Jungle trails

After a saison of diving on Koh Kood, a layed back island in Thailand, it was time for me to go deeper into nature again.
My friend Gerardo and I went to the Klong Chao waterfall, a touristic hotspot of the island. But instead of swimming in the natural pool under the waterfall, we climbed the steep slope full of dense vegetation.
Red ants were running over our arms leaving itchy bites behind. “Welcome to the jungle!”

Arriving to the top of the waterfall a beautiful landscape opened up ahead of us. The river flowing slowly over the rock formations, opening pools and shaping islands. Tiny fishes chew on our toes and colorfull dragonflies were flying around. All of that was framed by dense vegetation on both river banks.
A beautiful hike was laying ahead of us.
For a while we walked over the rocks zigzagging the river. But soon we hit a trail which took us at surprise. We left the Klong Chao river behind and followed that trail which led us through the jungle, along aboundened and overgrown rubber plantages and finally we hit the river again. Here we opened our camp for the first night.
Both of us were exited to try out our brand new jungle hammoks. Including a mosquito net and a tarp as roof they should fully replace the tent we used on other trecks.
And they did!
After a swim in a natural pool and a dinner at the campfire I climbed into my new home and slept like a baby. All around me the concert of the jungle. Frogs, the sounds of the river and the wind in the canopy. Far away thunter storms made rolling sounds and flashed the star covered sky.

On the next day the treck got more serious. The trail was close to invisible now and several times we lost and found it again before it finally faded and we were on a jungle covered hilltop searching for further landmarks. Soon we hit a dry river bed. We followed it downwards and hit a stream after a while.
There we made a new discovery. Leeches in our shoes!! Plenty of them were feasting on our blood already which is a pretty disgusting situation. Covering them with alcohol made them roll off which left bleeding wounds behind.

Following that stream we arrived to a pond and an opening in the forest. It was a plantacion of young rubber trees with dense vegetation in between. The bushes and grass was chest high and we felt like swimming in the vegetation as we moved around.
We could not discover any trail leading here. Also there was no shelter build. But we discovered a few salak palms and a mangosteen tree, both tropical fruit plants. It seemed a weird place to us.

On the way back we followed the same landmarks which was easy until we were in the area of the fading trails. We could not find hints of them any more.
I enjoy a good trecking partner in that moments the most. Just sitting down, checking the situation and the options, making an desicion and go for it. We soon could hear water, hit a river which we supposed to be Klong Chao and followed it downwards.
After a second overnight camp and another half a day along the river we came back to the touristic Klong Chao waterfall.
Now we also had a refreshing swim, fun on the swing, chats with the other travelers who had visited the place.
For me this hike was the perfect farewell activity on Koh Kood, the beautiful island I have lived on for a few months. And also it served me as equipment test and training trip for my project on Papua New Guinea.

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