Feeling back on track
16.09.2013 - 16.09.2013 30 °C
OK so it's been a few days since the last update. The good news is that the cold / flu has all but gone, and the tummy gripes have stayed away. The bad news is that Camilla now has the tummy gripes. However I get ahead of myself.
The trip up to the big Buddha was great, last time in Thailand (Jan 2012) we hired ATV's that frankly had seen MUCH better days, quite how they managed to get going was a testament to their build quality rather than the maintenance program. These buggies were different, sure they had seen a hard time, but they worked and had brakes. There's no powered steering on them so some effort needs to be put into that aspect. The boys managed well, leading from the front. James has some driving experience so he should have been OK. Matthew has driven GoKarts before, and teh ATV's last time, so it not the first time for either of them. I think the 4X4 experiences from home also helped. The drive up to the Big Budda was uphill and uneventful, but we did pass a number of elephant trek places and even a few monkeys. The difference between these monkeys and the ones we saw in Bang La Rd were that these were full of live and not drugged up to the eye balls. Along the way we stopped for the obligatory photo - I guess they do sell enough of these to make it worthwhile. The Big Budda is impressive from the townships and as you start to get up close it is even more impressive, but when you get really close you realize that it's far from complete. It seems that the government puts up the $$$ to get things going (the main statue) then waits for public contributions and donations for the rest of the infrastructure and supporting buildings. It was started in 2007, and my guess is that it's going to take some time to complete. The return journey took us off road where the boys had some fun trying to keep the vehicles under control, all of them were running rich and backfiring was a constant noise that the parading elephants had to contend with. When we came to a U turn I watched as Millie had to find reverse to complete the turn. I decided to have some fun and span the vehicle round in about 1/2 the width of the track - what I didn't notice was that the other 3 watched my hooning. Whoops, so much for setting a good example. James is planning on adding 1 hour off road driving to his log book, but without a license plate number I'm not too sure they will accept that one.
On the way back the guides stopped at a lookout grabbed our cameras and started taking photo's of us, handing back the cameras with the refrain 'Tip, tip, tip'. well the ride had been really good so they got one.
<Photo's to be added later>