Trip Report : Sunday 23rd October 2011, Circular Hike From 700 years stadium to and around Huay Tung Tao
19 of us started off at about 08:30 from the South Western corner of the dam behind the stadium. It was pleasing to see both old and new participants. Janet and Brian were co-leaders. We believe this was the first day after the monsoon finished officially on 22nd October. The sky was cloudless and the sun already up. Water in the reservoir was very high and it gave an impression of being much bigger than in the past. We were soon off the smooth tarmac road and onto the unmade track behind the reservoir from where we had brief glimpses of the water. We were soon into the forest trails many of which carried the red and white tapes of the tracks created by and for the cyclists of which we saw very few.
The tracks still showed the result of the monsoon with several newly rutted sections and many patches of mud and pools. Most we could pass without getting wet feet and even the two or three streams did not present problems. En route there were numerous butterflies of all shapes and sizes. We reached the end of the dam at Huay Tung Tao at 10:06. Here Philip, whose advice on the trails had been very helpful, left us to run back to the stadium. Our group of 18 then walked in a clockwise direction round the Reservoir to reach the restaurant that was our break point at 10:42. The high water levels had caused the restaurants to re-arrange their furniture so we did not get our usual long table and had to make do with separate tables.
We left the Restaurant at 11:47 and continued on the track round the reservoir. We stopped by at another restaurant near the HTT Offices so that the group could meet Roger and Jern who were lunching there. Roger is the co-ordinator who developed the CM Hiking and instigated the original website. One couple left the group and stayed for lunch with Roger & Jern. After a quick introduction our group, then of 16, proceeded over the dam and could view the high water level and the dozens of fishermen watching their rods.
At 12:15 we left the reservoir and entered the forest using the same trail as we followed in the morning. Near the end we had a short discussion on the question of the start time for this particular hike. Some believed that arriving at the restaurant for the lunch break at 10:42 was too early and they would have welcomed at extra hour or so in bed had we started at 09:30 or 10:00 hours. Others thought that the early start was a good thing as it avoided some of the afternoon heat. At 13:43 we arrived back at our starting point and my gps had recorded us having walked 13.7 kms in an elapsed time of 5h 28m at an average speed of 2.5 kmh.
With thanks to all participants for being such a good cheerful group and especially to Janet and Philip for their help. Brian