|Negatives about today: (1) some sunburn; (2) some minor blisters from a lot of hilly (steep!) walking; (3) fear we'd be homeless for the night
Positives: (1) Cave Lodge breakfast of oat porridge with milk, honey, and bananas; (2) beautiful views and interesting sights along the 6km hike to a nearby Karen village, and then beyond; (3) the fish pond-- a place in the stream where hundreds of fish swarmed and the locals swarmed as well, throwing in leaves for them with much laughter; (4) amazingly delicious lunch back at the Cave Lodge- rice and chicken stir-fried with cashews and veggies; (5) super fun ride on our scooters back to Pai (~50 km)- max. speed = 80km/h! very exhilarating!
Once we got back to Pai, just around sunset, we returned the bikes and set off in search of a place to stay. It proved to be extremely difficult! Apparently there is a reggae festival in town this weekend, and guesthouse after guesthouse we tried said, "sorry, full". That, or they said they had a room for 3000B. No thank you!
We walked for about an hour, and on the very outskirts of town we found an upside-down house! It's in the parking lot of a hotel, and we thought it was just for show, but it's actually a private bungalow. It's normal enough inside, and just 400B, so within our happy range.
We returned to town to grab our large bags (we had stored them at the guesthouse we had first stayed at in Pai) and the woman there was so nice, so happy that we made it back in 1 piece. She had been very nervous for us, taking bikes out for the first time...
We then wandered the evening market for dinner... delicious, of course! We had sticky rice lollipops, a barbq pork and a barbq chicken skewer, large rice cakes that were like sweet crackers, chicken spring rolls, and an interesting (and tasty!) Thai dessert that is difficult to describe... it was in one bowl and was a mix of a poached egg, a syrup of some sort, odd jelly goo things (my least favorite part of it), coconut, grilled root of some sort, a piece of pumpkin, and then some sort of combination of condensed milk and coconut milk. Mmmmmm? Yes.