Today is not a mountain-trekking expedition, just a revisit to the scenic Hmong village on the slopes of Doi Pui. Our first visit was described here.)
The adventure begins while we are still on the road heading to the village. With no warning, on a perfectly calm day, a tree falls across the road, narrowly missing cars in both directions. This leads to efforts to chop it up and clear it away.
The little old man in the blue shirt is the driver of the red truck. I thought he was wielding an ax; how clever of these drivers to be prepared for such a rare event. But no, it’s not an ax, just a piece of scrap metal. Somehow, he is able to use it to chop the tree to pieces. A student from another vehicle starts in with some kind of pocket tool. Soon there are a dozen people all helping, no leaders, just helpers. In 10 minutes, the road is passable again.
Arriving at the village, we head directly to the main garden. We take the trail that slants along the uphill side of it. Here’s a couple of village boys, about 5 years old, playing with a stick. When we get closer, we see they are killing a snake, while laughing with excitement. A bigger snake would be killed either because it’s a threat, or for food, or both. It’s not malicious, just part of growing up.
Nice view from the top of the garden
There’s a stream, with a waterfall, through the garden. The path along the stream features some lovely native plants, such as this lichen-covered tree. This is a high-resolution image, zoom in to enjoy the detail.
This little birdbath-sized pool along the stream doesn’t look big enough to support fish, but here they are:
Here’s the waterfall. Along with the sound of the water, you can hear frogs having a conversation about it; and, at the end, the voices of the same boys shouting in play.
Moments of joy
After a while, we hike to the other side of the village, farther uphill, to another wonderful garden.
Finally, at the top, we come to the coffee shop where we will rest for awhile. This coffee tree is growing right next to the shop; on the other side, wild forest with giant bamboo.
Refreshments: iced latte, from the local coffee beans (roasted right in the shop), and a strawberry smoothie, from the field right behind it…
….enjoyed along with this view