Paula's 39th +1 'Groundhog Birthday'
Trip Start Sep 15, 2012
138Trip End May 01, 2013
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With a day bag packed we strolled up to Long Beach where Vikki hired a private longtail boat for us for the day so that we could sail the islands off the shores of Koh Phi Phi. Feeling better than we had for days we headed off toBamboo Island to finally celebrate Paula's birthday in style.
We cracked open some cold beers (before 12pm) and let the sea air wash over us. Vikki had vigilantly noticed the breaching of a stingray very close to the boat but Paula missed it completely
The longtail boat captain anchored off shore allowing us to snorkel the crystal blue waters in an area 50 metres from the beach where we had our first taste of a shoal of nipping nibbling stripey fish pecking at us with wide eyed interest - they took a particular liking to Paula - must be all those old dead skin cells...
After a while we had had enough and jumped back in the boat, or should we say hauled arse like two walrusses up a rusty ladder. The weather was a little touch and go but we hoped that it would hold out as we headed over to the Viking Cave on Phi Phi Ley.
As we circumnavigated aroud the island to the cave we marvelled at the huge caverns on the rock face that were being used by locals, even today, to set up home and establish whole cave communities. With access via rickety old bamboo ladders and sustained by fishing in the abundant waters around the island these people appeared to have an idyllic existance - no Jeremy Kyle though...
With another snorkelling stop at a picturesque lagoon Paula squealed through her snorkel at the sight of her first Yellow Boxfish (who bats his eyelashes and makes a kissing motion at you - but he's very shy...) and a Porcupine Fish - which Vikki later informed Paula is otherwise known as the PUFFER FISH
After that we headed to the highlight of the trip; Maya Bay. Made famous by the movie The Beach, starring Leo Di Crapprio, the bay was fairly busy with other tourists. We decided to take a slightly humourous approach to our photo opportunities and did various poses against rocks and lying (beached) on the beach with our snorkels - the girl at Ta Prohm would have been so proud!
We couldn't have timed it more perfectly because when we finally decided to leave it coincided with the arrival of numerous speedboats containing loud excitable tourists all wanting to catch a glimpse of the sunset over the bay.
Back at Tonsai and on dry land we thanked El Capitan for his services and bid him farewell. Heading back to The White to change for dinner we took in the sunset in our own tranquil way and Paula was getting excited for a nice birthday steak later that evening.
Dressed not to kill, we chose a restaurant that was displaying some nice Red Snapper and exhibiting a menu that included fillet steak so we headed in to the bustling restaurant and were quickly ushered upstairs to a bit of a scraggy dining hall (Source: Vikki Kirkwood) with only one other table of diners. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but we should have read the signs...
With orders taken and drinks on their way we relaxed into a more private dining experience feeling lucky to have conquered the flu
Vikki was half way through the fish by the time the steak arrived and this was no steak from a cow - this was white meat with a fatty rind and looked identical to a pork loin. Paula called the waiter who insisted that they were Muslim and would not touch pork. In the end, the fact that it was not rare was the reason he took the plate away and very shortly Paula was rewarded with a bit of beef - a raw, semi-frozen anaemic piece of beef with a jaundiced centre (obviously their version of rare) and we knew it was all over. The plate went back and Paula made do with the garlic infused Morning Glory.
We then headed to Reggae Bar to wash away the fiasco with a Vodka bucket releasing the tension by watching 'Thai Boxing' which turned out to be mainly drunken, testosterone fuelled, twentysomethings engaging in barbaric street brawls to earn themselves a free bucket of booze - it was perfect!
We were suprised to see that a couple of girls had volunteered for the challenge and wondered if there would be a brutal undertone to the bout but we needn't have worried - it was like two teenagers bitch slapping each other over who is more popular....weak!
We finally went home to bed around 1.30am after what felt like a very long day! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz