Published: January 3rd 2007January 2nd 2007
Water and Rock.
Well the pleasures of having my family visit me abroad were even more delightful then I had previously imagined. While it did take us all awhile to get here from various places and times, we did finally all completed our travel tasks, and on Christmas day no less.
We spent Christmas and a few following days on Kho Yao Noi doing an awful lot of nothing except visiting beaches, riding scooters, watching James lose at Go and eating. Thanks to the encouragement from Mom to at least try and bulk up (plus the plethora of food that was ordered and paid for by the parents) I managed to gain a kilogram or so. This type of fact makes pretty big headlines in my household. Though I don’t make a conscious effort to gain weight, it’s a well known fact (and oft mentioned) that I look rather skinny, which got fairly ridiculous when finally my sister thought this was a pivotal moment in her life when she could challenge, and succeed at beating me in an arm wrestle. While I won’t spend any more time than absolutely necessary describing my victory, let’s just say that I’m fairly certain a new record
Brother and Pops
Cruising on the longtail boat off the shores of Kho Yao. It's important to note that it's only on very rare occasions I'm photographed next to somebody who actually makes me appear more tanned than I'm not.
was set and perhaps this was the first level of my old man strength -though I’m hesitant to make any such claim.
Kho Yao Noi is actually a very, very pleasant locale to visit. The main purpose (and draw) of visiting the island, much to the surprise of yours truly, was the fact there just weren’t hardly any tourists there. With this knowledge clearly evident in the layout and facilities offered by the island it wasn’t long before I began to appreciate it far more then most of the other places I’ve visited in Thailand. Truth be told, it couldn’t have come at a better time either given the fact we had been moving around quite a bit and this was a great place just to setup and enjoy our time together.
Our trip to the near bye beaches that scattered themselves amongst tiny little islands off the coast and towards Phi Phi island were awesome, even if slightly crowded with people. It seems that there is a fairly popular excursion to these locations that bring dozens of people to their shores on a daily basis. While Trevor lay in fever on the boat, the rest of us
From left to right: Jordo, Myself, Dad, James and T-Bone. Might I add that Jords caption was far superior to mine as a horrifying wave of uncreativity seemed to have passed me during the time of this composition.
enjoyed snorkeling, sun bathing and posing for pictures as we saw fit. Rope swings, cliffs and white sand were here and there for our use, so were, as usual, the comical bathing attire sported by the people of a place commonly referred to (though its existence still remains unproven to me) called: “Europe”.
Back on Kho Yao Noi where our enormous bungalow stood proud, we managed to eat everything on the menu (probably twice over) and take long cruises on the motor scooter through the various agricultural endeavors so evident on the island. My favorite landscape was the forest of trees milked for rubber. Though it wasn’t how I pictured a rubber forest, I still thought it quite amazing. What Treebeard would say about such long lost kin, I can’t even imagine.
I suppose it was the 28th that saw Jord and T-Bone depart company with James and I and be on their way to the faraway lands of China and beyond, which ended another phase of the trip (or so we think) where my dear cousin abandoned me once again, this time for greater glory and plans of striking it rich with various ill-fated oil schemes and
Christmas Group Shot
Left to right: Brother, Cousin, Mom (With her Burmese army cane) & Dad, Myself, T-Bone and Sister!
attempts to corner the Russian mail order bride market that he intends to concoct up in Siberia with his brother and some used dog sleds. "Yeniseysk is a village turned city overnight!" i've heard him say more than once.
From Kho Yao Noi we headed to Phi Phi Island for the sequel, and while there were no further family bouts in the ring at Reggae bar (though several interesting scenarios were proposed) we opted to stay on the other side of the island at Rantee beach. This turned out to be a purely chance selection given most of the island was booked up (and it was the only place we could seemingly book) -a wonderful selection it was indeed. The coral reef offshore began only 10 meters from our patio and stretched all the way out to a convenient drop off that never got boring to skin dive. The food was excellent and there was even a trail to town. Since Jodie forgot her backpack in Phuket, I made the walk with her to the Phi Phi dock to see if it had arrived, and though it hadn’t, instead found Ryan. Not exactly a fair trade but one we
Anyone seen my sunglasses?
I must have dropped them somewhere, and Dad wouldn't even help look. At least T-Bone managed to slide in O.K. with his coconut oil.
can’t really do much about I suppose. Ry who was haggard and pale from his stressful trip back to Vancouver where he was forced against his will to eat his favorite foods -but also much healthier than when I saw him last (we think it was the Tomato Aspec) was sporting several new ensembles from jolly old St. Nick. Him and I being ever the clever entrepreneurs decided to load our long tail boat back to Rantee beach stocked full of Chang Beer in order to save a few pennies, be long remembered heroes and start New Years Eve a day early.
Since New Years Eve Eve is actually my Mothers birthday this worked out quite well. Drinks were had and songs were sung before trying to go to bed early in anticipation of New Years. Waking up that night I found Ryan on the porch at some ungodly hour attempting to both start and finish Lord of the Rings, and even though I suspect it was a ploy to show off his new headlamp I managed to fall back asleep without any problems. It was about this time that some awful ailment struck down my brother from which
Adios Lagoon. This was a really cool place. I couldn't determine what was shallower, the water in the lagoon or my repertoire of Thai words after almost 75 days in the country.
nobody could identify and left him in bed for the rest of 2006 and well into 2007. After feeding him some codeine for purely selfish reasons on my part (to beat him at hearts) he rose and added Hearts to his list of recent loses second on the list after Go with Jordan. While my father was also quite rusty and managed to come in last place after what I can only presume was a record number of hands and a brilliant control on my part we all called it quits and I retired the Champion. Scores are all fully documented in my journal for future recordkeeping.
While my sister had to take leave and fly back to Bangkok (plus look for her bag) and James was ill, it was up to Ryan and me to celebrate another turn of the calendar for everyone. We decided to save what baht we could and hike across the island, starting with the hill above our beach that resembles the Squamish Chief but coated in a very substantial layer of jungle and ending with a gradual descent into the village/town of Phi Phi. The adventure started off on a bad note when
Ode to Sea Biscuit
After 15 months of rowing in Cincintati my sisters legs of solid muscle earned her the nickname "Sea Biscuit".
I completely missed the trail, and then hit its all time low when Ryans sandal (R.I.P. 2004-2006 -though they missed seeing 2007 by about 40 minutes) broke and he went onward in bare feet and we both proclaimed it a bad choice not to bring any sort of light.
After reacquainting ourselves (and primarily our livers) to the horrors of “The Bucket” we marched across town to the enormous beach party and brought in the New Year with much mirth. Though I’m unable to confirm what there was more of -grains of sand on the beach or tourists, it made for a great party! Especially once we rendezvous’ with some friends from Rantree beach and partied until some unknown time on January 1st. The boat ride back (though I lost Ryan somewhere and somehow) was extremely hairy and I thought I was going to die (and that was before we ran over a reef) I woke up in 2007, declaring 2006 one of the more interesting years of my life and ready to attack 2007 in hopefully much of the same way.
A day later we had to part ways with my parents, reducing our league of travelers to a mere 3 and continuing north with about 100,000 other people and no tickets at all whatsoever in hand. After scouring Phuket town and getting quite frustrated we boarded a “Ghost Bus” which, sad to say we can’t explain and have far more questions about then anybody else. We now sit back in Bangkok for the fourth time and prepare for our bus ride to Cambodia tomorrow where we expect to expand our spiritual education and proximity sense.