After our first long Saturday of teaching, and only our second whole day in the village, the Principal of the centre strongly encouraged (forced) us to go on a camping trip up in the nearby mountains. Ignoring the slight reluctance in our minds we agreed to go, and before we really knew what was going on we were whisked away on a Tuk-Tuk by four locals.
The Tuk-Tuk took us as far as it could before dropping us in the middle of the jungle. The first hour hiking was a steady incline along a dirt track, during which a break in the trees afforded us a glimpse of our campsite way off in the distance.
Suddenly the weather worsened and we were nearly caught in a tropical thunderstorm, but for an incredibly sweet elderly couple who gave us shelter from the storm, along with a cup of tea.
After a twenty minute delay we were back on our way through the now very slippy jungle. To make things more tricky, after the rain had stopped the dirt track became a narrow rocky path which got increasingly steeper as we went.
After a forty five minute hike, and a couple of slips, we’d made it. And the evening views were incredible.
Before long the tents were up, the fire was lit and the food was prepared. We enjoyed a delicious BBQ, featuring a homemade grilling shelf, and went to bed exhausted.
Woken by daybreak, the views in the morning were even more amazing than the evening before. We were surrounded by tall green mountains and rice paddies, with the only evidence of humans being tiny wood shacks where the farmers take shelter.
The walk back down again was much less arduous (and slippy), and involved another stop at the elderly couple’s blue home.
Despite feeling very tired afterwards, the experience felt very unique and is certainly something we will remember as a highlight.