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Trek from Taphoen Khi village (Phu Toei national park) to Klong Salong (Huay Kha Kaeng wildlife sanctuary) 07 - 10 Dec 2006
This overnight jungle camping and trekking had been prepared for nearly 3 weeks. Contacts were made to search
the Karen villager who had walked and knew the trail. We contacted Phu Toei national park several times and got permit
to use their staffs as well. It was estimated that the walk would be roughly 40 km and 3 days walk would be appropriate,
although Karen villagers could make it in one or two days.
The first night was spent in the grass of Ban Taphoen Khi Karen village school in Suphan Buri province (Phu Toei national park). We walked Khao Thawanda mountain for sunset photo shoots. In the evening we had dinner and then it was a lovely night with the moon gliding over the mountain.
No, my tent was not on fire! Behind, far far away into the night was the moon over Khao Tawanda mountain. Of course you can't see the mountain. It was two nights after the fullmoon day. "Kao" the village dog was sleeping at a safe distance from the bon fire.
Next day morning, after breakfast we took down the tents and packed our gear and food for 3 days trek. We cooked lunch and packed to carry along. There were 10 people total plus the dog - Kao in our party. We walked pass paddy and corn fields and fruit orchard along the hills, and then entered the jungle. We walked down the hills more often than going up.
Bamboo are life lines for hilltribe peoples. Without bamboo their life will be very difficult. In the rainy season people collect bamboo shoots (baby bamboo) for food. Bamboo sections are used as pots for cooking food, or as containers to keep things safely. Large bamboo are used for constructing shelters, huts, houses and storages. Bamboo is cut into small long strips to use like ropes to tie things together. It is also a kind of fuel to build fire. Villager hands can make bamboo into various designs of baskets.
The forest consists of many dry and dry-ever green types of trees, wild flowers, wild nuts and fruits. This jungle is the extension of Huay Kha Kaeng wildlife sanctuary which is adjacent to the western forest of Umphang and Sangklaburi. Lot of waterfalls and mountain streams, underground waters, caves have been found.
First day of jungle walk was not easy. We walked down several steep slopes very often over the rocks, and without good hand holds. Sometimes we had to go on all four under the thick growth of plants and thorns. Lunch (packed fried rice with chichen egg) was thrown into stomatch on a hill side with water and fruit. We saw foot prints and dropping of deer, gaur, elephants, but never saw them with our eyes.
At 2:30 p.m. we arrived at a good place by the stream for camping. We cooked rice in the pot, and boiled stream water in bamboo.
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