Trip Report for 10 July 2011 Long, Round About, Hike from Arboretum to Wat Prathat
We had a group of 16 for this long hike, many newcomers, and had quite a bit of trouble staying together due to greatly varying degrees of fitness. We followed the planned hike with 3 exceptions, the first being that the road crossing was at Wang Bua Baan, not Pa Ngerp. All went well until we were on the turn off from the main trail, about two hours into the hike, where we missed the “bush-whacking” short cut to another ridge trail, and so continued on up, a more round about way of reaching the 5-way junction. (It was a “good” mistake though as we learned a connection of trails we didn’t know before.) At 11:30 we decided to stop for lunch along the path where it was level and comfortable, and then reached the 5-way junction at 12:40. From here on the hike was as planned, but took us almost 7 hours to complete, mostly due to many stops along the way letting the slower hikers catch up. We had a little light rain only, no leeches, and no difficult water crossing, but many large trees down requiring some difficult negotiations. There was a positive response from the group, who said it was “a good hike!”. I would estimate we walked at least 15 km. and had an elevation gain of about 700 meters. Unfortunately no one on the hike was proficient at using the GPS to record the trail.