02.01.2009 - 22.01.2009 35 °C
Well, I said the West coast weather was reported to be crap – it’s not been – it’s been fantastic.
We made the decision to head over to Koh Lanta (West coast), as the weather was supposed to be crap everywhere we decided that we might as well be in a cool place if there was going to be nothing to do but shelter from rain and drink beers and gins.
It’s quite a tall order to get from Koh Phangang to Koh Lanta in one day. It’s not the distance, it’s the variables involved – mainly how long you end up waiting around for each connection. We got the 12.30 ferry across the sea to the mainland, then a coach to a distribution depot, then waited 3 hours for another coach to Krabi. By the time we rolled into Krabi is was 8.50pm, in a bus depot, in the middle of nowhere. We assumed we’d just stay the night in Krabi then hit Lanta in the morning – you only need a 300 baht ferry and it takes about an hour. But… I knew the last car ferry to Lanta was 10pm and I ended up arranging a private taxi all the way , “You can DEFINITELY make the 10pm ferry, right?”, “yeah” – he seemed confident.
We drove so fast, and his music was so loud, I called it the “Nightmare Disco”. At one stage we were doing 145k’s though a 45k limit. He peaked at 165k’s, sometimes cutting corners completely, at night. It was like being on a rollercoaster, only this time, you COULD die.
The upshot was that we got to the ferry at 9.55pm – phew! Clare and Kirstin just talked to each other all the way, about anything and everything, so as to remain distracted to the obvious terror.
Our taxi took us all the way to Fishermans Cottage, where we stayed for 5 weeks last year. We knocked back some travel weary beers, and crashed for the night.
In the morning, guess what… yes… SUNSHINE! Yay! – Silly weather reports.
We met all our old friends here (the owner and staff). They’ve got wifi now! :-)
Generally we have been chilling, swimming, and drinking , of course. I managed to break another toe kicking a rock under water while playing bat and ball. At least this one broke “straight”.
(Back to our favourite beach, tide out)
(Where you are pretty much guaranteed spectacular sunsets)
We had a “big night” on the 16th – Kirstin’s birthday! – Kun cooked us some special food , which he paid for (thanks dude) and we all had a major session and danced on the beach. Clare seemed to do the most dancing…. With the most people… lol.
(Clare with the owner, Kun)
A couple of days ago we went on a speedboat snorkelling trip to Koh Rok – a marine park about 40 minutes away. Saw lots of coral for the first time – some of it moves when you swim near it. Weird stuff, oh, and quite a few clown fish. It seems we only recognise fish if they were on “Finding Nemo”. Cretins we are. It was very good snorkelling, if sometimes a little shallow, people were standing on Coral , bare foot, with their bodies out of the water. Cretins.
(My water babies)
It was a super hot day with little to no shade. Clare summed it up nicely when we got back to the bungalows. She felt like she’s just stepped out of a microwave.
I managed to injure myself AGAIN. I’m getting so ticked off. Perhaps it’s the approach to 40 years old…. This time I was climbing back into the speedboat after snorkelling, and as I pulled myself up with the handrails / steps, the whole thing bloody broke off, trapping my finger (yes, the same one as in Egypt) between the steel railing and something else hard. Result, ANOTHER deep cut that looked all white inside, just above my ring, on the top side.
We plastered it up and I’ve since cleaned it and it seems to be closing up very quickly (and of course we have all the meds with us now). The girls bought me some new plasters today – cartoon ones. They thought it would be funny. Except they are child size too. Look out for an “Injuries” post soon, I’ve got photos of most of mine so far. Lovely.
It’s fair to say we have had a few drinking sessions since Clare has been here. I’ve even got a taste for “White Russian” cocktails now.
We also rented a tuk-tuk and went for a tour of the island, stopping off for lunch at the View Point café…
(Our trusty steed - this one was a LOT easier to drive than last year's)
(View from the cafe)
The tuk-tuk was as hilarious as last time. I tried to navigate a steep-ish drop-off from concrete to dirt, and tipped the whole contraption at about 45 degrees. We thought we were going over. I fell out of my seat and clare was half way out the front, whilst Kirstin was slipping in between the bike and the passenger seats. No harm done, and a lot of laughing.
Clare is setting off back home tomorrow. Will be very sad to see here go. Then, we are off, after a few more days chilling, to Koh Phi Phi for a day or two, then straight up North to discover the other half of Thailand.
Just remembered one more thing, well, two. Kirstin and I went to go to bed the other night only to discover a coconut had fallen through our roof, and onto our mosquito net, which it collapsed. So we were presented with a bed covered in wood and bamboo (from the roof), plus a huge coconut right in the middle. K had a lot of trouble sleeping that night!
Also, when we were in Koh Tao, we heard (and felt) a huge thud very near by. When we looked up, a coconut had fallen and landed in between three girl’s heads, missing one of them by an inch at most. It was close enough to knock off her sunglasses. They were all lying face up asleep. Talk about a lucky escape. These coconuts are dangerous!
Finally - some memories of Clare's visit (and I'm in there too as at last, there are people to take photos of me!)
(Clare's room at the Fishermans Cottage, Koh Lanta)
(My name's Bond, James Bond. .. Well, need to work on the weight a bit ;-) , and the shorts )
(Surprisingly , I really enjoyed this)
(After just a few beers I decided to make our own little Honiker on our balcony)
(Not a bad way to spend the day - Koh Tao)
(... and the night)
(Not our handywork - don't think I could bring myself to do it)
(Clare's "Princess bed" made from 2 mattresses and 2 mosquito nets - took here a long time to perfect this)
By Clare! We'll miss you xx