G'DAY MATE! (do you think there's anyone who doesn't open an Australian-based-blog with those words?!)Well here we are in Melbourne - the past few months seem to have gone very quickly. Again, so much to tell since the last blog. Ko Samui was great fun as we all just chilled out, relaxed, and practiced gambols and 'floating mushrooms' in the pool (complex pool-gymnastic moves for those who don't know!) We did strenuous things like long walks along the beach (James wasn't impressed), eating good food, watching movies in bars (one of which resulted in me and Claire close to tears cheering on Russell Crowe in a boxing match - anyone seen that one?! Heavy stuff!) and enjoyed several games of "Is that prostitute a man or a woman?" - great fun! Other highlights were the three-course breakfasts, a jet-lagged Claire falling asleep on the beach (we all know how that one ends!), and the third bed in our room collapsing underneath James!After a couple of nights in Ko Samui, we moved on to Ko Pan Nagn, a neighbouring island. Ko Pan Nagn hosts the infamous 'Full Moon Parties'. Unfortunately (or fortunately?!) we weren't there for the big event, but we were there for the build up. There was initial comedy in finding accomodation. We originally thought that we could go against our VIP status, and maybe find a little "cheapy" for a night or two… who were we kidding? We ended up in a boutique hotel right on an isolated white-sand beach, in a little house on stilts with a hammock on the balcony. Life's hard hey?! We stayed there for just one night before heading up to the bright lights of the main town, and stayed in an equally nice bungalow by the beach for the last few nights. We had unfortunate ant issues in the new place (which we won't go into) but it was quickly sorted, and very much forgotten when we found out that instead of using our breakfast tokens on breakfast, we could use them to get free treatments in the onsite SPA!! HELLO! Claire had an hour-long reflexology sesh for free one night, and Claire and I had amazing Thai-massages too. There were giggles-a-plenty firstly when we had to change into Thai clothes for the massage, and secondly at some of the moves that they got us to do. One involved them sitting behind us and pulling our arms and shoulders back until we rolled backwards and ended up lying on top of our masseuses' knees!! It looked as silly as it sounds and we all just ended up laughing - including the masseuses, and including James who had walked in at an opportune moment!Probably one of our most memorable days was our day-trip around the island. It was the three of us and a really nice couple from Finland, who were ultimately much more capable than us. We should have known when they got into the van with their own snorkeling gear! First stop was Elephant trekking. Me and Claire shared a ride while James rode Emperor-like alone. James had a bit of a Magoo-moment if you will as his elephant insisted on taking alternative paths whilst ours obediently followed the Fins in front (thank goodness). Whilst the views and the experience were memroies to cherish, my main memory of that hour or so was the size of the elephants' poo. Seriously. They were genuine obstructions on the pathway, and the elephant in front of us had a very busy digestive system!! Next stop was a forgettable Chinese temple. There was a surprise visit from a snake, which decided to sit right outside the temple. Our guide thought it a good idea to tell James that there are a lot of cobras in Ko Pan Nagn. Not a good idea. Our final activity before lunch was a 'short' trek to a waterfall. The scenery and waterfall was really great, but trekking isn't exactly a McGrory-forte, especially with Claire wearing flip flops!! The guide and Fins kept having to stop and wait for the over-cautious McGs, whilst a reassuring James was stuck behind us! At the top of the waterfall we all jumped into the icy water, which was a great reward. Too bad we had to walk all the way back down after! Lunch was a gorgeous Thai meal in a restaurant with beautiful views. Our final activity of the day was snorkeling. Words cannot fully illustrate my and Claire's shocking inability to snorkel. I mean after the inadequate trekking, we thought we'd be able to put on a mask and flippers and look at pretty fish. Nope. I don't know if I've ever laughed so much in my life - which is quite hard to do in a snorkel mask. After struggling to get into the water (as the sand was too hot and rough for us), and taking three times the allocated time to master putting flippers on in water, we embarked on our beautiful voyage of discovery (the other four had already disappeared beyond the waves). Unfortunately our voyage amounted to about a minute of underwater time before we spluttered to the surface, having made little to no ground. Our only discovery was that we couldn't make it over the rocks in the water! I believe the correct phrase would be beached-whales! We tried very hard. We even tried to walk backwards over the rocks in our flippers. But to no avail. It must have been entreating for those on the beach to watch us as we were stuck in water less than knee deep shouting and spluttering and laughing across at each other as if we were lost at sea! We were happy to return 'home' to the comfort of sunbathing - something we are all very good at!We caught the VIP bus back to Bangkok, which was as pleasurable as expected. The only blip being that we exchanged our free MEAL tokens for a carton of soya milk each - gutted! We stayed in a different area of Bangkok this time, in a beautiful hotel minutes away from the BIGGEST shopping malls we've ever seen. They were like cities within the city. We must have clocked up about 12 hours in just one of them, and still there's no way we experienced all of it. I think there were 7 floors, shops and markets, cinemas, hundreds of food restaurants and stalls … I could go on. This was Claire's last night with us :-( so we went for a high-spec meal at a place called 'Cabbages and Condoms' (all proceeds go to aids charities), it was quite the experience and the food was delicious.After a very sad goodbye to Claire moss, James and I had a couple more nights in Bangkok. We honestly did little of note other than feel sorry for ourselves and have "remember when…" conversations about our time with Claire! James bought an awesome backpack for about 20 pounds - a needed investment before we jetted off for our final Asian destination - Singapore….