Hey guys Im back! Damo thought one blog was enough for him, as much as I tried to tell him that everyone is no doubt was getting bored of me rabbiting on for far too long and him doing another blog would come as a nice change.... :)
We finally made it back to Thailand after a monster 21 hours of constant travelling, bar a little 3 hour stop off and some much needed shut eye and a shower! The bus left the Cameron Highlands at 9am and 3 hours later we had to swap buses to one which would take us across the boarder, 6 hours later and we arrived at the thai boarder town we thought we would spend a night and from there get a combo bus boat ticket to Tao, when we enquired we found out that the tickets on offer were only for a night boat so we would have an all day wait at the ferry port, we were then advised to get a night train to another ferry port and a boat would leave in the morning. Without having stopped and put our bags down we raced across town to the train station, luckily for us the train was late and so we could still catch the last train.
These 9 hours were literally the worst 9 hours travelling time we have had to date! We didnt want to pay over double for sleeping seats so went for the cheaper sitting, cattle class! our bench was tiny and we were facing a family of mum dad, baby and little girl who were all crammed onto one bench. Us westerners have considerably longer limbs than most asians and so the poor family had almost nowhere to put their legs once we sat down with our long legs in this tiny space only really big enough for two peope. Needless to say we didnt get any sleep, we attempted to but with the deafening noise of the ratteling carrage, the flies that came buzzing in through the open windows and the crying babies it was never going to happen! we arrived at our destination at around 5am and went straight to find a hotel open to let us put our heads down for a few hours. We got to the ferry eventually and by the time we reached Ko Tao we had been travelling for 21 hours :(
You would think concidering the circumstances that once we got to Tao we would be doing everything possible to make life easy for ourselves, but oh no this is us we're talking about, instead of paying what we thought was far too much for a taxi to where we needed to be we decided we would walk, in the midday sun with 20k on our backs, 30 hot, sweaty, stressfull minutes later we found the beach that we needed to be on and then had the task of finding the perfect place to stay for 10 nights....an impossible task! I should also mention at this point that my one and only Damian when we are walking anywhere, whether its to the shops, along the beach or anywhere, he likes to walk at a snails pace and always complains that I walk to fast and I should slow down and relax, haha yeh well give him a 20k backpack, a 30 min hike and a bunch of stupidly steep hills and he is off like he is taking part in the 100m sprint!! leaving me, poor old hop along trailing behind in the dust, he was ok though he got a nice little rest every 100m while he waited for me to catch up but there was no stopping for me whooosh he was off again!
So we only looked at one bungalow, just beause we were so exhausted, it turned out to be the grottiest place we have had yet, the bed was rock hard and dipped in the middle, the pillows were so stained and vile and Im sure the whole thing was flea ridden as we both woke up with a numer of new bites! the water in the bathroom came out a nice shade of brown and stank to high heaven of rust and pure mankiness!
That day we had a good look around the whole area and it was clear to us that this was not the place we wanted to end our trip, Ko Tao is famous for its diving courses and peopel come from all over the world to get thier PADI certificates, and really thats all that this island has to offer so the main clientell of people staying there are people doing a course, and we wanted a nice place to relax, so we spent the rest of that evening and the next day researching where we might want to go. Ko Toa itself is a very beautiful island and if it wernt for the huge amounts of diving schools pushing for people to get thier PADI and if we found a nicer place to stay then we probably would have stayed. It has a beautiful beach that has some stunning sunsets and there was a vast amount of bars and restaurants, most of the restaurants do a bbq, we found a lovely little place and had the most delicious chicken bbq mmm nom nom nom. The other downside to staying on tao for so long is that getting a bike out is not advised, not all the roads are driveable and there is a big thing going on at the moment with people getting heavily fined when they return the bikes and the owners will point out tiny scratches that may not have even happend at that time, so we would effectivly be stuck in one place....perfect for me with a gorge beach and all day sun but not ideal for my boy.
We decided we would try Koh Samui, there wern't too many places to choose from though to be honest, we have pretty much been to all of the main habitable islands except Samui and Phangan....and we went for the 'calmer' of the two! not somewhere we had initially thought of going but we found what we think is a nice beach area, a little quieter and not too expensive, affordable luxery for 9 night before we come home and there is lots to keep us busy and make sure we still soak up every last drop of this time and experience!
11 days, sad face :( happy face :)