The Tsunami Day
Trip Start Jan 17, 2012
94Trip End Apr 26, 2012
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When we reached the top I was literally like, Fuck where the hell do we go? All we could see were hotel bungalows and nothing higher. We eventually saw one of the Thai hotel workers who pointed us in a direction, we literally legged it, my bikini bottoms literally falling down when I ran, I dropped our suntan oil and just left it where it fell assuming that a wave was actually coming then. We finally found some stairs and tore up them till we found basically a house on part of a hill where everyone had stopped. I was literally gasping for air when we stopped, we were told that there had been a 8.9 quake in Indonesia and that’s all we knew. Hannah kept saying we needed to go higher and that it wasn’t high enough and I said to her that this was literally my worst nightmare (tsunami being one and a plane crashing into the sea the other). I started to panic, I was literally shaking all over and almost started crying until Hannah basically told me not to panic, that it wouldn’t help and that we should go higher. I pulled it together and we climbed under the house to go further up the hill. I was barefoot and literally climbing over trees, plants, rocks, today was obviously the day I decided to wear no shoes!
I sat down when we got a bit higher and was literally converged on by black and white mosquitoes, thankfully I had repellent or we would literally be one big mosquito bite. We kept trying to call Kelly and Sylvie to see if they were ok and also my dad and Hannah’s mum to try and get info. None of our calls would go through so we were basically on our own with no information. Hannah eventually borrowed someones phone and got a call through to her mum but we then decided to go up higher, which involved climbing through barbed wire…yay.
We ended up further up with more people until a Thai guy showed up and told us that just further up there were others, so holding some barbed wire open for us we headed 1 minute further up to find loads of people camped out on some rocks watching the bay. We sat with some English girls who had literally just arrived on the last ferry into PP and had to just dump there stuff at some hotel room and run up to where we now were. One of them, Crystal, or Swiss Army Knife as I named her, had everything with her. Food, crab plasters, medications, food, water, a torch etc! Finally we also got some phone signal and I managed to get hold of my dad who sent us some info through and that we basically had to stay put still. Hannah’s mum messaged her saying that she couldn’t stop crying at work because she was so worried, which was so sweet. The reason I rang my dad was because I knew he wouldn’t be like oh my god are you ok, but he would be straight to the point and get us info and the only other person I heard from was Steve who’s only concern was that he get my t.v. should I die… (yeah thanks Steve)
It was really surreal though, we were watching the sunset whilst butterflies flew around us on a pretty hilltop whilst waiting for a tsunami that could effectively wipe out the whole of PP like it did in 2004. It started to get dark and then of all things, a lightening storm, came in. Hannah decided that it was probably safer to move down to where Katie and Crystal were staying then it was to stay out in the open, with random sheets of metal lying next to us, during a lightening storm. I was less convinced but wasn’t exactly going to stay with four other randomers and besides Crystal had the torch and I was barefoot. We got to there hotel, which for me was far to low, but thankfully about 20 minutes later my dad text me saying that the warning had been called off. THANK GOD. I’d run out of credit so ended up heading into town with a Greek dive master to find some, it was so weird. Everything was closed or closed off and it was like a ghost town. Sylvie had our key so we headed back to our accommodation to see if they were back yet. Kelly arrived first and told us how she had been having lunch with Sylvie, they’d split up for literally 2 seconds and the warning came. Kelly had her laptop and was dragged into a hotel by some people where she had to climb out of a window onto the mountain and literally hall herself up with vines, branches and climb up the mountain with her bare hands! She had however met a group of Welsh guys who we are now meeting up with later on. Sylvie then arrived and clearly had the best experience, she’d gone back looking for Kelly and ended up going to the Evacuation Village, where she was fed, they had toilets. Alright for some!
After Hannah decided that we were going to party to celebrate living, after all of the drama and adrenaline I felt fucking exhausted and just wanted this day to be over but went out for a few anyway. I’d seen on facebook that Ali (a best mate from home) was meant to be getting to PP today, but didn’t know if he had made it or not due to the tsunami warning. We met the Welsh guys and Irish bar and then this person comes round the corner, it literally took me two seconds to register it was Ali before I jumped off my bar stool ran to him and was jumping up and down in the middle of the dance floor with him. Best. Entrance. Ever. I met all of his friends that he’d been travelling with and got pulled into Ali’s ridiculous games for about half an hour which basically was you kiss her, I’ll kiss him. Hannah was ridiculously happy as she got to see two straight boys get off with each other (she’s a weird one) and I managed to sneak off the bed when they headed to Slinky’s. So glad this day is over! Would definitely not want to ever live that AGAIN.
- The best tsunami story has to go to a girl Kelly met who was only wearing a thong. She was on the beach with her boyfriend sunbathing when they got the warning. Her boyfriend was in the sea and without even telling him or waiting for him, she literally ran off in just her thong up the mountain and left him!!!!