At 4am we arrived at Surrathani - a random 'bus terminal' an hour away from the coast. Neither of us could work out what the hell we were doing there. It was just a dusty shack in the middle of nowhere with old coach seats chucked into the hovel to provide seating for the lucky few who got there in time.
3hours later we were still there with about another 250 tourists waiting for someone to tell us what the hell was going on. I managed to get some kip in the meantime and then at 7:30am we were finally chucked onto a very rickety 'bus' which pumped out the latest Lady GaGa and Thai Heavy Metal tunes for an hour to the port. Why the hell couldn't the original bus just take us to the port. It was only an hour down the road? How did this make any more sense? Bags on and off and on and off and shoving and pushing for seats, when we could have just been dropped off at the port and spent more time watching the dolphins and less time in a dusty shack! I seriously can't work it out.
Either way the dolphins in the little harbour cheered us up and they soon ushered 200 of us onto a waiting ship to Ko Pang Nan. We could have sat inside but Poppy and I get quite seasick so we just sat around the edge of the boat with our legs over the edge and getting totally soaked. Much more fun that way. That was until we moved up to the front where Poppy got the burn of a lifetime. I have never honestly seen anyone go so red in such a short space of time. She looked like Hell Boy. A sexier version but just as scarlet. Poor little thing!
It wouldn't have been so bad if someone had been waiting for us, as arranged, but no one showed up. Pops was running from the shade of one tree to the next until I managed to persuade a lady to give the hostel a ring and get them to send someone to come and get us. He arrived 25minutes later and had us in our bungalow by 1pm. All in all it was a 19hour journey during which we waited for about 6hours. Insane.
I really don't mind travelling long distances and being cooped up in planes, trains, buses, you name it, for hours and hours. What I hate is incompetence. There have been HUNDEREDS of people doing the same journey as us three times a day for the last 15 years. You would have thought they had had the timings down by now. You would also think they could manage to drive an extra hour to avoid having to use an extra bus. I could rant about it for hours. The long and short of it? The Thai Tourist and Travel Industry needs some tightening. That is all.
Our little bungalow was amazing. We were staying in a little bay called Thong Lang for 5 nights in the north of the island, away from the party. We wanted to save that for the 19th - our first Full Moon experience. Our bungalow was all of our own with another 10 bungalows go up the cliff away from the bay. We each had a comfy bed surrounded by mosquito nets and a fairly decent wet room - which did get very wet. No toilet paper was safe in there.
After our hellish journey and Poppy's burning skin we got her creamed up and wrapped up in cold towels and then tried to have a nap. A few more showers, cream and towels later and Poppy was looking more nauseous and neon than earlier so I managed to persuade the owners to bring up some soup to try and avoid starvation and dehydration going on the list of ailments. The soup did the trick and we settled into a night in front of the laptop watching 'Remember Me' - probably not the best choice as we were both in tears by the end, but at least it took our mind off Poppy's heat waves.
A couple of episodes of 'The Office' later and we were much happier and ready to try and sleep with the fans on full blast and Poppy stuck on her back unable to roll in any other direction.