My crew of peeps like to try to find new trails in the hills surrounding the city that we live in. There aren't very many marked paths so we want to be innovators and find things that no one else yet knows about. Sometimes this process goes wonderfully, but other times, such as today, it goes horribly horribly wrong.
There actually was a path at the start of our ride and a few turns. These were clearly motorbike paths for farmers and later on they turned into footpaths. We didn't really have any idea where we were going but eventually we found that there was no path anymore and the next thing we know we don't even know how to get back on any of the paths that we had taken to get to where we were.
About hour number 3 is when it stopped being fun or even funny and even though this sounds like something out of a horror film, none of our phones were even able to get a GPS signal, which seems very odd in this day and age and especially since we are only about 40km from a city that has nearly a million people in it.
On occassion we would encounter something that looked like it might have been some form of civilization at one point but there were zero people out here and we were well and truly lost. Every time that we would find some sort of something that looked like it might be a path to lead us out of here, it would come to an abrupt end. Then it happened again that we didn't recall the path back to where we were before, which i suppose didn't matter very much since we were lost back at that point as well.
Eventually one of us was actually able to get a GPS signal and we discovered that we were only about 1km away from a small road but there was just one problem, it was on the OTHER SIDE of this massive hill in front of us. Seeing as how we had been stuck for 5 hours at this point, we decided to pick up our bikes and make our way over the hill on foot.
We eventually found the small path that would get us out of here and what was originally supposed to be a 2 hour jungle ride of exploration ended up taking nearly 8 hours and a great deal of it was spent carrying our bikes. So we learned something important today.
When you are going through the jungle into uncharted territory we need to bring some sort of markers to get us back out of here. We were counting on technology helping us but it was a shock to all of us the GPS on all of our phones just stopped working. We are thinking that a squeeze bottle filled with flour or chalk or something to mark our turns would be a good idea in the future.
It really started to feel as though we were going to be well and truly screwed at many different points but thankfully we didn't start to panic and only one person even ran out of water. But this was the first time in my jungle exploration that I realized that there is actually a lot of Thailand that is completely undeveloped and there are real dangers of getting seriously lost out there.
We still had another 4 hours of sunlight left so we hadn't yet started to properly panic