Fun in the sun...
Trip Start Apr 01, 2008
33Trip End Jun 30, 2008
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20 hours, 3 planes, 4 airports and many thousands of kilometres later we eventually found ourselves in our hotel at Bophut fishing village on the north coast of Koh Samui... Thailand was our obligatory stopover in Asia required for our cheap round-the-world ticket, and as it is meant to be the wet season at the moment, I wasn't expecting much other then massages, thai food, beer and sending Gaynor off with the little left of our budget for some shopping therapy. So the fact that the weather has been great (only rained twice, once during the night and one brief afternoon storm) means we have been able to do that and quite a bit more...
In the end we have had a nice mix between relaxation and adventure... We have spent a lot of time relaxing by the pool, drinking beer, eating briiliant food, shopping and exploiting the cheap labour for numerous massages, which has all been brilliant and a great way to finish off what, in many ways, has been a hectic 3 1/2 months of solid travelling
After the elephant ride Bart was still playing up and as it was looking like we were in for one hell of a storm and we had no windscreen wipers, I'd had enough so we bolted back to the hire place where I had it out with them and we got a replacement... 'Suzie' was all you could want in a jeep and more... She had working windscreen wipers, floors that stopped water being splashed up your legs and purred like a, slightly asthmatic, kitten..
The next day I was feeling slightly immasculated by my failure to secure us a good jeep, so to make myself feel big and tough and more like a man it was off to the shooting range to fire the biggest gun Thailand could provide... Unfortunately my requests for a rocket launcher and an AK47 weren't realistic so instead I had to settle for the biggest handgun they had. What can I say but it was fun, and if it wasn't so expensive I'd be up there again today... Needless to say I impressed them with my skills hitting 11 out of 12 targets with my first pistol shoot ever and with my masculinity restored I was now right to face the day and week ahead...
I may have been feeling a little too good about myself, for as we were about to discover, I got us into a bit of a situation... We drove and walked up to a waterfall, which was meant to be the most beautiful on Koh Samui, though the name escapes me at the moment... Anyways, we eventually reached the base of the waterfall (which was indeed beautiful, and huge) and as it was about 40 degrees and 150% humidity I was dying for a swim... Unfortunately the water hole at the base of the waterfall was crowded with tourists and kids and was less than appealing. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view) we decided to walk a bit further along a track and saw a local thai man waving at us from, what looked like, a ledge halfway up the waterfall, gesturing to us that we could swim up there
Thankfully the trek was worth it and we were rewarded with our own private waterhole, surrounded by dense jungle, flowing out over the edge into, what looked like, a 100 metre drop and was located at the base of a perfect tropical waterfall, which you could swim behind into a cave where another waterfall cascaded in from the back of the cave..
I'll leave it up to Gaynor to talk about the shopping if she feels like it, but we have got some tailored clothes while we have been here, so most of our evening have been spent getting fittings and eating fantastic Thai food... We made the mistake on the first night of going to one of the bigger, more touristy, resturants, and while it was fine, it certainly wasn't great... Since then we have stuck to the local places and have paid half the price for Thai that is twice as good. We have spent the majority of nights at a 'no name' place just down the road that has an extensive seafood menu (all at between 70-150 baht a dish) and it has all been fantastic... After sounding suprised at where we were eating, our tailors gave us another local tip, which we took them up on and was even cheaper and better, though the dishes were so hot that I was at the limits of my tolerance and I don't know how Gaynor survived...
So here I am sitting on our deck watching and listening to the ocean, drinking a beer and contemplating another swim... It's hard to believe that we are less then 3 days from home. I am currently far less depressed at the thought then I thought I would be... It'll be nice to be home and see people again, though I am very aware that the Canberra winter and the reality of 9-5 working life will probably sink me into the depths of depression before too long...
Oh well, I will just have to start planning the next trip... I'm thinking SE Asia... Or Eastern Europe... Or maybe South America...?