Friday, June 17, 2011

Following Mark’s nose……

On Monday morning, Mark and Anne drove us out of Chiang Mai and into some of the mountainous regions surrounding the city.  Mark had a basic plan of our route, but mostly we just followed his nose and found that his nose has real leadership potential.

For the first part of the trip, I was basically leaning out of the car and taking photos as we drove.  Some worked…..some didn’t!!!

I loved this shot of a house with the vases….

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Because there is not much temperature change during the year, we were able to see rice paddies in all stages of growth, starting with the seed beds (prior to being flooded)….

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Then the seedling plot  (the bed  at the front of the photo)……

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Don’t you love the scarecrow!!!

Here they are planting the seedlings….._6133430

Here the seedlings have been planted……_6133281

Here are the heads showing the grains of rice that are ready for harvest….._6133309

We also saw numerous animals that are used in the fields….._6133276 _6133304

I asked Michael if he felt like “Crocodile Dundee” when he took this shot.

 

We passed this old man in his hut and he smiled, so Michael took that as an invitation for a photo….

_6133279These hay stacks were fun and reminded us of the “Marsh-wiggle” huts in C.S. Lewis’ “The Silver Chair”.  We especially loved the ladder on this one....  _6133288 

I don’t think that I have talked about “Spirit Houses”.   Most blocks of land in Thailand have a spirit house which is erected to give the spirits a place to live.  In the city they are put up on a pedestal, are painted white and gold, are covered with flowers, and are VERY fancy, but in the country they are a bit larger and more rustic….._6133296 We were interested to see that cats don’t seem too worried about visiting the spirits…..

   _6133314 We passed a series of signs that touted magic words for us….. Coffee, Internet, and Clean Restrooms.   Now we didn’t need the internet, but the other two called greatly to us.  We had our drinks and then Michael went back toward the restroom.  Mark followed a few minutes later and left Anne and I wondering exactly where they had gone.  As we walked that direction we found a beautiful guest lodge….. _6133323 _6133336 We met the owner who told us that he was a Police Forensic Scientist and then he invited us into his private museum. 

_6133340 It held and amazing collection of artifacts from weapons to fibers…..

_6133344 to fun art pieces…..

_6133352 He allowed us to look thru the collection as he commented on the more interesting pieces.  He told us later that he normally doesn’t open it up for people who come thru, so we were flattered that he had allowed us to see it.

We then went into the guest house and he showed us one of the beautiful rooms….

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The decor in the common rooms was also fascinating.  I enjoyed seeing this saddle that would have been placed on an elephant, and the baskets and weaving above it were pretty cool too….

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By now it was time for lunch, so we stopped at a roadside cafe that ran next to the river that we had been following.

_6133372 We selected four things from her menu…..grilled chicken, grilled pork, pork steamed in bamboo leaves and fresh papaya salad.  We stayed away from the pork innards….

_6133374 We watched as she prepared the Papaya salad, placing each ingredient  into this huge wooden mortar and pestle and carefully grinding it before adding the next._6133381 It started with tomatoes, onions, snapped long beans and peppers (Mark suggested 2 peppers, but we asked for FIVE)….._6133383 The final addition was grated Papaya…..

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Sprinkle with a few peanuts and…..voila…..

_6133390 It was served with a plastic bag full of sticky rice and you used your fingers to grab a bit of rice, a bit of salad and pop it into your mouth for crunchy goodness….

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Each table was given a roll of napkins…..   and yes, that is a roll of toilet paper….._6133399

We had a wonderful time sitting by the cool river and enjoying our meal.  There were people on wooden rafts floating down the river as well._6133402

The final stop of the trip was to a handicraft area.  I do not have words to describe this place.  It consisted of several blocks of small shops, each selling a type of furniture or decorative item.   I could have spent DAYS here and shipped an entire container of stuff back home!!!!

I loved these three monks climbing into their truck….guess that they had finished up their shopping…..

_6133455 We returned to the Osborne’s house and picked up Tim and headed out for more food….Mexican this time!!!!!   We told the family that we wanted to go to their favorite place and they chose “Manuels”.   The food was actually very good, and cooked in a Southwestern style.

Afterwards we went in search of Sticky Rice and Papaya for dessert and ended up in a small market that was in the process of closing for the evening.  We finally found someone with Sticky Rice left and she put down her purse and re-opened her stall to make our desserts.  It was well worth the search!!!!

1 comment:

Donna Rae said...

I had totally forgotten about the toilet paper in the middle of the table to be used as napkins. Very difficult to use, huh?

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