Taking survey of our trekking injuries so far, we decided to spend a rest day around Beleni Village. Still recovering from falling against some sharp rocks in Australia a week ago, open sores from hiking, a nasty sunburn, a piece of a thorn stuck in the finger, flu like symptoms including a fever and back spasms from riding the sides of the PMV for three hours on a brutally bumpy road.
As we’ve experienced before, its hard to decide on whether to take Malaria medicine from thousands of miles away – you need to get into the field and see how things actually are. We’ve been in the jungle for two full days and have yet to see one mosquito. However we are bothered by hundreds of flies – who magically appear when we start cooking.
We saw a sign at a hut about 10 minutes away – it said “live chickens for sale, hurry before they are all gone”. We popped in (after running down the trail to their village in anticipation of getting a chicken before they sold out) and they popped a live chicken into a gunny sack for us. We slung it over our shoulders. We are introducing the villagers to Syy’s Thai cooking – but we are a bit short handed without all the proper ingredients. There is one lime tree nearby – growing over where we bathe nude every day in the creek. The challenge with getting the fruits is this tree is extremely tall and thorny. So whenever we want to pick a lime – the kids come with us and we throw rocks at the fruits high in the tree until we knock one off! It is a slow process, but it works.
There is no electricity here – a repeater was installed two years ago so there is now cell phone service. Eventually data/internet will come. Some huts have generators. We are staying in a wood shack with very old banana leaves as the roof – with many holes. Last night it rained for a long time – so we had to drape plastic over head to keep ourselves dry. Unfortunately the rain got to some of our gear before we did.