The next couple of days were pretty rained out and with Poppy still sore, we decided to have some real R&R.
It mainly involved banana pancakes for breakfast (they were unbelievable - that woman can cook!), watching a few episodes of 'The Office', reading our books and making the odd journey out and up the hill.
We managed to walk to the nearest village to grab some Pad Thai and spring rolls, which was enlightening. The power lines sparked and buzzed constantly above us which made us look like idiots as we ran every time we had to go under them. The town had free wi-fi everywhere but no computers to be seen, the sea was the wildest I have ever seen it and there were cats absolutely everywhere with the loudest meows I have ever heard. It was a nice little village but probably not at its best during torrential rain.
On the 18th we plucked up the courage to rent a bike and we both had our first moped driving experience. My helmet wouldn't stay on my head so I discarded it within seconds. Poppy was doing well, going slow and steady while I revved the thing with the break on, took the break off but kept revving which meant I drove it right into the bank and my left leg. What a pro. Unperturbed we got on (I was on the back) and started driving up a very steep dirt track and then up and down some crazy hills. It started raining again the minute we left but we were determined.
We saw signs for a waterfall and seeing as we were soaking already we thought there would be no harm in getting drenched.
'Paeng Waterfall and Nature Park' is enormous. The waterfall itself was quite impressive but we decided to follow all signs to the lookout and the nature trail. What a massive error.
The signs lasted about 100 meters. Most sane, soaking wet, lost and tired girls would probably turn back and spend the rest of the day in a warm café with some spring rolls and a good book. Not Pops and Maz. Oh no. We decided to keep going. And going. And going.
Hours later we were cut to shreads by prickly bushes, totally lost and standing in unbelievably thick fog. So thick I would not have been surprised to have bumped into a couple of harp-playing babies with wings.
It was after finding a bridge with a gaping hole in the middle of it that we finally came to our senses and decided to go back down to our bike, the same way we went up. I dread to think what the poor tourists embarking on their adventure must have thought of us, filthy, drowned rats - one the colour of a tomato in her pyjamas while the other is covered in scratches and bites which look a little infected, come down the hill towards them. Delicious!
It was my turn to drive the mean machine, so with Poppy clinging on to dear life behind me with her knees squeezing into my sides we made our way to Haad Rin. We thought we would scope out the venue for the Full Moon Party. We just didn't realise how far away we were staying and exactly how mountainous the bloody island was. Just before the beach we hit a vertical hill. So insanely vertical that we both had to get off the bike and push it up the hill. The Thais got a lot of enjoyment out of our misfortune. Always good to give something back...
After our near death experience getting to Haad Rin, we settled down for a well deserved lunch at Tommy's Resort (yup spring rolls and fried rice). Tommy's is quite a huge resort and eatery, right in the heart of Haad Rin and on the beach. This gave us the perfect viewing platform to scope out Thailand's legendary party hotspot. The location was as expected. What gave us the shock of our lives were the people there... It felt as though the whole cast of 'The Only Way is Essex' had turned up, multiplied by 100 and then got burnt to a crisp. It was something else. Poppy spent most of lunch hiding in her pyjamas, hoping no one would notice us oddballs. We expected the party of the century and we knew there would be a lot of tourists BUT, who wears heels and make up on the beach?!?! We were seriously going to have to reconsider our outfits.
Poppy bravely drove us back home. Excellent job, well done. On the way we made sure to stop off and get supplies for the Full Moon Party - enough alcohol for a football team and a couple of nibbles. Should do the trick.