Even on the other side of the globe somethings still feel like home to us. And one of those things is hiking in National Parks! That is the exact feeling the kids had as we entered Khao Phanom Bencha National Park this morning and they expressed their familiarness with the activity we had chosen for the day: a short hike up a mountain, in the tropical jungle, to see a waterfall and maybe swim in it’s crystal clear water... the setting may be completely different: the sounds, the flora, the fauna, the weather, but the sport remains the same and is one we have come to cherish as a family!
We arrived at the Park a little after 9am and immediately started hiking the mountain as we did not know how long it would be before we reached the summit and wanted to get as much hiking done before the sun became too hot to endure. Fortunately for us, most tourists seems to prefer the slow morning rhythm and start their day a little later than us, so we were the only ones there at that time!
We hiked to the different elevations of the waterfall, stoping many times along the way to appreciate the beautiful landscape!
The last little stretch of the hike was so steep we had to hoist ourselves up the mountain
using a climbing rope.
The kids loved the challenge, especially after having spent most of the week laying around trying to rebuild our strength for the little remainder of our stay in Krabi!
The water at the top was crystal clear, as promised, but sooo cold!
Being a little spoiled by the hot waters of the Adaman Sea ever since we’ve been here, we really took our time diving in... and stayed but a short while in the water!
The hot flashes and sweat that had accompanied our ascent were fast forgotten!
Feeling completely and totally refreshed we changed into dry clothes and headed back down the mountain.
We shared lunch outdoors, at the Park’s canteen which had a whole menu of Thai (and not so Thai) food, had ice cream...again... and then were ready to head home, but... turns out somethings are the same whatever National Park you find yourself into... we had no cell reception!
We walked to the entrance hoping maybe a ranger could call us a taxi... but to no avail... they couldn’t even understand us!
Jeremie started walking the long road that had led us to the entrance of the Park a few hours earlier hoping he could find a spot where reception would become miraculously available so he could call us a taxi... and he did!
He called our famous taxi driver named San, the one we had exchanged phone numbers with and had personally called a few times already. He was an hour away, but would come pick us up... no worries, he said! I am understanding more and more why this place is called the land of a thousand smiles! “No worries” seems to be their life motto... we were so happy to see him, and I think he was happy to be of such help!
Good thing we actually had to keep busy for an extra hour cause having left when we were first ready, we would have missed this beautiful forest of enormous trees!
I was so sad last year when we had come so close to the Sequoia trees and Yosemite National Park but our RV just wouldn’t cooperate and our time frame for getting back home was getting shorter and shorter... we finally had to leave before we could even see the famous red trees! It might not be the Sequoias but the majestic big trees of the tropical jungle (whatever they are called) come in close second!!