Pha Tang, Phu Chi Fa and Spreading the Joy ...

Receiving my marching orders, I was informed that we would be leaving by 8 am in order to arrive at a friends resort by 9 am.  As it turned out, 10 am would have been about right but that is the way things go.  So we left with the sister and niece in tow, later joining our friends and their guests from England.

At the request of our friends, we had between us gathered an assortment of blankets, clothes and snacks, for the women and children of a hill tribe village on the way to Phu Chi Fa.  Some refer to it as charity, I prefer to call it spreading the joy.  Everywhere, we were surrounded by smiling faces, regardless of which side of the equation you were on.  Hundreds of photos later and our stocks depleted we said our goodbyes and headed higher into the mountains.

Arriving next at Phu Chi Fa we gathered our energy for the hike to the top.  With the peak shrouded in mist and cloud one wondered about the possibility of getting any pictures on the day.  While the others ventured on to the top, I broke ranks and ensconced myself on a lower outcrop that provided the vantage I was looking for.  My wife has been complaining that my desktop image of her is outdated and wanted it changed to something else. 

I thought a misty Phu Chi Fa might make for a nice uncluttered image and set about trying to capture just the right profile.  My subject was particularly shy that day, making brief appearances as she spent most of her time veiled by a heavy mist that climbed up the sheer rock face from the valley below.  I lost all track of time watching the world around me appear and disappear, revealing something different with each emergence.

The others eventually came to fetch me and we headed back to our vehicles.  Our friends took their guests south via the high mountain road to visit Phu Sang Waterfall.  We on the other hand headed north to Pha Tang, someplace my wife and her family had never visited before.  Of course they were hungry, so we stopped at a nice mountain side restaurant that provided good food and a few nebulous images.

The mountain air was fresh and clean but did not lend itself to razor sharp images.  Still the bluish haze and subdued colors do produce a certain mood representative of the day.  Pha Tang gave us more expansive views than did Phu Chi Fa with a much easier climb up an uneven rock staircase.

For some reason many Thais suffer from motion sickness but we made it through the twists and turns without incident.  I suppose it helped that we rolled down the windows and allowed ourselves to be caressed by they cold mountain air.  The niece hung her head out the window and reminded me of Cookie, in a good way.  She can be a little moody around adults but on this day she looked like a happy child on an amusement park ride as she reveled in the sheer drops, tight turns and cold air numbing her happy smiling face.