Tuesday, 29 December 2009

"Nothing to do"

Sorry it's been a while. I'll carry on, like in the last post...

19th - Spent the day with Jinny's family who were lovely. We went to a school sports day, which was rather a sports day held at a school for all the local people. Different areas played each other a football, tug of war, sack races etc. It was great, and so many people were involved and having fun. We were also the only westerners there which meant we turned a few heads, it really wasn't a touristy area at all! We then met Jinny's friend Petoya again - she was a lovely lady, and had taken us for dinner at her restaurant the night before where we ate an amazing meal. She wanted to see us again, and to feed us, so we went to her restaurant for food. It was much busier than the night before, and we decided we could help wait on tables! It was good for a laugh, and we surprised quite a lot of the diners and got lots of photos taken with people!

20th - We spent the morning riding bikes with Jinny's nephew around the village. He was about 5 ish and happy to show us round, us chatting away in English and him chatting away in Thai. We left at about 11.30 to go back to Bangkok, where we arrived about 3 ish. We went straight to the meeting place for the bus later and dropped our stuff off, and then wandered round the corner for a look at a monster 7 story shopping mall. We were back at the meet for 7pm, where we were ferried by minivan across Bangkok back to the backpacker central - Khao San Road. There, we were sat on the grass right by 3 busy roads, with rats scurrying about in the bushes, waiting for our "VIP" bus. We didn't leave till 10pm - the bus had broken down round the corner, and some people had been waiting since 6pm. Luckily, the bus arrived before a scene developed! The bus ride wasn't great - the seats reclined right back but they showed a film and had the volume ridiculously loud for the 3 people that were awake and watching it.

21st - We stopped at 1 am for the driver to eat, and then again at 3.30 to let people off who were going to Koh Tao. We arrived about 6.30, only then to wait till 8 before getting a tuk tuk to another bus to drive 55 minutes to the pier. It was absurd, and to cap it all, our bags were put in a compartment right next to some moving parts of the engine, and got covered in black sooty rubbish.

We were on the ferry at 11, which took us to Koh Samui first, and then us on to Koh Phangan. We were in our resort by 2.30, pretty much an 18 hour mission, and fell asleep immediately on the beach. We headed into Thongsala the nearest town at about 9.30 to get something to eat, and found everything to be shut, or a bar playing hard loud trance with 1/2 men and a host of ladyboys. We ate at the resort restaurant and went to bed wondering what this island was all about.

22nd - We rented a scooter to explore, and saw a meditation retreat and some of the jungle before I managed to slice my foot open by standing on some glass. A swift trip to hospital, 3 anesthetic injections to the sole of my foot - the most painful thing I have ever experienced by miles, and 4 stitches later, I was told to rest, keep my foot up and to not get it wet. I hadn't even been in the pool, and had been in the sea once. Frustrating doesn't do my feelings at the time justice. Not only that, but I managed to rip one of the stitches through by going too hard on my still numb foot that evening, which was unpleasant to say the least.

23rd - Spent all day on the beach, apart from going to get the foot cleaned and re-dressed. Thankfully the Doctor didn't need to replace the busted stitch! I also got some crutches - Long John Silver style under the armpit ones - as I could barely put any weight on my foot at all. Even the 25 metres to the beach was a struggle, but we really were close!

24th - Another day of lazing on the beach. We slowly went to the next resort along for food - crutches and the beach are awkward, and then chilled out in preparation for the Half Moon Party, Sara having had a war with some cockroaches in our bathroom - i've never seen a horrible bug move so fast! I was pretty immobile, so Sara was whacking away with a brush and squirting it with the bum gun to try and get it down the drain. We got someone to come in and spray bug repellent around the place, which meant that any more that came in were found dead and on their backs and not scuttling and scampering about. We flushed 3 or 4 dead ones. Regarding the Half Moon party, the island is known for it and the Full Moon party, and we were there for this one so we had to go, even though I was on antibiotics and crutches so no drinking or dancing! We people watched mostly and had a bit of a laugh with two chaps we'd met at our resort who kept us company for a while, before we (I) hobbled off about 3.30am.

25th - Where else but the beach!? Our Danish chums Thea and Penille from the tour popped along on their quadbike to see us for a while, and then we went to a place up the road for a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings - the mash was out of this world! A Hungarian chap came with us to try an English Christmas dinner which was nice, and then we decided to go the next day to Koh Tao for a day, so we got some tickets and packed an overnight bag!

26th - We took the boat in the morning to Koh Tao, we arrived about 10.30 and found somewhere cheap to stay the night. It's the smallest of the 3 islands, and something of a scuba heaven - there were dive schools everywhere. The town we stayed in was tiny, on an amazing on a beach that curved round the west coast of the island for about 1.7kms. The only problem was that there was an pen drainage system running along which you had to cross to get to the beach and it stank.

On the beach however, the water was crystal clear and an amazing blue, and Sara tells me the sand was as soft as silk underfoot when you were in the water. We watched the sun go down, and then went for some food where I got a discount for being a "Sick Man"! We then went to a bar on the beach, where we watched a fire show, 5-6 thai lads doing poi and fire sticks to music which was incredible. They were throwing these fireballs up and down the beach and catching them, lighting cigarettes with them, and spinning them over our heads in the crowd. It was amazing!

27th - We were on the beach by 10.30, but decided to stay in the shade having got a bit burnt the day before. We lay under a tree on the beach and read until the afternoon when we ot the ferry back to Koh Phagnan. That evening we went for some grub with Chris and Emily who we'd met in Nha Trang and who live in Headingly and met at the Met! Hopefully we'll see them in Oz too!

28th - We'd packed up the night before to be ready for our 6am start - we left Koh Phangan on the ferry at 7, and arrived in Georgetown at 9.30pm (it's an hour ahead of Thailand) via another bus and two minivans. The difference between Malaysia and Thailand is immediate, with many more Indian people in Malaysia, and many more Muslims as soon as you get to the border and beyond. We had literally gone 10ks on from passport control when the heavens opened and we drove through a massive thunder storm, with some incredible flashes of lightning and some huge drops of rain! The journey was ok, just long, and also notable for the fact that as we waited for our first minibus, I had an argument with a chap who pushed in front of me in a queue to get some food. I said to Sara I bet he's with us all the way, but there were loads of people so the chances of that were slim. Said chap was then on the minibus with us all the way to Georgetown. Typical. Our hostel in Georgetown is really nice, and we're staying on a street called Love Lane, but we only had time to grab some food and then crash out after a long day bussing.

29th - We've been out for a wander today, getting our bearings and seeing some of the old colonial buildings. I also had my stitches out which is great, but I'm still bandaged up for the next few days. Roll on the 31st when all should be well again!

Happy New Year to everyone!

Louis & Sara

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