Continue Friday 27th November 2009 - ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE
As we were approaching the pier on our side of the island another couple got ready to get off, the girl was saying to her partner "wow, this is paradise". Just then the guy stopped them and said "no, only this couple are to get off this side". I couldn't believe it, just one look at the surroundings, I thought this was going to be a costly stay, it was amazing.
Of course there was the gorgeous bungalows of Koh Mak resort, but we sided to the left a little and realised that there was something that resembled bungalow's that perhaps we could afford. Found the owner, not sure how it's spelt, but her name was Um. With a little negotiation, we managed to get the price down to 5 pound each a night, seems a bit high, to what we are used to paying, but our bungalow is right on the beach, we only have to sit on our balconly and we can look out to see, it's beautiful. Cold shower, but who cares when you have a view like this. It seems quite quiet, so we may even get the beach to ourselves, how cool is that.
Dumped our things and had a little look around a beach area, restaurant etc. Got chatting to an Irish guy Gary, who comes here a lot, so much in fact that he works a little to pay for his keep here. Not a bad way to take time out from your home country. He told us, it wasn't far to walk to the otherside, so we decided to go for a look. Passed the lush bungalows in the resorts next to ours, looked like homes from home, as we walked down the beach and found a dirt track which took us directly to the other side. Spotted some young pup's, very healthy looking, hiding out in a ditch, the mum was back in no time, she was a little scared of us, but the pup's couldn't stay away, so cute, she was obviously looking after them.
Bought a massive bunch of banana's and watermellon in a nearby shop, they kindly held onto them for us, while we went to wonder the otherside, knowing we had come from the otherside, save us carrying them around with us - that should keep us topped up for the duration of our stay here. The sea on this side of the island, was just as calm and tranquil, but we thought the beach was a little dirtier. There was more bars, restaurants and accommodation, but we prefered the peace and quiet on our side. Did stop for a bite to eat. Went for a chicken with ginger on rice and beef in oyster sauce to share - YUMMY!! That should keep us going til dinner mmmmmmmm.
Lots of dogs here, they were playing together in the sea. Got a great pic of Ad sitting looking out at sea with a black lab sitting next to him. Very sweet dogs, the golden retriever was a bit hyper and tried to rip the carrier out of my hand, but generally very happy healthy looking dogs. Enjoyed a stroll along this beach, as far as we could walk, nosing at all the other accommodation, makes ours look extra nice te he. Gorgeous view of palm tree leaning out over the beach and an interesting rock formation that I got Ad posing on - YOU CAN ALWAYS SPOT A TOURIST. Really gorgeous island.
As we made our way back, picked up our shopping and passed the ever exciting pups, we saw Gary strolling back a short distance behind. Waited for him and he showed us a short cut, through the garden of yet another lush resort, which looked more like people's holiday homes, they were massive. A very inviting swimming pool, that we may sneak into at some point te he. Chatted all the way back, probably takes about 20 mins or so from beach to beach. Put our things away and went to the restaurant for dinner. Chatted to Gary and Um all evening, while enjoying Chicken and fish dishes to share. They are both really nice people. Was surprised to hear so many frogs late at night. The restaurant is surrounded by a pond/swamp area and the frogs are obviously attracted to this. Makes you feel more like your in the middle of nowhere. As there is not a huge amount to do, we headed to room around 10ish and watched some TV on our ipods, ready for another LAZY DAY tomorrow. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Saturday 28th November 2009 - LOOKING FOR THE LOST BEACH
Had a cuppa in our restaurant while waking up, even though it was almost lunch time and it seemed like we were the last guests up and about - OH HARD TIMES. The view is gorgeous here any time of day, so we sat back and relaxed while sipping away. Gary was helping clear up the beach this morning, lots of rubbish gets washed up on shore, so he goes out and help to pick up and throw it away. He told us about Turtle beach, which you need to walk up the beach and through the jungle to get to. We took our time and made our way up there, but some smart alic (AD) didn't take any flip flops and the jungle is no place for bare feet. So I ventured through and had a look, but couldn't see any beaches on the otherside, so not totally sure what Gary was talking about, but it was worth a stroll anyway.
Back to our section of beach. Sunbathed and swam on and off, with the occasional hide out in the shade, otherwise it's just too hot. A nice sunset fell down behind the pier and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Most the day we had the beach to ourselves, apart from 1 hr, when people on tours come for a look around and sometimes bathe and swim here a little, then they are off to their next destination. Def worth every penny staying here, you get tranquility on your doorstep.
Back to room for showers. Wasn't looking forward to the cold water, but was fine once you got used to it. Um is now on holiday, so her mum is looking after the place. A really sweet lady. Ordered a noodle soup, chicken in coconut soup and thai omelette on rice - was super yummy, very good food here. Then relaxed to the sounds of the frogs croaking, lizards squeeking here and there and the ocean washing back and forth, perfect. They guys put the footy on the only TV here, which Ad was sooooo happy about, I joined in and watched it with them, def the most unusual setting for footy, but one to be remembered. After the Man U vs Portsmouth 3-1 and Man City Vs Hull 1-1, I was more than ready for bed. What a perfect place to watch the beach te he. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Sunday 29th November 2009 - SHOCKED TO SEE SCORPION BY AD'S FLIP FLOP
Another late start, but it's not like the beach is far te he. We have got into a routine now of sitting on our balcolny with a tea, coffee or hot choc and watching the water swish up onto the sand in a calm, collective motion, it's truly breathtaking and hard to draw yourself away from.
More visitors for their usual hours slot, but as soon as they are gone, back to having the beach to ourselves and the small amount of guests that are staying here. We ate the rest of our watermellon, though we'd left it a tiny bit too long and had to throw some of it away, it had that vinegary taste to it. In between sun bathing and swimming, I would take time out, on a bench in the shade to write in my diary. A wasp was hovering by, but didn't seem to come near me, so I didn't worry about it, but just as I thought I was safe, it stung me on the behind - so out of order, it's not like I was hurting it. Was ok though.
Had a couple of extremely tasty Thai dishes for lunch and rested in the restaurant, to let the food digest. Sat there looking at the island, which looked really close and considered swimming to it. Gary said one guy had done it, but it's quite a distance and the current can be very strong, so he didn't advise it. We saw a boat, not too far out and decided to go there first and see how we get on. WELL, all I can say, is I'm glad we gave the boat a try first, cos that knackered me out enough. Felt really good after, but there is no way I would be able to swim to that island and live to tell the tale te he.
Relaxed on the sand and got my breath back, while enjoying the afternoon sun. Had a quick shower before sunset, while Ad continue to relax in the hammock. Great timing, joined him in the hammock, listening to some well chosen songs on the ipod, while watching the beautiful sunset right there in front of us. It was perfect. What a way to spend time together. When the sun had long but disappeared, Ad went for his shower, wjhile I stayed put and dozed off in the hammock, listening to more soft tunes, quite within my element. Two dogs broke my sleep, when they chose to have a fight right near our bungalow, sounded awful, but they were ok. One girl who works at our restaurant came out with a catapolt to get rid of them, they soon went away.
When Ad was ready, we took a stroll along the beach and back, just for the hell of it, looking at the stars, which were in full view here, stunning. Back to restaurant where we spoke to Gary a little and a group of Russian's who had just arrived today. Played some card games, which I'm sure I won at all of them (as always), then back to more football. It's shocking, you find one of the remotest islands around and they still have footy available - how is that possible.
1st game was Liverpool Vs Everton, but as Gary and the guy from the lodge were both there, I got away with hiding in the background watching PS I LOVE YOU on ipod, was fine for a while, til Gary wanted to check out the ipod and caught it on the scene of the boyfriend doing a strip show for his partner - yep embarrasing te he. Made sure I watched the Arsenal Vs Chelsea game, there was def no way of getting out of that, unfortunately Chelsea won 3-0. Ad not too happy and Gary winding him up something rotten being a Spurs fan. Through the first half of Real Madrid Vs Barcelona, I watched the rest of my film - I love that film.
Then stretched my eyes open for the 2nd half. Kinda spooky there, just the two of us, with many sounds in the dark surrounding us. One loud noise kept getting closer and closer, until it revealed itself - just a stray dog, still made me jump. Couldn't believe our eyes when we looked down to see a tiny scorpion crossing Ad's flip flop - good job we had our feet up on the sofa. It soon ran away, but still, was our first sighting of one in the wild, kinda cool. At 3am, we decided to retreat to bed before the game ended, really couldn't do it, my eyes just wanted to shut.
Monday 30th November 2009 - PLANTED WILSON OUTSIDE OUR BUNGALOW
Earlier than normal at 9am, sipping our coffee and hot choc on the decking while watching the sun light up the sea, lifting up from the jungle behind and a cool sea breeze passing through our hair, you really can't ask for more than this. Had more banana's for breakfast, while chilling out in the hammocks, deciding what to do for the day.
Fresh out of sun cream, we opted to trek over to the other side and see how much it is in the shops over there. Picked up a vanilla choc chip ice cream from Koh Mak resort on the way - YUMMY! Took the short cut through nice resort and saw the pups again the other side. This time after playing with them, we spotted both their mum and dad heading towards them, was nice to see, they still look as healthy as ever, beautiful pups. Checked a few shops but the smallest bottle was still 6 quid, it seemed way too expensive for the size, so we decided to just keep out of the sun at the hottest part of the day and grab some more cream, when we are back in Bangkok. Boots there is so much cheaper.
Had a little swim in the sea this side of the island, to cool us down a bit, before heading back. It was another exceptionally hot day. Crystal waters and perfect soft sand. More people on this side though, so we didn't stop long. Popped in the shop to see what fruit they had, but they were all out at the moment. Tried some pickeled food, not sure exactly what it was, but it tasted a bit like a gherkin, was ok, but not what I fancied this time of day.
As we strolled through the plush complex, we noticed noone was using their ever inviting swimming pool, so put down our bags, used the poolside shower to wash any sand away and jumped in. It was gorgeous, really refreshing and made a difference from the sea for a change. Spent a while in there. A couple did come down, but I guess because we were not being silly and using it respectfully, they didn't say anything and didn't seem to mind. Was a nice stop before our walk back, this resort is about half way between the beaches.
When back, Gary let us use his iphone to check emails and I quickly sent a note to mum, just to say where we were and that all was ok. I know if she hasn't heard from me in a while, they might start to worry. Then he offered to take us to see a rubber factory and what he called the temple of love a short walk away, so off we went. The rubber factory was actually right behind where we were staying. I'm surprised we hadn't smelt it because when you got near it, it was really strong. Further back off the main road, we took a small left turn and found hidden in the bushes, some rather biarre looking statues. They were very large, women forms, but with a hint of pornography about them. Gary said, he used to have them all over the place, but was complained to by the locals and made to hide the pieces in the woods. As you walked through these large statues, we entered a complete area filled with them, all sizes and formations, they were incredable in their own right. Sure they may have been a little in your face, but the guy had covered a lot of the more showing parts up. He had a talent and I think in London, something like this would make a fortune. Looking at his work, I wasn't sure what to think of the guy, but he sure does have a talent. Ad tried to speak to him, but he doesn't speak a word of English and just lives on site and makes these statues. Obscene but cool.
Went back for sunset, was beautiful as ever and even more so when watching some children playing under the pier in front of it, made for a nice pic. After this Gary let us plant a coconut tree. He only lets certain guests do this and not many get the chance, so we felt very privileged. Planted it near our bungalow and named it Wilson - a very special moment for us. We hope to visit again sometime and see how it's doing - too funny. Strangely enough, we had been looking at this coconut for a few days, it's got a little leaf sprouting out of it, so has a head start arrrrhhh.
Quick showers and got ourselves together for the big BBQ party at the neighbouring resort, Koh Mak resort, supposedly the best on the island. It was having a party for being opened for so many year (10 I think). Wasn't sure what to expect, but I know it was def more than I thought it was going to be. When they said free BBQ, I thought "sure, we're gonna be stung on drinks for a measly kebab or something", but my goodness it was nothing like that. As we entered the food area, all we could see, were tables upon tables, with trays piled high with local dishes. It was so colourful and scrumy looking, could've of jumped right into it. Contained myself, thankfully and Ad got me a grasshopper cocktail from the bar and himself a beer and we gradually made our way up to the food, not wanting to look too eager.
Sure, the drink prices were high, but we more than made up for it with food. Ended up having 2 platefuls each for dinner. Shared a plate of kebabs and the biggest prawns i've ever seen and ended with a plate of watermellon and pineapple. Sooooooooooo good, but my oh my did we feel stuffed afterwards. It's the biggest meal we've had in a long time and our bellies were more than stretched. Retreated to the hammock's when we could move and relaxed while listening to nice tunes, into the late night. Was a great last night, such a lovely island.