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Published: August 8th 2007
The Real Story
Some days you wake up feeling good. Maybe because of a stroke of good fortune. - Just landed a plum job, sitting on your arse doing nowt for 75 grand a year. - Popped 5 numbers + the bonus ball on the lottery last night, £287,000 to blow. - The toothache's gone! - That kind of thing. But sometimes - just sometimes, for no apparent reason, life simply feels right.
Its like that here every morning.
I've heard talk of a place called Heaven, a mythical harmonious paradise where all is well. This is it. The Holy Grail of the travellers respite from life on the road. From those first stirring moments easing from dreamland, there's a realisation that no matter how much you pinch yourself - This Is Real.
Woke at a reasonable hour under the warm waft of the fan with the sound of the waves gently lapping on the shore 30 yards away. Decided that this was to be a lazy day. Starting with a wander via Rickety Bridge over to Next Door Bay. En-route entertainment being provided by
One Of Brunel's Early Efforts. . .
Before Isambard found fame for building great ships & railways, he practised on rickety wooden footbridges.This being one of his earlier efforts dates back to 1852.
a trio of local fishermen who were busy getting their boat from the lagoon down to the sea via the dry riverbed. Apparently, boats don't float too well on sand so these guys had collected a bunch of logs & set about rolling the boat along, grabbing the logs from the back, sticking them in front. Then with each huge shove, they lurched further forward toward the sea. Dad joined in & gave them a hand although his altruistic efforts in 40 degrees of equatorial sunshine very nearly gave him a nasty dose of heat exhaustion.
Chillaxed for an hour on the private beach of Next Door Bay although it was a little busier than yesterday, 3 other folk were there collecting shells or something. I had a dip in the sea. Not on purpose of course, I'm not a very strong swimmer & have a natural aversion to being eaten by sharks. I was impressed none the less. The temperature of the sea is around 30 degrees at this time of year, hotter than a bath back at The Cold Place!
On the pathway above the rocks going back we stopped in at
When the riverbed dries up the only way to get your fishing boat to the sea is by rolling it on logs. Some of these Humans are very resourceful indeed.
Gons' place. He's a 10 year old lad we'd met two years before, when we'd been here with our own small Human. Gon had been our tour guide for a couple of days, taking us round the local waterfalls & having adventures in the jungle. Luckily enough he was there with his mum at their restaurant so we had a beer or three & chatted about the olden days. It's easier to talk to Gon now. He appeared to be mute on our last visit but now he had a grasp of a few languages, even showing us how to write his name in Japenese. Clever Gon!
Back to Mai Pen Rai at lunchtime. Our previously missing neighbour had recently returned & Fiona the boss lady seemed somewhat cross with him. He scuttled off to bed with his tail between his legs. This was our first introduction to Uncle Iain, who was to become our new Best Friend. Naughty Iain had been missing for two days after getting completely shanked at the Full Moon Party. Fiona was especially upset because Iain is her brother & she didn't appreciate him dissappearing for so long. Worried & rightly so.
Thai Ness Monsters!
These 8 foot long buggers live in the lagoon behind the bar. They only eat banana pancakes though so I wasn't too scared.
Lunch was at our home base. Saw some scary monsters swimming in the lagoon. A cross between giant lizards & small crocodiles. I'm definitely not swimming in there!. We had an afternoon beach session, playing with Deputy Dog & his crew. Mum made friends with a yellow dog called Retriever who liked a swim. Unfortunately Retrievers favourite game was "Sink The Human" This involved dunking the opponent underwater, drowning them then attempting to get them back to shore in a retriever like fashion. After having her back scratched to buggery, Mum got quite bored with this game very quickly & needed some sharp medication from Mr Gordons & his friend, Mrs Tonic. Dad bought a book by Nick Hornby from the little shop to take his mind off the stresses of the day.
A little later on, Uncle Iain surfaced, came over to our veranda & chatted about his Full Moon Adventure. Due to circumstances beyond his control he couldn't remember more than snapshots of his escapade to Haad Rin. However, he soon turned out to be a real smasher. An ex-pat Scot, mostly living in Switzerland who was by trade a landscape architect
To get from the beach up to Plaa's you need to sneak through this little hole in the rocks.
but preferred his other job being a paragliding instructor. During my lifetime study of anthropology, I can honestly say that I've never seen one of these before.
We all zipped up the precarious hill climb to Plaas again for the sunset & one of their special shakes, we could see the fishermen from earlier in the day bringing their nets in just as the last rays disappeared behind the palm leaves. Mum said that was tomorrows' lunch. The trip back down again was not too bad this time as Dad had bought a torch. We finished off the day with a few more drinkies at the beach bar listening to the obligatory Bob Marley, then back to the bungalow for a bit of a joke fest. Tears of laughter at some of the worst jokes in the world including my favourite gem - The Swedish Chemist Shop Joke.
Tucked up by midnight.
Off to Haad Rin for a little day trip in the morning with our new pal Uncle Iain.
Mr M :-0
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