In the morning we caught a covered truck to the park entrance, but that was as far as we got since the bus does not go into the park. It was a long way into the park so after paying our 200 baht admission we waited just inside the gate to see if we could hitch a ride in. Thankfully it didn't take too long before we were in the back of a truck riding into the visitor center. Once at the visitor center we read the information available & after waiting a while was able to talk to the park officers about what to do there. One of the things the park officer talked to us about was buying cloth leg protectors for 10 baht, which would protect against the leeches. I gave this a little thought but it wasn't much of a decision for me I was buying them. For Nina it was harder but eventually I talked her into it. Another interesting thing we learned is that we were required to take a guide on the walk, but he spoke no English so he was there for protection only. What kind of protection you ask? Well he, and his gun (pictured on the second page), were there to protect us from the wild animals including Tigers!! On the downside it was more money, but on the up side we would not get lost, not that we had a choice.
All of this took a while especially between the decisions to make, the waiting & the communicational gap, but eventually we got on the trail. The pictures from this walk are really diverse as you can see on the 2 pages of pictures & we found a lot to look at. Now its time to revisit the leech protector decision. Early on in the walk we saw some leeches walking which is funny beyond words because it looks so weird. Although a few minutes later the guide give a brushing motion while pointing to our leech protectors. Once we figured this out we looked down to see that our legs were covered with leeches working there way towards open skin. Some were even slowly burrowing through my shoes! Add to that the few that most have fell from trees or something which were on my arm & our earlier laughter about leeches was all gone! After doing some severe brushing & having a few body shivers we were back on our way, but from that point on we made it a much more concerted effort to brush the leeches off frequently & watch our body for more of the little buggers.
As we were walking on the trail we heard a lot of sounds that we were always thinking (and hoping) were tigers or elephants, but to our dismay the guide pointed to the sky & which instead told us that it was hornbills. He must be used to people being over hopeful. The coolest thing we saw on the trek was a gibbon which I got a video of as it was swinging from the trees (#22, page 1). We also both really enjoyed the waterfall at the end of the trek which was beautiful.
After being at the end of the trail & checking out the waterfall we had to wait a while before being able to get a ride back to the visitor center. I took the time to eat some of the snacks I had brought along & rest a little since it had been a long walk. After getting back to the visitor center, we started trying to hitching back to at least the park entrance. The vehicle that stopped had an older white man & a Thai woman. The nice thing was that they were sightseeing as well so when we saw the monkeys on the way out of the park they stopped. While stopping there I was also to get a video. After that we stopped at a road view which allowed us to look over the park. They asked where we were going & said that they were going back to Pak Chong, so we stayed in the back all the way, which was sweet. On the way we also saw elephants, but they were not wild like the monkeys.
We were dropped off in Pak Chong right near where we stayed which was great. That night we did the normal by random food from the vendors on the street. Some of it was good, however it was also the first time that I tried something I didn't like. The nice thing was that I was out about 50 cents USD. After that we called it an early night & went to sleep to be rested for the next day.