Time for me to have a well earned break from Rodney, after 4 months spending every second of every day together we’re finally having a few days apart! I’m off to save the world and volunteer at a dog recuse centre and with a little encouragement from me Rob has signed up for a Muay Thai boxing camp, show me the muscles!
Not bearing to be apart for a full week me and Kellie headed back up to Pai with Rob for the first few days. We’d already passed through on the motorbike trip but it’s a cool place to chill out for a few days, a lot more laid back than Chiang Mai, so me and Kellie saw the sights whilst Rob got punched around a bit. We’d upgraded our accommodation budget by a pound per night and bagged some cute wooden bungalows by the river. Might have looked pretty but we got absolutely destroyed by mosquitos on the first night and that was inside a mozzie net!
When I say we went sight seeing it mainly just involved the sights we could see from our balcony hammocks but we did squeeze in a few excursions. Kellie had time to get 3 tattoos and we also learnt how to ride motorbikes. Not wanting to look like half the tourists in Pai bandaged up head to toe we took the sensible option and got ourselves a lesson of Mr Tung. Honestly it’s just like riding a bike, after an hour we were feeling much more confident (not too confident don’t worry mum) so we hired a couple of scooters for £2 a day. Had a little mooch up to the Chinese village and then headed back to Pai Canyon to watch sunset, drove too slow and arrived as everyone else was leaving but it still looked pretty cool even with no sun!
Not wanting to be shown up by Rob and his fitness I went for a little run whilst he trained. Took a nice route through the country side and then found myself at the bottom of 560 steps (yep I counted) until I reached the Pai White Buddha, decent view but wouldn’t rush back in a hurry. After every small run you earn a mountain of food and Pai is an expert in tasty food, avocado, bacon and pesto eggs, get in my belly! Actually feel bad that I can’t remember the last time I ate Thai food but some food is too good to turn down!
Because we’re good patriotic English citizens we decided to stay up to Watch England even though it only started at 2am our time! We attempted an afternoon nap but decided we’d just power through and use the excitement of the game to get us through…wish we hadn’t bothered, what a dull game. Fortunately there were plenty of other people who’d had the same idea so at least we could moan to each other about the shocking performance. Second place to Wales what is that about! Anyway at 4am we treated ourselves to a 7/11 toastie (no takeaway shops in Pai) then headed home.
The next morning was a write off, we did manage to get up in time to eat lunch which was a small achievement. As punishment for wasting the morning I joined Rob at his Muay Thai camp to see what the fuss was about. It’s bloody tough! Two hours of smacking and kicking things followed by plenty of sit ups, bleurgh I’ll stick to the running.
The following morning was time to say goodbye to Rob, even if he didn’t wake up to say it back, and then off we went on the 7am bus back to Chiang Mai. Staying a bit out of town this time in the Bike resort Chiang Mai, a place which, despite the name, couldn’t find us a motorbike, a scooter or a bike for that matter. Fortunately we were close enough to walk to ‘Care for Dogs’ and after a brief introduction we got to meet some of the loveliest dogs you could ever imagine. Thailand has a different view on dogs to that at home, there’s so many stray dogs wandering the streets and often they’re at risk from attacks, poisoning and road traffic. Care for dogs is constantly taking in stray and abandoned dogs, making them better in the hope they’ll be adopted, sadly most end up spending the rest of their time at the shelter but at least they’re safe and have food and friends there!
I absolutely loved helping out there, the dogs are so grateful and friendly! Every morning is walkies, quite a challenge when you have 150 dogs that want to go out! As soon as you open the gate they come charging out, you can only walk two dogs at a time so the more volunteers there are the more dogs that get walked! It was disappointing that 7 new people turned up to the volunteer induction but only 4 came back the next day, the day after it was just me and Kellie! Fortunately there are quite a few long term volunteers who give up their time pretty much every day to walk, bathe and care for the dogs, they showed us the ropes so we knew the best walking routes and the best ways to detick the pups. After walkies Kellie would head home and I’d stay and play with the dogs, it’s crazy how trusting and friendly these dogs are considering some of the circumstances they’ve come from. One guy who’d just come in had been thrown through a glass window and chucked out of a pickup truck and even though the vets had to amputate his leg he would still hop up and give kisses to everyone who walked through the door!
Will have to stop myself from going on too much but it was genuinely a pleasure to help out there even if it was only for a few days. If anyone is passing through Chiang Mai go and visit, the doggies will love you for it!
Most of our evenings we were too pooped to do much but we did hire some scooters and head into town to watch State of Origins (an Ozzie thing), also checked out the local markets (didn’t find anything) and I went to a couple of spin classes at the local gym. No idea what I was doing as everyone else was Thai but I worked up a sweat and my legs ached the next day so I must have done something right.
Managed to walk a record number of dogs on the Saturday morning, I even took a couple of puppies running with me, then after lots of wet doggy kisses it was time to say goodbye. Rob is back from Muay Thai with the beginnings of some muscles! I asked him if he wanted to write a post about his week but he said no. From what I’ve gathered he did a lot of Muay Thai, ate a lot of food and contmplated getting a tattoo for the whole week. Now we’re reunited it’s time to go see what the rest of Thailand has to offer, had a fab 3 weeks in Northern Thailand but there’s a whole lot more to see!