04.04.2013 - 07.04.2013 46 °C
It is fair to say that the time off we have taken from the safari has come at the right time. Chelsea was really down after the day with Latte yesterday. We did not do much on Thursday, we did not even leave our guesthouse until the evening. We had a late breakfast and lounged in and around the pool. The heat has really increased over the last week or so, so it was impossible to lay in the direct sun for too long. The rains will start soon and we are hoping that might cool it down a bit. We spent the afternoon drinking a couple of beers and fruit shakes and reading our books, swimming and talking – we know it does not take for great reading but we are really starting to love our pool days. We chatted to some other guests and didn’t leave the pool area until around 5pm. Pong Phen guest house has a lovely atmosphere, really friendly and laid back. When we were finally ready to leave we went out for dinner and tried a restaurant that had been recommended to us for a good steak. Having not had steak since we left Liam was very eager and wolfed it down. Chelsea just can’t say no to pizza at the minute and had another. We washed our meal down with a beer and then went back to our room to and sat on our porch finishing off the whiskey we bought the day before and listened to some music.
Friday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD) was the day we were due back at the safari and the main event of the day was the party we were hosting in the evening. We made the most of our last lay in and checked out. We had a slow morning and got every last second of pool time before setting off to Tesco to get some supplies. It was by far the hottest day we have had so far. Driving through the streets of hot air on the bike was unbearable, and it only got worse when we stopped at traffic lights and sat baking for a couple of minutes. We decided that there was no need to rush around Tesco and made the most of the air conditioning. It took us a while anyway to find what we needed, we got some potatoes to cook in the campfire (complete with campfire beans and tuna filling) and some ham, cheese and tomatoes to make toasties over the fire and even marsh mallows and chocolate sauce for desert. Then we hesitantly made our way back to the bike and hoped the cheese would make it all the way back without melting. The drive from Kanchanaburi is around 40 minutes, and is really boring, it is basically two arrow straight roads. The most amazing thing about the journey on Friday was that gritters were out on the road. Obviously not because it was ice or snow but because it was so hot the tarmac was melting…….
We got back to the safari at around 3pm, our shopping had mainly survived the trip and apart from a desperate need for a drink so had we. We then set too with the party preparations. Outside of rooms we now have a really nice seating area, shaded with a big tree. Chelsea decided to decorate the tree and has made some mobiles out of sticks, rocks string and paint, Liam got the fun job of climbing the tree to put them up. By the time the rest of the group were back from their daily duties we had finished and just had the food to do. Whilst everyone was getting ready for the party a few people went to the local shop to get whiskey and beer and we skyped Chelsea’s dad has it was his birthday. The party seemed to go down really well, all the food was eaten and we drank all our whiskey, only this time we were using small buckets rather than cups as someone had seen them in the shop. The only problem we had with this was you had to be careful not to leave it unattended on the ground or you would find a puppy or dog drinking out of it. For us our last hangover is too much of a recent memory so we took it steady (ish) and called it a night around 1am.
Saturday was a rare treat as the whole team got the day off to relax in the jungle that sits behind the safari park. After the morning feed and clean we all went into the jungle on our bikes. The jungle is really amazing and you don’t need to go very far to feel like you are in a completely different place. We picked a spot next a river where a large old tree overhangs and you can sit on the branches of the tree literally over the water. The team decided to build a tree house so a couple of people set too that. We on the other hand took the literal meaning of a day off, Chelsea relaxed, talking to people, watching the treehouse get built and reading Whilst Liam borrowed a reel and rod off Adam and went fishing all day in the river. Needless to say he caught absolutely nothing. Adam managed to catch a small eel like fish but that is it. When he pulled it out we realised it was poisonous so then he had the horrific and distressing job of smashing its head in with a big rock. It was really grim and he decidd to give up fihing for the day after that. Liam blames the bait. We spent the whole day down there, we ate lunch and dinner and got some beers and it was really great for the whole team to chill out. We are hoping to make it a regular thing, plus Liam really wants to catch a fish. In the evening it got really dark and we made up a fire, the fireflies came out and were flying across the river it was amazing. We finally decided to call it a day when the mosquitos came out in force and we were getting eaten alive.
Sunday was back to work though, although nothing too strenuous. The morning clean was the same and then we went to the office to continue work on our adopt an animal idea that we are hoping will raise some money. We are trying to do a really good job so it is taking some time. We need to create individual animal profiles, species bio’s, certificates, an email newsletter and other things that will go into an adoption pack. We are hoping to finish soon so we can get it live before we leave. In the afternoon we had a meeting with a new volunteer who arrived yesterday and has experience in marketing. The aim is to try and ‘rebrand’ the park to get a better reputation, more customers and in the end more money to allow us to fund the much needed projects. The highlight of today though was that we got to hold the macaws. Liam has been saying he wants to do it since we arrived and today we got the chance. They are really heavy and we had one on each arm and another on our shoulders. Chelsea was a little freaked out, especially when they started to peck her hair. Liam was OK until one tried to eat the plug in his hear. It was fun though.