Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Sinkhole Cave

On the first day that we rented motorbikes, I told you that we rode into the nearby national park and the boys and the kids hiked over and up to a sinkhole cave.

This was their view of the little huts where Gretchen and I were sitting while we waited for them. One of the guys working down there told us that it was going to take them about three hours round trip, but the boys said "no way!" "he doesn't know how fast we hike!" "not for such a short distance!". Turns out they were wrong...

First they had to hike across the park to the base of the trail.

A couple of days later when we took the boat after Monkey Island, this beach is where we landed. This beach is also where the trailhead is. Ironically, we ran into fellow teachers from YISS here at this beach--even more strange is that they're from Burlington, Washington!

Since I didn't take most of these pictures because I didn't go on this hike, I've enlisted Eric's help for this post.

This first set of shots is the first time they went to the cave, and then you'll notice they start over...that was the second trip to the cave.

Kennedy was NOT happy to learn that they hadn't even officially begun the hike by the time they reached this point: the trailhead at the beach.

Monkeys in the trees at the trailhead.

The picture on the left was taken from the bottom of the sinkhole looking up. The other is the sides of the cave.

Standing in front of the temple at the bottom of the sinkhole.

This shot is from our second trip: the boat ride to the trail head. Dad and Travis really wanted to snorkel around this island, but the water was pretty rough by the time we headed back to the resort, so they missed out.

Dad decided that he would stay behind with the kids rather than hike up for round two in his flip flops, so the rest of us headed off while they enjoyed ice cream on the beach down below.

A monkey at the trailhead. Again.

I decided that as sore as my foot was by the time I'd gotten to the top, I probably shouldn't hike down into it. It took me so long to get back down, that I didn't beat the rest of the group by much!

So, after hiking all they way up, I still didn't get to see the cave! But Eric documented it well for me.

The temple.

Apparently, the king of Thailand has made it down here twice, but I couldn't even do it once!

Eric got some good shots while on Auto, but clearly the camera didn't know he was supposed to be taking a picture of Gretchen and our new Thai friend, Didi.

By the time everyone had made it back out, the waves had picked up quite a bit. Our boat is out there past Eric in the picture below. He brought it in a bit closer, but we all got soaked walking out to jump on the boat!

It was a bit of a rough ride back, but we managed to evade motion sickness and the kids both got in a nap!

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