Published: March 24th 2006March 24th 2006
we traveled from ranong with new found friends matt and claire on a bus where only princess lucy was granted a seat. even though we were the first at the bus station theres no protocol for who is allowed on the bus first, so probably due to our laid back attitude we were told to wait until the bus was full before we got on, result! it turned out not to be much of a terrible journey after all as about an hour and a half into the trip we all had seats, accept matt, who decided enough was enough and the best plan of action was to say bollocks to it and lie in the isle using his back pack for a pillow, ingenious!
phuket was nothing that we imagined it to be. unfortunately staying in the town is the best option rather than the coast as the accommodation and food prices are substantially cheaper, being tropical gypsies we decide that this option is one that suits us, so a flea pit style hotel room is rented for the night. we found a place to stay by the popular method of leaving the girls to sit and chat
while the men do the hunting gathering, and the bargaining. after a quick 'de-scum' it was off for some well earned chicken and rice at a cafe round the corner. after all the time spent by lucy in various pharmacies and hospitals trying to cure her bangkok bottom, dave had been thinking how fortunate it was that he hadnt been delt the same fate, until tonight that is! sitting in the cafe everyone had ordered and dave was saying nothing just staring at a fixed point. knowing how much he like the sound of his own voice there was growing concern for all present as to his wellbeing, then, it happened. thank god it was only a short walk to the toilet from the table or the contents of his stomach would have been all over the floor! after this episode of 'the noise of death' echoing through the (luckily) deserted restaurant, it was back to the guest house for a lie down. the illness continued through the night, firing from all directions now, and dave was sure at one point he saw the four horsemen of the apocalypse, but as dawn broke all grew calm and dave was relieved
to keep down water again.
the next day was spent doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! fearful that the plague would strike again it was time to take it easy and see what bowel movements occurred. thankfully nothing happened, it seemed dave was struck down by a 24hr virus, and compared to lucys 3 weeks, dave felt pretty smug that it was all over so quickly, until the next time!..
we said goodbye to matt and claire the next day as they were off to the airport to meet matt's parents for a few days of luxury. again lucy and dave were left on their own and had the unfortunate realisation that they would, again, have to make conversation! the day was spent on one of phukets many beaches that are lined by expensive hotels and the package tourists this brings with it. uninspired by the view it was a short walk to the town where there was crazy golf on offer. fresh from the usual beating that occurs when women challenge men at sports (even though lucy got 2 holes in 1) it was time to leave for the town again.
the next day we decided that we should
go on one of the many tours of the nearby bay that sported 'james bond island' that was used in the 1981 film 'the man with the golden gun'. it turned out to be one of the best days yet as we were taken to caves with a reclining buddha and more monkeys, and a tour around phang nga bay by longtail boat and a kayak trip into the side of one of the limestone rocks that dominate this region. we first went to james bond island where we were left to walk around for half an hour. the island is tiny and dominated by overpriced gift stalls, but the place itself is magnificent, a small beach dividing 300ft limestone rock either side. from here we went to a floating muslim gypsy village. here there was also the opportunity to buy over priced merchandise and cold drinks as well as having your photo taken with an unhappy, overly aggressive monkey. liking the fact that we both had eyes to see out of and not wanting them mutilated by the poor animal, we got back on the boat and headed for the caves. unfortunately due to the unexpected amount of rain,
the rafting and walking point of the tour would have to be postponed. a few of us were up for the challenge but the guide kept insisting that it was too dangerous and we would have to settle for the kayak tour. we got to see loads of bats hanging from the stalactite laced roof of the cave. on the way home the journey was rain soaked and, slowing to flashing lights infront, we saw a first for both of us, a dead body.
the roads are treacherous when it is raining here as the sheer volume of water buries the roads almost instantly, turning them into rivers above the tarmac. mopeds arnt a good idea in these conditions either, and as we passed a bike on its side, around 70 feet infront, we passed a lifeless body lying twisted in the road. with the rain pouring down on his face and two policemen standing to the left, it was clear after passing an ambulance with its lights flashing moments earlier, his time was up. a bit shaken from what we had seen there was a somber mood in the van for the rest of the journey.
moved on the next day to krabi, past the bay where we spent the previous day. krabi town is where we spent the next night waiting for a boat to railay beach. railay, although part of the mainland feels like your on an island. only accessible by boat, this outcrop hosts 3 mangrove lined beaches and an array of bungalows that varied greatly in price. we stayed at viewpoint bungalows in their cheapest accommodation, but we got a pool and our own shower, which is now viewed as a luxury! the next couple of days were spent sun bathing and reading by the pool. theres not a whole lot to do here in railay, so we kicked back, went swimming in the crystal clear waters and had a general nose around. the prices are inflated compared to the towns because of the captive audience. it seemed to be the place for family holidays rather than backpacker excursions, but it is a really nice place and well worth a visit if your not on a budget!
now back in krabi town and the prices are back to normal, the night market is looming, its time for dinner again, YES!
There are more photos below