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Published: January 29th 2009
We leave Koh Lipe the way we came - via a longtail boat to the ferry. Its then a 4 hour ferry boat (changing boats once) to Koh Mook. We get the longtail to shore and hump our very heavy bags up a near deserted beach. We walk towards reception looking out for Karen & Wayne, but completely missing them as they were hiding behind hats - which should have been so obvious !!
Just as we are checking in they creep up behind us and give us a great surprise. Much hugs and kisses later we dump our bags in the room and settle down to Changs (the local strong beer) to talk about everything that has been happening. Eventually we decide a bit of laying on the beach is in order, while Bill visits the dive shop to book for tomorrow - not sure what their first impressions were as he was a bit wobbly 😊. That evening we dined like kings on BBQ lobsters and assorted fish, while drinking yet more Changs, Mai Tias, Pina Coladas, Long Island Iced Teas and red wine - a long night !
Next day is diving for Bill and sunbathing
for Sue and drinking with Karen & Wayne, sitting on old tree stumps, while watching a really nice sunset at Charlies Beach Bar - the only bar on the beach. Bill produces a special treat for Wayne - the last 'porn star' card left over from Dublin. Up early next day, Bill off diving again, Sue sunbathing and in the late afternoon she had a bone crushing, muscle ripping, very bendy thai massage on the beach 😊 while we waited at Charlies Beach Bar again. This was followed by dinner, a great spread of assorted local thai dishes - superb and very delicious - yum.
The next day we charter a longtail boat and set off to Emerald Cave. Ten minutes later we arrive - it is just round the coast from where we are staying ! But we are not the first to arrive - plenty of boats tied up already. Anyway - into the sea we get, Sue and Karen in nice old lifejackets - the longtail skipper also jumps in with a torch in his hand and we enter the cave via a low cavern. Its then a 80 metre swim along a narrow cave system,
most of which is pitch black - lucky our skipper has a torch - but he must have thought he got the tour party from hell as he had to tow Karen most of the way 😉. Eventually we arrive at the exit and burst into a lagoon and sandy beach which is surrounded by shear cliff faces on all sides. This is the place where the filmed The Beach - and it is a special place - well worth the effort. Back out we go, through the darkness and more towing for Karen & Wayne. When we exit there are even more boats tied up - secluded it is not - still its off to our second stopping place - Big Cave - another 10 minutes and and yes we see a big cave halfway up the cliff. Our boat mores up nearby and the skipper says "snorkelling" so in get Bill, Karen and Sue, with Wayne deciding staying dry on the boat is a better option. Snorkelling against the cliff edge Bill first points out a lobster in a hole and then a very large and old Porcupinefish, about 3 feet long with its own Remora 😊. Back
Wayne Was Upset
He had just realised that the porn star card made it from Dublin
on the longtail we negotiate with the skipper to go round the island (an extra 400 bhats). The island is quite large and we see lots of forest, an upmarket resort and a fishing village.
In the afternoon Wayne & Bill decide to walk to the village - which turns out to only be partly rebuilt following the tsunami - we later find out that Koh Mook missed the main wave, but got caught in the backwash, which destroyed most of the infrastructure but nobody was killed. The rebuilding of the village is continuing and it looks like the water treatment plant has been donated by an outside company. There are also lots of Tsunami evacuation route signs (a bit over the top as there is only one road/track) and a huge siren warning post. Throughout the walk Bill & Wayne encountered lots of children dressed up in what looked like girl guide and boy scout uniforms - perhaps this is their school uniform. On the way back Wayne - good spotter that he is - pointed out a huge monitor lizard (about 5 ft long) climbing up the bank of a dried out river.
Tonight is Chinese
New Year - the year of the Ox - and we meet at Charlies Beach Bar to watch the sunset again. Wayne makes a special effort dressing up in character as Hanibal Lecter, complete with straw hat and white shirt - very scary. The resort laid on a great buffet spread and we all made every effort to increase the bar takings as much as possible !!
The next day is spent lazing on the beach and round the pool 😊 although we did do a bit of snorkelling, with Sue and Karen spotting a huge shoal of 3 inch fish in the shallows - just like a big dark cloud from the surface. A last sunset with Karen & Wayne and yet more celebration drinks.
Karen & Waynes last day, more lazy beach and pool until a final goodbye late afternoon. And what better way to say goodbye than final Changs and Tequila Sunrises. We escort them to the longtail - hugs and kisses and the boat chugs off - but wait - 100m offshore the boat turns round and heads back to the beach - turns out the skipper forgot the engine oil and water !!
So we had to wave them off for a 2nd time 😞. Tonight we eat alone and it seems very flat - still tomorrow we are off to Phi Phi to meet up with Chris for 5 days diving.
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