Doi Inthanon trek begins
This morning marked the beginning of my trek in Doi Inthanon national park, the area south-west of Chiang Mai that's home to Thailand's highest peak, and a rich jungle-covered region that's home to several remote hill tribes. I got picked up from my guesthouse at 9:30am this morning: and to my surprise, I had to take my big backpack with me, and drop it off at the agency's office — apparently you can't leave your luggage with the guesthouse, unless you book the tour with them! I've never seen things work like that before. There were 7 of us in the back of the small pickup truck that was our lift — half of our group, which is 15 strong — and it was a quiet, sleepy and rather cosy ride out of Chiang Mai. We were all too tired, and too reserved, to introduce ourselves properly: we saved that for when the trek began.
From Chiang Mai, we took the long road to Doi Inthanon for much of the morning — it must have been at least an hour's drive to get there. Our single stop along the way was at a roadside market, where we were able to stock up on water and on snacks if we so desired. From there, we continued straight on all the way, until we reached the rafting camp where the first activity of the trek began.
The trek that I signed up for was a 2-day trek. I picked the 2-day trek, because I heard that it's not particularly different from the 3-day one (the agencies all offer both options), and that the extra day isn't really worth doing. However, from talking to the other six people in the pickup with me, it seems that everyone else is doing a 3-day trek. WTF, what's going on? Have they put me in the wrong group, or something? Are they going to divide us up further, later in the day or perhaps tonight? It seems very strange to me: anyway, I'll have to wait and see how this progresses.