04/03/09 Phuket to Railay (pronounced Reilly by the locals - Reilly Island)
We leave the guesthouse in Patong and get the bus back to the station in Phuket town, a quick run to 7/11 for snacks and we're ready to go to Krabi. Once we're there we get a taxi to the jetty and a very wet long tail boat ride to Railay The view is amazing as we coast in, lots of lush hills and karsts. We want to get to Ton Sai beach but it's a little trek over the cliff to it so we head off in search of the path but after about 40mins we're none the wiser as to where we are, it's really hot and we've both got our packs and are suffering with the sunburn so decide to find a place to stay on this side of the island for the night before we try again tomorrow. It's difficult to find some where cheap to stay but we eventually find somewhere for 500baht (our most expensive night yet at 10pounds) We settle in and then go out for some food and find a really cool bar to sip a cocktail (Matt) and some beer (me), the bar is right on the beach and it's just a raised wooden platform with loads of cushions and little tables and brilliant music.
We get woken up ridiculously early by a bloody cockerel, Mattie is really p****d, (you know how he loves his beauty sleep) so he chases it away in his boxers and starts shouting at it but it comes back three times before he finally gets rid of him! We rise early to try and beat the heat and attempt to find the way to Ton Sai again but after an hour we still cannot find the elusive path all the maps show!!! Then a 'helpful' (by helpful I mean he helps but is rude and not really helpful!) American man shoes us the way but there's no way we're going over with all our stuff so we decide we'll go back to where we came when the helpful American shows us a not so short shortcut!!!!!!!! By now we are both sweating buckets and our sunburn is irritating and are very cranky (well I am, no breakfast!!) when we meet some people from the day before who are getting a boat to TonSai so we go with them. When we arrive Mattie goes off and finds us a little bamboo bungalow to stay in, it's really basic but cool and the place it's in is really nice. We find a little stall selling bbq chicken and rice and papaya salad, then chill on the beach and take some pictures before the rain sets in. Back at our place they are showing movies so we have a few beers and enjoy.
We have good breakfast at the guesthouse, they show bbc world news too so it's like being at home and then I go to the beach and read whilst mattie has a little adventure and climbs over the cliffs back to the other side of the island. He finally makes it to the 'path' which turns out to be a partial rock climb complete with ropes and all, which is the way up to the viewpoint. He ignores the sign that says no flip flops and climbs the 200metres up, is there for about a minute, there are brilliant views of the whole island before the crazy rain sets in and he gets absolutely soaked along with all the unnecessary stuff he is carrying (books and our Journal). He wants to try and make it to the lagoon there but has to abandon the idea because it's too treacherous or so he tells me so he makes his way back down which is now nothing more that a muddy cliff side, I think he regrets ignoring the no flip flops sign by then and makes his way back across the island to where I am sitting comfortably in a shelter on the beach still reading my book.
We go somewhere to eat and Mattie gorges like he hasn't been fed for a week. In the evening we watch a film at the guesthouse and then head to another cool bar just down the way, it's made of wood and bamboo and the owner and his brother built it in 2 weeks. Him and his girlfriend either sleep in the bar or in a tent out the back!
The beach days start to merge together, we get up, have breakfast and watch the news and then we go to the beach coz we plan on renting a Kayak but decide to wait an hour or so until it's not so hot but as we should know by now a lot can change in an hour and soon the crazy relentless rain descends, we stay on the beach in the shelter to see if it will pass like the other days but it doesn't and even the shelter is not safe and the rain just keeps on pouring down, we make a run for it but the path back up to our guesthouse has turned into a river and it's dark by 2pm so we stay in the guesthouse restaurant eating and watching movies for a long time. We get bored and go to the bar again, drink thai whiskey and rum and play connect four whilst the owner brings out loads of puzzles which of course Matt tries to do all of them....