Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Lots of treats and two disappointments
[Speaking of TV, here's a YouTube clip about today posted by Duncan of Duncan's Thai Kitchen. You may glimpse me in the background!]
Then came a silk-weaving village, where we were feted guests, and saw all the work that goes into producing a length of fabric: one barefooted man walks 10km a day, back and forth eight metres turning 120 of the finest threads into weavable thickness. Most of their machinery is so simple, wood and nails and wire, but the looms are something else entirely. I'm full of admiration for their skill.
Next we arrived at our very flash 5-star hotel for two nights - Botanica in Khao Yai, an elegant modern glass affair with views over the lumpy wooded hills. We drove further into them, a long way, to see a waterfall much talked-up by our guide Suree which was, almost inevitably, a bit of a disappointment - big, roaring, a torrent of brown water, sure, and reached by flights of the most astonishingly steep and narrow steps I've ever seen, but no match for Iguassu, naturally. Never mind, it was good to get the exercise. And the huge millipede, and the leeches attached to the specially issued anti-leech socks were something of a sensation.
More genuinely disappointing was not seeing any elephants, especially after driving past the yellow diamond warning sign Danger: Wild Elephants. We went on a night safari on the back of a ute, our plastic macs flapping, the warm rain slanting down in the light from our spotter's torch, but all we found were some barking deer and a big black-tailed squirrel in a tree. No elephants. So we had to make do with the photo taken by the guide just yesterday, right outside the national park headquarters. Sigh.
Dinner at Botanica's restaurant Tempo (curiously, reached via golf cart through the underground car park) was a consolation though, especially dessert: banana, mango, papaya and white chocolate mousse. Yum!