consisted of walking by various mineral pools and an easy stroll through the jungle. I was the first person dropped off and I was glad. I couldn't deal with the silence any more. The tour was ok, but the people were awful. For dinner I headed back to the same place and watched a few movies while I ate.

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