Saturday 14th July
14/07/2012 - 14/07/2012
Finally the call was made for the helicopter on the fourth day, well we had tried to arrange for the last 3 days but had no joy. Tommy had a really swollen foot from his scuba blister and had to go to hospital, he returned hobbling with a bandaged foot after being sliced, drained and the infection washed out. By now the plans had changed and we had to walk to the helipad which was really uncomfortable for Tommy, but he took the challenge and ignored the pain. We slowly hobbled down past the runway which was still covered in thick, moist mist and started yet another trek. Alex was running back and forth solving potential problematic areas for Tommy. The mist was fresh on the skin and the climb was downhill, we walked very slowly through the forests, clambering over rocks and rivers. We were very apprehensive about the helicopter getting to us, we slid and sunk in mud paths in the forest but Tommy managed to keep his foot clean thankfully! The trees, rivers and views were really stunning but it seemed this track, which wasn't frequently used, was the place with most rubbish, it was extremely bizarre. Our final part of the journey was around corn fields on flat ground so we knew we were close, we turned the corner and saw the other guys, we were so happy and the rain had just started. We put our bags in the potato shed and waited for the helicopter, communication was unclear from the guides which got frustrating but we clubbed all our resources together in a box - this consisted of raisins, boiled sweets, peanuts, chewing gum and rehydration sachets. Alex and Chris did a super doctor act on my foot, we played cards and waited... We demolished the supplies between 9 of us and it started to dawn on people that we may have to stay at the helipad tonight in the monsoon rain which had joined us. The lady whose shed it was came down and offered for us to stay in the barn for free and she would cook us dal baht for 150rs each. We had about 300rs between us all but Leryn had 20$ which would cover our costs. We set up our camp of mattresses, blankets and our sleeping bags before dinner - it looked very cosy! The rain was still lashing down and we climbed the rocks to the ladies house - it consisted of a top floor only as living space, the bottom was harvesting potatoes. The house was built into the rock face and water covered the stone steps that had been carved, the wooden ramp ran up to the door with rocks as steps. Inside was all wood, the clay custom made stove fitted all the pots and pans exactly, there was no chimney just strips of bamboo above the stove. There was seating along the windows and shelves against the other wall - everything had its place and was neatly organised. There were 3 children and a husband, and a very pretty dog that didn't really fit in to the setting. The bedroom had one double bed, I would imagine the children had a thin mattress on the floor. We helped chop and prepare the vegetables and had full glasses of rice wine at all times. As our dinner cooked there was singing and dancing led by the lady, facially she was a lot older than she actually was apparently the skin weathers quicker here due to the conditions. After huge portions of Dal baht we returned to our potato shed to let the family eat. We snuggled in to our beds and had a cosy sleepover listening to the torrential rain.