Monday, December 23, 2013
10:20:42 PM. 12/23/13
Promptly left Bamboo Nest around 11:00 AM after 4 days of Bamboo Nesting with all the coffee, lunches, dinners, beer, bottled water and lodging for $4035 Baht. Down the hill in Nok’s truck (this time in the cab) to CR and a drop off at the bus station and a brief sincere, heartfelt farewell to Nok for a wonderful time.
Bamboo Nest de Chiang Rai is an 11 on the 10 scale.
My Bamboo Nest lodging, above.
Had a smoothie again at the inet cafe then wished Robin the Brit safe travels (we had some great, long, wide ranging, deep discussions over the last 3 days) and farewell and good luck in his New Life Journey, a self imposed visit at a self help center with the same name 35 kilometers from CR. I send him my best wishes for a successful recovery.
Godspeed Robin. Keep me posted.
It is now solo travel time. Time to be alone but not lonely. No feelings of insecurity or fear. Thailand is a safe, friendly place and I was confident that soon my path would cross with kindred spirits somewhere.
Dropped off the repaired backpack at the bus station bag storage area and headed out.
Picked up the iPhone case from the leather shop by the clock tower, visited a Wat, took pics and did a walkabout for block after block of stores and markets around the bus station.
Flowers, fruit, vegies, pigs heads, bacon, stuffed toy animals, luggage, clothes, satellite dishes, shoes in market stalls.
One place was playing all Thai-ized Christmas music. Stopped to look, listen and soak up a dose of Xmas spirit in Budhist Chiang Rai. It is the day before Xmas eve and I thought the music beneficial for my inner spiritual being. Will visit more Wats tomorrow and on the 25th to fill the spiritual cup.
Bought some fresh fruit then found a tuktuk ride to the place I found on the inet – not the 150 Baht Jimmy Hendrix dive that was described yesterday……..but think I will try a similarly priced place before too long. Maybe one with a bit more character.
Settled in my room, watched some tv and around 7:00 or so went out to find something to eat for supper. Walked past the hotel “dining room” and saw only empty tables and thought “Nope, I’m seeking a connection somewhere or else I will return to my room and eat a granola bar and some dried fruit.”
Walked a hundred meters further toward the nearest lights…..saw some liquor bottles on a shelf on the wall….always a good sign….and some tables with several people inside. A lady started waving at me from inside. Not the Thai wave, but an…..American wave. More direct than a Thai wave, a more personal, less inhibited wave. I thought “why not check it out?”
Rondi and Andy were inside having dinner with Why, a well-traveled-in-the-US Thai and her son. Why was the owner of the brand new restaurant.
As I approached, Rondi increased the welcome, then Why joined in greeting me. Sat down, ordered a beer at a solo table and lo and behold, Rondi and Andy were from….Portland!
They run a treking service in Nepal. They invited me to join them at their table and 2 minutes after passing the empty table restaurant I had my connection. Why brought everyone our dinners…chicken in oyster sauce, onions, rice, and 2 big beers for 200 Bhat.
Really enjoyed listening to Andy and Rondi’s story and will fill in the blanks in tomorrows blog…..but Why’s stories of travels to Dallas, San Francisco and St. Louis by bus and plane had everyone laughing heartily. I thoroughly enjoyed her stories. Why insisted we try some hearty, sweet, fresh baked bread with butter, honey and jam for desert. A treat seldom seen anywhere. We all agreed to meet again in the morning for breakfast and espressos at 7:30 AM. Great end to a great day.
Back to the room for some music and posting this blog. Listening to The Caution Horses by the Cowboy Junkies, a nice late evening album. A very enjoyable evening.