Woke to a misty morning with birdsong and red sun rising over walls - people living inside fortress in earlier times wouldn't necessarily have felt enclosed. Off north again, towards Tak then plan to go west to Mae Sot, to find the refugee camp on Thai-Burma border. Wednesdays appear to be market days - so busy in all the villages we pass. Some sections of roads patchier, bumpy. Thailand has large nurseries, home deco precincts and Bunnings look-alikes... very different to Malaysia which is all stall/small shop based retail (except for malls in bigger cities).
Stopped in Tak for tourist info, found King Taksin the Great Shrine- pretty amazing displays and figures out in open. Absolutely no vandalism or crime of wats, shrines, temples, or other holy places. Who puts them there? Shrine minders? The faithful? Sometimes you'd like a guide to answer questions....
After fueling body and vehicle, turned west towards Mae Sot, past broken down car full of children in saffron robes with shaved heads (monklets?) Drove in to King Taksin the Great National Park and walked down 400 steep metres with misgivings knowing we had to return the same way. Found Thailand's largest Krabak tree in the valley of the rainforest, 700yrs old, 50mts high, and with a girth of 14 people linked. Couldn't put off the climb back for long... puffing, sweating profusely and red-faced, we were very happy to see Ozzie again at the top of the mountain. I swear we are getting fitter (ie not dying on these strenuous tracks/treks/trails). Guy and Cheryl turned up nearly 2 hours later having done the round trip to include the waterfall.
After lunch and somewhat recovered, we decided to call it a day and stay among the bamboo forest in the steady breeze. BoyRob was very helpful in washing GirlRob’s hair – earning credit points for his own nirvana. GirlRob cleaned out the fridge and found places for the extra shopping, then sorted/edited the next blog photos. BoyRob cooked a delicious chicken stir-fry (Asian influence!) which we ate in the continuing cool breeze outside, followed by a cuppa watching a golden moon come over the forest - bonus, no mozzies! Wash up, shower and blog update before bedtime. (Hopefully no elephants come out of the forest and mistake Ozzie for an albino intruder and push us off the cliff…)