After our long drive yesterday, it was nice to sleep in. Two of us had a massage before a lovely moonlit dinner along the river last night. I took portraits of our group which appear at the end of today’s blog.
We loaded into the bus headed for a Long Tail Boat ride. We’ve eaten a lot of tapioca in many different forms in Thailand. We see only a box of small beads for pudding in the U.S. But in Thailand, there are many different forms of tapioca. The driver stopped to show us a tapioca plant and root. Now hear this, uses for tapioca, one of Thailand’s top exports: envelope glue, animal food, candy thickener, (main ingredient in gummy bears), ketchup, glucose, MSG, desserts, pill capsules, stickey rice flour, shine for silk, plywood glue and medicines. I hope you are as amazed as I was.
We went in the back of a song taew (pick-up truck with canopy) to the river landing and loaded into our boat. There is going to be a quiz later, on how many different methods of transportation we used.
Everyone along the river owns a boat of some kind. If they have a garden, its often right on the water. Not all places are as plush as this one. We saw women doing their laundry in the river just like in days long past. Shacks and rudimentary houses along side the affluent, a consistent mix in Thailand.
We happened upon these elephants walking to the river for a bath. We accused Panu of setting up the scene, but he said no, its common along the river. The boatman stopped and we enjoyed watching for several minutes. At the end of our ride, which Flat Stanley enjoyed, we road in our song taew to a train station for the ride to Hell Fire Pass. Here we enjoyed the train station lunch and the firey spectacle to prepare it. It was a delicious stir fry with chicken, noodles and morning glory greens. You can see our train in the background.

The placque explains the building of the death train railway and why is is named Hell Fire Pass. If you click on the photo it will come up full size and readable. Or check this link: http://www.hellfirepass.com/museum_hellfire_pass.html
The picture below shows a hole made with a handpick and an eight pound sledge the men used to create a dynamite hole. Horrendous work for men half starved.

They shouldered bamboo baskets filled with rubble to an ore car above them for removal.
The steep sides of granite rock they cut through the pass for the train.

After hiking the pass we hiked up to a museum (no pictures allowed) of the building of the pass. It is also maintained by the Austrailian goverbment.

We loaded back into the bus and stopped at this beautiful waterfall. Here we purchased tapioca and taro in many forms, candies, french fries, salted or sweet, with or without sesame seed. First Panu bought us the different offerings to taste before we purchased. Wonderful stuff.

We returned to our resort and enjoyed a swim in the pool and some of us had cocktails before dinner. Below is the teakwood sink stand in my cottage.

And, the padlock for the sliding door entrance. Loved it.
At yesterday’s lovely outdoor dinner at the Kao Nam Na Resort with the moon shining on the water. This quaint place has beautiful grounds, roosters running about, gorgeous plantings and pool, sculpture, atrium bathrooms and what looks like driftwood sink stands. Here geckos sing their snick, snick, snick in your room. Panu suggested we ignore them for they keep the bugs at bay. It was a welcome change from bustling Bangkok and the shining hotels we’ve come to know. Here is our Guide, Panu with Mason, genious boy.
Roberta Berman, our fashion maven.
Quiet Sy Shames, talented hobbiest, beautiful dancer, cousin of Roberta.
Mother Susan, a childs best friend, delightful sense of humor.
Susan’s gorgeous daughter, Sheila, genius girl.
Adria, sophisticated New Yawker, deep thinker, cousin of Wendy.
Teddy Bear Simcha, cameraman.
Phyllis Saul, Simcha’s keeper and spoiler. (Our only married couple on the trip.)
Wendy, loves animals, but not geckos. A huge one was removed from her toilet. She was animatedly telling us of her fright.
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