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The death railway

and feeling slightly better than death warmed up

semi-overcast 28 °C

We have just arrived back from a few nights in Kanchanaburi, a city a couple of hours west of Bangkok. We arrived around lunchtime and checked into a guesthouse on the bank of the River Kwai and apart from having a wander around the immediate area spent the rest of the day relaxing.

We booked a full day tour for our second day and had an early start. Our first stop was a gorgeous waterfall made up of 7 tiers, it took quite a while to climb to the very top but it wasn’t as hard as any of the others we have climbed as the temperature was much cooler and there weren’t any rivers to cross either! After the hike we had lunch before setting off again, this time for a half hour elephant trek – we both agreed that we didn’t really enjoy this bit as some of the elephants seemed to have a bit of a skin disease around their heads and ears and we figured this is probably because they are not being looked after as well as they should be, a few of our group did make a complaint and suggest that this bit of the tour be omitted in the future. Next it was bamboo rafting down the river kwai – weirdly though we were towed up river first to then float down back to where we started from!!! It was a much more commercial bout of rafting than when I did it with Kirsten several years ago in Thailand, this time it was a raft with sides and seats and a canopy – not really your stereotypical image of a raft at all!!!! Our next destination was The Death Railway, our guide was great and told us lots of info and facts about the building of the railway and this infamous spot in particular where over 5,000 men died in around a 2 week period. There is a cave right next to it that was used as a makeshift hospital area for all the POWs that were dying from malnutrition, malaria, dysentery, beatings etc. After the war the Thais had it cleansed by a monk as they were worried about the ghosts that would be there, having all died in such awful ways and there is still a huge golden Buddha in there now keeping the area sacred. We caught the train and travelled down some of the Death Railway and then headed to our last destination of the day – The Bridge over the River Kwai. We got to walk along some of it and saw the train pass over it just as the sun was beginning to set.
The next day we went to the Death Railway museum. It was a really interesting place and told an in depth story of the plight of the POWs during the building of the bridge. Over 100,000 died during its construction. After reading and hearing all about it, it is amazing to know that some did survive. We also visited the memorial cemetery across the road from the museum which was very moving, thousands of graves in beautifully tended grounds, full of graves belonging to men mostly in their early 20s to 30s. It was an interesting but slightly depressing morning….

Today we set off to return to Bangkok, half way through the journey Gerald developed really bad stomach cramps and ended up being very sick – luckily the bus had a toilet. Once we got off the bus we decided to get a taxi all the way back to Lorraine’s as Gerald was still feeling unwell. He curled up on the back seat with his head on my lap trying to sleep and ignore the ever increasing cramps until they got too severe. He ended up shouting out for the taxi to stop (on a 3 lane motorway style road!) jumped onto the central reservation where he proceeded to curl up on the floor and start projectile vomiting. The taxi driver was looking like he was regretting letting us into his cab, traffic was trying hard to avoid our taxi blocking the lane, I was worrying like mad about Gerald but also worried that everything we owned was sitting in the cab and that the driver could easily drive off with it all!!!! After a while Gerald began to look slightly better than death and managed to get back into the taxi and make the rest of the journey back to Loza’s. He has not been sick since the central reservation and the cramps are getting slightly better so we are hoping that it is just a bug and by tomorrow he will be feeling much better, fingers crossed.

Well that’s it from Nurse Nita, until next time….

Posted by bumblebum 07:45 Archived in Thailand Tagged round_the_world

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I sounds so interesting! Did you know we had Ofsted, but unfortunately I was in Malawi in Africa that week. I was sooo disappointed.Was worried when I heard about the eartquake and didn't know how close you were to it. Anyway, hope Gerald is better. Have a fabulous time the rest of your journey! xxx

by Annika

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