The Bamboo Train. Karl had us up and out at 5am for two reasons: to see the sunrise about a 15 minute bamboo train ride from the start; and to be able to go all the way to a little village with a morning market. This journey was about 5 or 6 times longer than the normal tourist ride on the Bamboo Train. The train (or each individual “car”) is a bamboo platform with a hole cut out for the engine. This car is placed on two axles. A mower sort of engine is placed in the hole and is what is used to power the train. Each car goes individually.
Note that there is only one set of tracks, though trains go in both directions. Solution: If you encounter a train going in the opposite direction, the one with fewer number of passengers must let the other one go by. They have to have the people disembark, and take the train and axles off the track while the other train passes by. The trains go about 30 miles per hour, but slow down when needed (bumps, obstacles like cows, etc.).
As you can see we passed some homes that exist right next to the tracks.
Because we were going where other trains do not go, we ran into areas of over-vegetation. One such branch or something caused the train I was on with Alan to derail. We did some limb clearing after this incident.
Glad we did not have our incident on this part of the ride.
When we got to the village we were told that one of the other train’s driver fell off backwards and for a while no one on the train realized (they were all facing forward and the driver is in the rear). He was retrieved (an incident Karl said never happened before). At some points we turned around facing the driver to get a good photo of the foliage passing by on both sides.
We also encountered (and Karl said this never happened before either) swarms of red ants as each bit of foliage passed us by. Alan said he was amused by my squeals each time I was bitten – probably 250 time.
Fun experience!!! After that we went back to the hotel for breakfast!