Today I cried with a man from our group at the place they call Hellfire Pass. It is normal for me to be emotional , I have been all my life, but for this member of our group! You probably need to understand that he is a real fair dinkum Aussie block who takes no crap and soon lets you know if he is not happy. He is as tough as old boots, opinionated and stubborn…..But this is what this place does to you – brings you to yours knees. Hellfire Pass is named because the men worked 16 – 18 hour shifts and so lighting of lamps and fires were used giving everything an eerily shadowy glow and with then men hammering away with various tools it looked what hell was pictured by a lot of people.
We leave the museum to walk to the pass and again the beauty of this place hits you. You try to imagine the men working here, walking this path and struggling everyday just to survive. we walk about a thousand steps as we do the circuit but no-one is complaining. We know that the men did this everyday, without the steps and without bottles of water to soothe the way.
It is well worth the time spent here and it is nice to know that some of our Aussie blokes that were here came back to put the wheels in motion of what we see here today.
I cannot ever remember being as hungry for lunch as I am now. We are guided by our driver to Erawan Falls and eat at a little restaurant set up there – under cover but open air. For me it’s a hamburger and fries – I could have devoured another full lunch and it was delicious!
Erawan Falls is named after the rock formations at the top of the falls that resemble the three headed elephant of Hyndu mythology. Legend has it that winged creatures come down from heaven to play in the waters once a year on a full moon. They sound very similar to what we may call angels as they are human size with wings but with bird like feet and tails.
A couple of us decide to go for a quick dip but there are fish at the edge everywhere so I head towards the middle of the pool very, very quickly. You can climb the rocks and sit under the waterfall but as I carefully start to navigate the rocks a rather large fish attacks my foot – well at least my toe. I did let out a scream which everyone inks is hilarious and that even our bus driver who is at least a kilometre away thinks I’m in trouble. I decide to keep moving and after all it is lovely cool water and very refreshing after such a emotional packed day.