Sunday morning, the second week was coming to an end and it would soon be time to leave Elephant Nature Park with the rest of the volunteers. We split into two groups, one in the ele-kitchen and one for poo patrol. I opted for poo again, it’s not a nasty job at all and it’s great to be out in the sunshine and near the elephants.
I packed the things I would need for an overnight stay in Chiang Mai and left the rest of my luggage locked in the room that had been home for the past two weeks. I headed out on one of the 1:00pm departures as it was best to get into town early – being Sunday and the night market would be setting up on Ratchadamnoen Road by mid-afternoon and driving in that area would be impossible.
I got to the U Chiang Mai hotel and the familiar peace that had welcomed me to Thailand still hung in the walled courtyard. Almost immediately I set out with my list of things to do; an ATM machine, finding another piece of luggage at the lowest price possible (that looked like it would make it intact back to Canada) - 225THB did the trick ($7) and I then had room for the extra things I had picked up along the way – accidental shopping I’d call it!
Mission accomplished, I picked my way through the stalls being erected for the weekly market and back to my hotel room, treasures stowed in the new bag, there was time for a long hot shower! Several of us had arranged to meet at Girosoles, an Italian restaurant in the centre of old town. I vowed to try and stay on a vegetarian diet and opted for fettuccine with a cheese sauce and tiramisu for dessert. It was a lovely warm evening, just off the bustling crowds of the market, the sixteen of us sat outside and watched the activity just feet away. It was fun talking French with Annie at an Italian eatery in old Chiang Mai. Jon and Tanya who were with us last week, but left on Friday just happened to stop by - Chiang Mai is not that big of a city (it was great to see you guys again!)
I was ready for a good nights sleep in the tranquility and luxury of my hotel and fresh to start the final week of my trip.