Diving and dirt bike riding adventure

Trip Start Jan 01, 2010
Trip End Mar 04, 2011

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Friday, April 30, 2010

So attempt number two to leave Samui actually suceeded. I got picked up from the hotel at 10 when the boat left at 12 basically to give you enough time to get bored and spend money in the restaurants. It was a different ferry from last time and much bigger as a result there were far more of the 18-24 parttgoers looking forward to Full Moon. 90% of people got off in Phangan and I would not be surprised if a couple of bags went walking basically a pile of a 100 bags are left on the dock and people rummage through them for their bag. Which also makes the way mine disappeared feel even more unfair.
   I ended up chilling near the pier when I got to Ko Tao as I couldn't face the touts for taxis etc. Iended up walking to the main village Sairee beach (now I have practically no stuff that type thing is possible). No-one walks here so as a result they tend to drive super close when you walk which is always fun especially as Thais want predestrians to walk along the flow of traffic so things rear up behind you with little notice. I walked around town for a while trying to find a room and ended up at Big Blue which had been recommended by lonely planet. I booked my refreshing dive for the next day with a mixture of excitement and nervousness. I managed to get over the issue of not having my dive cards or log (which were both stolen in backpack) The room was ... if you describe nicely basic ... if you describe honestly horrible. It smelt of backed up drains and the fan simply blew hot air at you. I got a total of an hours broken sleep all night. I managed to move to much nicer digs the next day which made the experience so much nicer. 
  My refresher dive day involved me sitting on the boat the first dive while they went through the scuba skills. I had done one of those courses about 3 months before so couldn't be bothered. I watched the Thai boat boys fish using a hook, line and bits of pineapple instead. They were surprisingly effective and soon there were 5 fish flapping with surprising vigour on the deck. Then we went for a dive - there were slight communication issues as the instructor was French with not brilliant English but sign langauge seemed to work even if pleasant conversation didn't.
   I booked up for 2 dives the next day to go out with the proper fun diving groups. I was in a small group of 5 including 2 dive masters. We saw some pretty good stuff the first dive but it was nowhere near as good as other locations I have dived like Australia or Mozambique. The second dive my dive master buddy disappered for a while after telling me to follow the leader then reappeared and took over the dive and left one of the instructors down there. All in all a little confusing and a bit scary not knowing what was going on. Basically they explained after that dive master had had ear trouble so surfaced and the other instructor had done a dive in the morning so needed a long deco stop as we had done 27m both dives. 
   After the dive we all chilled out in the bar on the beach and originally I was being very good after my fast and not drinking and not eating bad things but then decided on a pizza. So I can officially say that my diet has gone back to normal now except I try and eat a salad a day. It is actually harder than it looks out here as the Thai's don't eat salad normally apart from Papaya salad which contains 16 small dry red chillis as a minimum! Refreshing it is not! Then they do Western salads which are tiny and expensive. 
   So anyway there are a group of us chilling out from the dive including a Scottish guy Trevor who is motorbiking around the world. He has done Pakistan, Iran and India so far before hitting Thailand. It is funny listening to him talk and watching the guys salivate over it. It is most definately a guy thing - they seem to admire him and fancy him in equal measure because of it. Girls myself included just don't really get it all the talk about spares and handling of the bike etc just goes over our heads. We were also joined by another instructor called Christian who is soon leaving for another dive job in Europe. As people left to tend to girlfriends (another reason being single rocks you can stay in conversations you want to without 'checking in') We had a great conversation about how travelling makes you different and not fit into life back home and even more fundamentally not even want to try. 
   I ended up being convinced to sample some Gin and Tonic which went straight to my head after being sober for a fortnight. I ended up staying for a staff party which involved ballons, water and much alcohol. I went for a walk on the beach which was amazing. The water was so high but also so still because it was full moon. Also the full moon provided great lighting to see most of the coast. 
   I woke up for my next set of dives feeling worse than I thought I would from the two drinks I had had. I ended up getting a ride with Trevor on his bike which was exciting and scary in equal measure. It was awesome go feel the power of the bike as we overtook but also remember that I was wearing shorts and a string top and no helmet so would lose 99% of my skin if I came off. I guess that is the thing here - no-one wears helmets or protective gear so it becomes normal...which I know isn't right. But I figured Trevor would be safer than most as he has done 27 000 miles on the bike this trip alone compared to guys who have rented a scooter for the first time.
   My first dive I was having issues with my ears so had to surface early with my own dive master buddy. The diving is so much better set up than anywhere else I have dived with two dive masters on each dive, one leading and the other there to help anyone with issues. Which came in bloody handy the second dive when I couldn't get down at all. My ears were killing me I was almost crying except underwater which is a very strange sensation. I don't think the diving gods were with me that dive as my first mask collapsed on me when I tried to go down and the glass fell out and then I was so preoccupied with that that I was holding my breathe as I slipped below the surface without actually having reg in my mouth! Wow I felt blond!
   I woke up today feeling terrible so spent a fortune on ear drops to try and clear the infection. It is wierd because my balance has been affected so quite often I will be walking on flat ground and feel like I am on a boat with the ground moving up and down in front of me. I have a 6 hour ferry trip to look forward to tomorrow followed by a 3 hour bus. Then a 3 hour ferry the next day to finally get to Ko Phi Phi, It better be worth it!
   Trevor and I decided to go for a bit of a ride on his bike today as he overslept and missed his dive and I obviously couldn't dive with my ear issues. It was fine on the tar roads - although you definately feel every bump of which there are many here far more on a bike than car. Then we get to a pretty steep sand stretch. I offer to get off and walk but we end up attempting it. But I think the front wheel caught a rock then sand and the bike started to tip towards downhill. I managed to leap off - no idea where the speed and dexterity came from. Probably self preservation instinct of seeing a large heavy bike falling towards me. Trevor wasn't quite as quick and ended up getting grazzed down his back. So that was the end of that adventure and probably the last time I see myself on a bike this holiday at least!
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Laura kyle on

Hi there Kelly

i'm really enjoying all your travel stories! Looks like you are getting in your stride now - I remember that it took us about 3 months to relax properly into travelling.
Enjoy travelling light for a while - you'll soon accumulate more stuff....

Mum on

I thought you hated bikes! We have been told that the diving is fab there, bummer you have sore ears! Try to get some drops with alcohol in them to clear water from you ears. Got your sms this morning. good thing, my alarm hadn't been set, and they wokeme up instead! Love you xxx

Nav on

Loving your stories Kelly!!! Keep it up!! take care Nav xx

kellyroundworld on

I thought I would try bikes once as I haven't been on one before. And I figured someone who had ridden 27000 miles in half a year probably knew what they were doing. Don't worry I won't be doing it again after that lucky escape!

London Correspondent on

Totally imagining the biker boy as Ewan McGregor in Long Way Down ;-)

Glad you're enjoying the G&Ts, if not the diving!

And fish like pineapple!? Who knew! Pina Coladas all round!

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