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Shirley realizing that what we thought was a palm tree stump from the base is indeed a highly active bees’ nest.
The following day we were back at the temple where the gate had been left open for us. Encouraged by the previous day’s climbing, Shirley set off on the first pitch of Nok Khao Mai Chai Nok Rao
route. We were puzzled by small chunks of honeycomb at the base but thought little of it. One bolt below the belay station I heard Shirley utter the f-word and instantly realized the issue. There were no less than two buzzing hives right next to the belay station and a larger one visible at the start of pitch 2. With my strong encouragement (somebody wanted to finish her pitch), Shirley bailed off the last bolt and we moved on. This is what one gets for being cheap with the donation box at the temple…We got back to town just in time for the start of a street market. Vendors had set up shop on the main drag in the old town and were selling everything from clothes and electronics to fruits and freshly prepared food. A fantastic experience. We were shocked to not see a monkey invasion. Somehow they stayed confined to their own block near the temple and only one or two blocks away.
On our final day in Lopburi we drove back to the mountain and after a more generous donation at the temple climbed The Fakir
route (3-pitch 6a+) on a free-standing tower of rock called the Easter Island. This was more of a jungle mountaineering adventure with the highlight being the third and final pitch: sharp rock, like climbing on shards of broken pottery or china. Despite care, we both got bloodied up and were quite happy to be climbing on double ropes…The summit was fun with great views of the blooming sunflower fields but the descent was an exercise in bushwhacking esp. as we decided to try a shortcut. Thank goodness Thailand has no venomous snakes
…But really I was expecting a king cobra to rise in front of my face as we pushed through blinding undergrowth well armed with 18 inch sticks. In retrospect is what you call a “bad idea.” We celebrated our survival by getting a Thai massage that evening. Just as our scooter muscles were beginning to develop, it was time to head back to Bangkok for our flight to Krabi to meet up with Shirley’s Mom.
Driving in to Khao Chin Lae 2 Peak on an overcast and muggy day (Jan. 2013).
Shirley racking up for Nok Khao Mai Chai Nok Rao route (6b+) on Khao Chin Lae 2 mountain. The mountain has a Buddhist temple at its base (Jan. 2013).
Shirley leading the first pitch of Nok Khao Mai Chai Nok Rao. This was the 2nd route we tried on the mountain but were shortly run off by the presence of three massive bee (wasp?) hives on the first and second pitches…sharp-eyed observer will pick these out the photo esp. since I’ve highlighted them (Jan. 2013).
After lowering off we realized where the pieces of the bee hive at the base of the route came from (Jan. 2013).
Shirley realizing that what we thought was a palm tree stump from the base is indeed a highly active bees’ nest…in fact there was a second one (out of the photo) on pitch one a a huger one on pitch 2. Shirley quickly retreated from the last bolt before the belay (Jan. 2013).
Shirley doing some single pitch thing at the base of Kaho Chin Lae 2 (Jan. 2013).
The Khao Chin Lae 2 Peak (right side) as seen from the drive (Jan. 2013).
The Easter Island formation…wonder where it got its name. The spire in the photo is about 200 feet tall and sits atop a 90 foot pedestal (Jan. 2013).
Gearing up for The Fakir route in the jungle…here’s the approach beta: go up via the monastery as if you were going for Corcovado and then traverse. The other way in is more interesting …got to enjoy it on the hike down (Jan. 2013).
Starting up the approach pitch to The Fakir route on the Easter Island formation…this is I think Hit The Rock Jack 6a+ (Jan. 2013).
This is the 90 foot wall below the Easter Island formation (base of the “pedestal”; Jan. 2013).
Shirley climbing out of the jungle via Hit The Rock Jack pitch. Then you do a short bushwhack atop the “pedestal” to reach The Fakir route (Jan. 2013).
Shirley leading pitch 1 of The Fakir. Fun climbing on solid rock (6a).
Shirley nearing the top of the Easter Island via Fakir’s blood letting pitch 2 (Jan. 2013).
Who is this chalky asshole? The rock on the upper pitch of The Fakir is indeed razor sharp…kinda spooky to climb on actually (Jan. 2013).
Shirley signing the summit register atop the Easter Island. The beautiful sunflower fields of central Thailand are below. Great ambiance indeed on this pretty little tower summit (Jan. 2013).
Summit register entries on Easter Island. We were surprised to see that the ascent prior to ours was just a few weeks earlier by a few Montanans (Jan. 2013).
Shirley bushwhacking down (shortcut) after our climb of the Easter Island…well, at least there are no dangerous snakes in Thailand (Jan. 2013).
The charms of the Lopburi Province in Thailand (Jan. 2013).
Some pretty local weeds and a busy bee at the base of Khao Chin Lae 2 peak (Jan. 2013).
A quick gas refill for the scooter using a manual pump (Jan. 2013).
Shirley at the Wednesday street market in Lopburi (Jan. 2013).
More sights at the market (Jan. 2013).
The sights of the street market in Lopburi (Jan. 2013).
A duku fruit vendor at the street market in Lopburi (Jan. 2013).
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