Back to my Caveman Roots!

Trip Start Jan 29, 2003
Trip End Feb 01, 2004

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Friday, March 14, 2003

I woke up at 7am, quite motivated, and after hurling my back-pack over my shoulder, headed to the main road where I was to flag down a local bus. This was a lot easier than I was expecting, and the public bus wasn't half as bad as I was expecting either. After being told I would need to get a tuk-tuk to the bus station, I was glad to see the bus turn into the bus station as its last stop. I was also told that it was not possible to get from Phuket to Khao Sok direct, that I would need to get a bus to Takua Pa first. This is what I did, then I saw on the bus, in bold letters Khao Sok, as a stop. I inquired and sure enough, the bus went through Khao Sok. This was excellent. I upgraded my ticket, bought some biscuits and water, and took my seat. The Lonely Planet told me to get off after 109km, which I duly did, thanks to the marked sign-posts and not my navigational skills, and fortunately enough, there was a 4x4 waiting who asked me if I wanted to go the Jungle Huts. Yes, this was where I planned to go originally. Excellent! I was hoping to get to Khao Sok by sunset. It was now 12pm, and I was checked in to my own bona fide tree house. Well, it is more of a hut 15 ft high in the air standing on 18 inch square brick supports which looks like it could have been the handiwork of construction genius Nick Drew and his colleague Chunk! But all the same, it was amongst the trees, and therefore I believe passed as a treehouse, and I was happy with it!
After sleeping most of the afternoon, I showered, then got ready to go up to the bar. My skin is now peeling so much, I think I may have developed leprosy!
After sitting down on my own, I realised I was surrounded by Germans. And only Germans! I felt isolated and trapped and started to panic. I may have been paranoid but I'm sure I heard them stamping their feet in unison.
Fortunately, soon after ordering my food the lake trip group returned, and within afew minutes, I had a couple of Swedes and an English chap sitting next to me. One of the Swedes was called Eric, though I refrained from stating the obvious viking connection as I was certain he would have heard it before, which was later confirmed to me when a German said this to him much to Eric's obvious facially expressed disgust! There was Dan from Middlesbrough, a chap from Stoke on Trent, and a couple of girls from Leeds. This made for a good evening, as we drank beer, played games including an England/Germany pick-up-the-bottle-with-your-teeth game which I am ashamed to admit we only drew in. Eric, the self proclaimed pacifist admits he likes to shoot rifles, which I though contradicted itself but remained silent.
I soon decided to return back, when there were only Germans left, and slept to the sounds which are in between the noises you'd expect from the Amazon, and the sounds you hear on an early morning in Ramsay Street.

13th March 2003:
Small ants had invaded my bathroom, though I was quite happy for them to stay there, as long as they didn't invite their huge cousins. You know when you're on a plane, and people look like little ants, well some of the ants are so big, that from my treehouse, they look like small people if people had 6 legs, antennae, and were permanently tanned. Well, they were big anyway!
One of the workers woke me up about quarter to 8, shouting up to my treehouse that the lake trip was about to leave.
I got up and after a cup of lime tea, i jumped in the back of the truck, with Chow and Mark who looks like Gustavo Poyet, both German! I had to spend the whole day with 2 Germans who isolated me every time they spoke to each other. It wasn't as bad as I first thought. The truck dropped us off at the lake where we were put on a boat with another German lady, 2 Irish girls, and 2 lads from England.
We were on the boat for over an hour, and had to gasp at some of the amazing awesome scenery, which truly was mesmerising!
We got off the boat at some kind of floating restaurant where we ate luinch, before getting back on the boat and were put in the jungle, for the start of the jungle trek. The trek lasted a couple of hours and involved walking over tree-trunk bridges, through ponds, and mostly obviously walking through the jungle.
Then we got to the cave, which for me was the most exciting bit. It was massive, with bats and spiders everywhere you pointed your torch. As we got deeper and deeper into the cave, the water did the same. Until we got to a point where all you could see was water and a rope. I was a little apprehensive as the 'guide' made me go first, though after obviously never doing this before, I didn't know what to do or where I was going. It was great! I had to swim, whilst using the rope for a guide, in the middle of a pitch black cave, in the middle of Thailand surrounded by bats and spiders. It doesn't sound very idealistic, does it, but believe me, its such a rush!
We trekked back through the jungle, stopping to look at insects, spiders, butterflies, and other nature stuff.
We returned to the floated diner, where we all took a swim in the lake, and had snacks, and drinks. Gavin and Alex from Reading, and Southampton respectively then informed me they were Southampton supporters! We found it hard to believe that there were 3 Saints fans in the middle of thailand together! What are the odds?
On the boat trip back, the heavens opened, so used an ineffective piece of tarpaulin to cover our heads.
This was a great day all in all, and well worth the money. 8 of us returned in the back of a corrugated pick-up which did not make for a comfy journey but it did not spoil the day!
This evening I ate with Daniel from 'Boro, and a bloke from Spain or Germany who gave me some great tips about travelling Cambodia!
It will be sad to leave here but I am looking forward to the full moon party!

14th March 2003:
After poached egg on toast, I managed to blag a motorbike to take me to the main road. From here I caught the bus to Surat Thani. I then got some cash out, and booked up to Ko Phan Nang. From Surat we got a bus to the ferry terminal, where I met a couple of girls from Manchester, who were also heading to Pang Nang. We then got the ferry to Ko Samui. After waiting around for a bit, we then caught the ferry to Ko Phan Nang. And then I got a shared taxi to Hat Rin.
Everyone I spoke to today, could not believe I was going to Ko Phan Nang and didn't have accomodation. And so when I got to Ko Phan Nang, I should probably not really have made my way to the party capital, Hat Rin in a vain attempt to find accommodation only 3 nights before the full moon party! I started to panic, on the taxi into Hat Rin, where a Swedish girl proudly boasted that she had shagged some bloke that morning on the bus in Ko Phi Phi. I don't know what kind of reception she expected, but it was mostly in the form of 'Aren't you clever' in a sarcastic kind of way if a look can have such a meaning.
Anyway, got into Hat Rin, and it was still light. I walked along to the first place I saw, and inquired about rooms, 'No Room', and turned around. When I asked if he know where I could get a room, he laughed, and said 'Don't Know'!
This happened at 3 other places before I gave up and decided to get a taxi back to the other side of the island, when walking up the road I heard 'Bungle', 'Bungle'! I hadn't shaved in 3 days but there was no way I could be confused with the burly Rainbow character is there? I went closer, and he told me he had 1 bungalow left. Aaaah. I took a look. It was basic, but had everything I wanted.
'OK, how much' I said
'250 Baht', he said
'Hmmmm 200 Baht', I said
'OK', he said nonchalantly
'Shit', I thought! Should have tried for cheaper!
When I checked in though, it seemed everyone else was paying 250 a night, so maybe I wasn't done after all!
Right I'm here, I'm gonna chill out for a couple of days in preparation for the full mooner in 3 days time. You will hear from me then!
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