When we got here, we caught a minibus transfer to our hotel, which took 2 hours, and as we got further into Phuket, the worse the place got
! It was like Blackpool, but full of Essex lads, in little vest tops, waxed chests, and shorts that look like knickers (really boys, if your shorts and shorter than mine, you need to sort your life out!) there were tattoo shops everywhere, we passed several fast food places and I could feel a princess fit coming on. As we drove past sex shops and Irish pubs, all I could think was 'where the bloody hell have you brought us too Nath you plonker' but we kept driving. We started to wind past green landscapes and small shrines and beautiful gardens and I could feel my tantrum drift away.
We got to our hotel in the afternoon, chucked our stuff in the room and headed for the beach. The beach was just lovely! Only a 10 minute walk from our hotel, clean super soft pale sand, blue and green clear water which is so warm that you can get straight in, no 'oh argh'ing' required (normally when I get in water it's a bit chilly, take ages to get in because it's too bloody cold and make noises like a disgruntled monkey) and it was shallow for ages, you really had to go out quite far out if you didn't want to touch the bottom, but I can't imagine why anyone in their right mind would not want to touch the bottom (when Nath proof reads this he will make a remark about touching bottoms and then say way hey- so I'm getting in there before you). We saw a few little fish, splashed about and then went back to the hotel to make our Christmas Day calls to our family
The next day we dedicated to the beach, you can hire two sun beds and a parasols for the very reasonable price of £4 for the whole day, and the little Mr Man even comes round and brushes the sand off for you every now and then. We spent the day again playing in the sea (this mainly involves me hanging off Nath like a koala bear) and reading in the shade, which I have become very inclined to do in my old age. My only problem with that day was the jelly fish. I do like jellyfish, but only in aquariums or on wildlife programmes, I don't like being in the same water as them as they are not only blobby and slimy, but they sting you, and to add insult to injury, if you get stung, someone has to wee on you. If being wee'd on wouldn't be bad enough, if that situation was to occur, I know Nath would laugh, which would mean that it might go everywhere and before I knew it, I was worrying about getting stung by a jellyfish and Nath getting wee in my hair. Luckily the water was crystal clear, so I was on constant look out for the little buggers.
The next day we had booked onto a boat tour to go to see some islands. Again, my haggling skills came in handy as the asking price was 2800 bhat each, but we paid 2500 for the both of us. We were a little disappointed to see how many people were on our boat as we had imagined it to be like the one in Ilha Grande which was about 10 or 12, but this one was about 60
. It didn't make too much different really, the sea was fairly choppy when we got out to sea so you couldn't walk about anyway. Our first stop was the beach where 'The beach' was filmed, you know, the one where Leonardo DiCaprio finds a small community on a desert island and then it all goes a bit wrong? If you haven't watched it, I have just given the plot away, but it's well worth a watch. Anyway, it looks just the same in real life, white sand which is so soft, and the water is crystal clear light blue- I have never seen somewhere so idyllic in my life, so beautiful and again the sea was warm for a paddle. There were quite a lot of other people on beach, but we were more interested in having a swim (by swim I mean cling to Nath). After that, we headed for another area which was good for snorkelling- oh good, swimming in really deep water, putting your head under water to look at just how deep the water you are in is- super!! I was determined that I was going to give it a go, so armed with a life jacket (I'm trying to be brave, but I'm not stupid) a snorkel and goggles, I got in without having time to chicken out. I had ear plugs in because in Paraty when I went down the waterfall and dunked my head under, I had ear ache for ages after, so when I was in the sea, all I could hear was what was happening inside my head, and that was a lot of heavy breathing. I could feel a panic attack coming on. I was curled up in a little ball, clinging to the life jacket, even though it was strapped to me with three different buckles and tried my best to calm down
. After about 10 minutes, I had talked myself out of being in a state of terror and it was time to look down. I had my mask and snorkel on/in, but it took me another 10 minutes to pluck up the balls to put my head under. When I did, and I know this is stupid, I couldn't get my head around not holding my breath. Every time I went to lower my face in, I kept taking a massive breath as if I was doing deep sea free diving! After a couple of practises, I got my face in, and then started to look around me. It really was amazing (amazing and terrifying) there were so many fish around us! Shoals and shoals of brightly coloured fish, coral everywhere and not a jellyfish in sight, but I was on constant shark alert of course, that's been added to my general life rules after my recent aquatic adventures. We had 40 minutes of snorkelling, I mainly just floated and watched and then we got back on the boat to go somewhere for lunch. I know that to most sane people this is not a big deal, and I know I sound like a massive baby, but this was my biggest one yet I think, and I'm feeling pretty proud of myself! We had lunch in a restaurant on an island that we tried to get accommodation on, but it was fully booked. The restaurant was fine, you sat at big tables with a lazy Susie in the middle with large dishes of rice and curries and things on to share. They had cooked me some onion rings and a dish with peppers and cashew nuts in, which was nice, but everything was a bit cold and we think it had been sat out for a while
. Once we were finished, we moved onto Monkey Beach. If you hadn't guessed, monkeys live on the beach, real life monkeys, they are wild and it was a pretty cool sight to see, there were probably about 6-7 when we got there (we had to stay on the boat) and we were about 10 meters away from them. My issue with this (oh there had to be an issue!) was 1. There was loads of litter on the small beach, which the tide had brought it, and this made me feel truly ashamed to be human and 2. They are wild animals, I don't think feeding them bananas is right. Anyway, some people on another boat were allowed to go onto the beach, this must happen quite a lot because one monkey took one of their water bottles and drank from it, like a small, disproportionate very hairy human. After that, we went onto our final stop which was a small paradise island. We had another snorkel where the boats had anchored while I was feeling brave, with flippers and everything! And then moved to the other end of the beach. The great thing about this beach was that it was on a corner, the waves would come at 90 degrees to each other, and crash over each other and at some points, forming a V shaped wave, it was a new one for me, I have videos of it, which I will upload eventually. We carried on snorkelling, until I saw something that looked like a jellyfish arm floating very near my face and decided to call it a day, it was time to hit the beach. All in all, it was a lovely day, we saw some amazing sights and I got in the bloody sea and snorkelled
The next day again was a beach day (I know, our lives are hard), it was a glorious day, we commandeered a bat and ball from the hotel and spent the day playing in the sea and reading. As Nath is feeling better, we even had a couple of beers and some crips on the beach for lunch, like we were on proper holiday. Something that has changed since being in South America, is everyone has stopped paying attention to me and asking me where I am from, and now everywhere we go, Nath gets 'hey, where you from, Germany/ Finland/ Switzerland?' I don't think we have gone a day since we left Bangkok without this happening. There are a lot of Russians holidaying in Phuket, and the large Russian hit-man looking type guy sat next to us asked Nath is he was German- he wasn't quite sure what the best answer was to give, but he thought there was no point in trying to hide it, so he said he was British, which went down well.
That night, we went out for some food, we had smelt someone's Pad Thai which smelt good, even though we aren't massive fans and can't understand why the dish is so famous, we both ordered it, ate it, and again, we left wondering why it was so famous. On our way back I would normally get an ice cream, but I wasn't feeling great, so resisted, but only just, and that's when it happened. My not feeling well passed as we walked back, which is quite normal for me, but as we were sat on the bed, phaffing, all of a sudden, I needed to be sick- I made it to the bathroom and started reliving the last 2 days worth of meals. The worst thing is, Pad Thai tastes the same coming up as it does doing down. I have never been so sick in all my life, it was as if I was the Costa Concordia and it was time to abandon ship, my insides were making a very quick exit and they weren't stopping to let women and children off first
! (Too soon?) I lay on the bathroom floor, curled around the loo and thanked my luck stars that we had an en suit. Nath was beside himself, he was putting a brave face on, but I could see the worry in his eyes and if I hadn't heaved or hurled for 10 minutes, he would come in to make sure 'I didn't need anything' but I knew he was checking to make sure I hadn't passed out. I spent the next couple of hours there, I did pass out (but didn't tell Nath until the morning) and once the worst of it was over, I crawled into bed. The next morning, I woke up fine! The only sign of my gasto-catastro was that I was very dehydrated and had cramp in my legs. We spent the day having a duvet day, watched a lot of British telly on youtube, including some Jamie Oliver which was a mistake because all I could think of was how much I wanted some mash, and cursing myself for not packing some emergency Smash. Maybe I should add that to my guide to being fabulous in Asia. Anyway, Nath also had a 'dicky tummy' that day, so we think it was the cold onion rings from the day before, as Nath only had a couple.
I am pleased to say that we are both pretty much ok now, we came out the other end (pardon the pun) relatively unscathed and although at the time when Nath asked me 'is there anything I can do for you' in my head I answered 'just put me down' it only lasted less than 12 hours and for that, I am truly grateful.
Thought of the day- I need to chew my food more
We are now in Phuket, which again is by the coast as we continue our 'holiday'. We traveled on Christmas Day as they don't celebrate it here, so it's just another day. The flight was only an hour, and again, we got a meal included in the flight, Nath got a little confused when he was selecting the many meal choices and ended up ordering a Hindu veggie meal for himself. We didn't really recognise any of the food when it came, it wasn't very appetising and the only thing that he fancied was the bread roll, unfortunately he had a Mr Bean moment when wrestling with the packaging and managed to fling it down the aisle- oh if only it had hit someone in the face, that would have been priceless! My meal was lovely, so I gave him my bread roll, which he opened very carefully.