|Hill life was relatively simple. Walk to a village, decide whether to shower with hose, relax, repeat.
Our first night, the village men were disembowling a pig when we arrived. Later, I observed briefly as the elders performed divination over the vital organs. Some of the pork was given to our group for dinner, but we passed on the blood-mince option.
The second night featured Thai massage. Nine out of 12 passengers requested massage. Including Mo and me. After dinner, nine women from the village appeared. Each knew one one-hour routine, the same routine. I suspect I won't soon re-experience choreographed group massage.
Our last day of walking was the best. We were out in the open for long views with Chinese New Year fireworks in the distance.
We then were driven to Chiang Rei to a guest house. Our first real shower and change of clothes in three days.
Too bad we had to be in the city. At least it was small and easy to navigate.
We made our way via bus for an afternoon in Chiang Mei. A majority of the group wanted non-Thai food, easily found.
Then an over-night train to Bangkok and all the crap of the city. I had promised myself no more markets. Seeing as how our room would not be ready for hours and there were few options for comfortable waiting, I joined Mo and others for a visit to Bangkok's famous JJ market. Big, hot, crowded, confusing: Never again.
We have two "extra" nights in Bangkok away from the tourist center. We're hoping for the best.