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Published: January 14th 2007
In true backpacker style it was time to move on. We checked out of Andaman Legacy and walked to the sea front with our big backpacks on. Within seconds a Longtail boat owner accosted us, as we knew we would be. It was fine to trek across the rocks to Long Beach normally but not with our big backpacks on. Within minutes we speeding our way along the coast to the end of Long Beach where Phi Phi Hill resort was perched high up on the hill. The bungalows are reached by a wooden staircase that zig zags up the hill side (85 steps, I counted them, sado that I am!) Fortunately there was a primitive kind of pulley system that takes bags and supplies up to the top.
We checked in, then after waiting for some poor guy to retrieve our bags, we made our way to our allocated bungalow. We had opted for one on the sunset side of the hill, a little pricier but worth it for the views, we were not disappointed. We did however have a couple of residents in there already, as I turned the fan on 2 geckos scurried away and stopped on
the ceiling right above my bed. Hopefully they'll see off any mosquitoes that chance to come in.
Soon after we walked over to Ao de Lo Modee beach for some snorkelling and chill out time on the almost deserted beach.
That night we dined at the resorts own restaurant, not much choice really given the 85 steps and darkness. I have to say it was the best meal I've had since being in Thailand and to add to that the views were great as was the music, some of our favourites like Jose Feliciano, Jim Croce, James Blunt and The Bee Gees. A complete change to the nightlife in town but very relaxing.
We got talking to a couple on the next table to us, Ben and Jeanne from Denver, they asked us if we'd heard about being able to swim with sharks in this area and also about a secluded beach they'd heard of, nearby. We were able to reliably tell them about both, how you have to get up early to see the sharks and where the path was to ' Moodee Beach.
We got up really early next day, had breakfast (also the
Unloading Supplies From the Pulley System
Glad I didn't have to get my own bag off!
best I've had so far) and went straight down onto the beach. This was great; as it was now so close we were virtually the first ones on. We decided to swim out to Shark Point and look for shark. I expected I'd get almost there and turn back like last time. I'd spent the last week and a half swimming every day so felt more confident and this time I seemed to get out much sooner, also as it was early there were fewer Longtail Boats zipping about and the sea was extra calm. The fact I'd not had to trek over the rocks 40 minutes from town could have helped too.
As I reached the area where the barracuda type fish hang around near the surface, I remembered that this was the spot I'd turned round and swam back last time. I swam just a few more feet and glanced down into the depths, that's when I saw it! A dark shadow near the bottom slowly gliding by, as it came closer I was sure it was a shark, I grabbed Stan's arm and shook it saying 'shark, shark! at least that's what I was trying to say,
in reality with a plastic snorkel stuck in my mouth it probably sounded more like 'mmuumm' . He got the idea and looked where I was pointing, he gave me the thumbs up sign to agree with me, 2 more shark glided past and seemed to circle round, then one slowly swam up towards us, a bit unnerving, but turned away before I had time to get too scared. I lay still floating on the surface watching them, one then did a half circle and was along side us with only a few feet in between, then snap! No, not my leg being bitten off! We caught him on camera, now I can prove to the whole world that I've swum with shark! We watched for a few more minutes until they'd all swum away then my fear got the better of me and I turned round and swam to the shore.
A short while later Ben and Jeanne joined us on the beach, of course I couldn't wait to tell them we'd seen shark, within minutes they were in there and swimming out to Shark Point. We watched from the shore for a while and gradually more and
A dark shadow appeared below us, then I realised it was a shark
more snorkellers seemed to be in the area. Eventually we just had to go out there again as there was obviously something interesting out there. Sure enough as we reached the area where the barracuda type hang out there were the shark down below us. 3 or 4 at a time, soon we were near Ben and Jeanne and I asked if they'd seen them, they had. We all climbed out onto Shark Point rock for a while as we were beginning to feel a bit chilled and tired. We soon warmed up and tried to climb back in from the opposite side where the coral is at it's best but were unable to as the rocks were too sharp. We got back in and swam round instead but didn't linger as it was a long way to swim back by now. Also I was aware of the shark somewhere below us although I never saw any more that day.
Back on the beach it was beginning to get busy as the tour boats pulled up. We walked over to Ao Lo de Moodee instead. There were a few more people there today, Ben and Jeanne joined us too,
One of them circled round and swam quite close to us
happy to have found the place. I noticed a woman stood watching a monkey playing around in vegetation at the back of the sand, unfortunately her husband decided to try and feed them, first throwing food then trying to get them to take it from his hand. When they'd had enough they shooed the monkeys off and began walking to the sea. Of course the monkeys were soon back wanting more food, they began rummaging through their bags, the couple noticed and came back to shoo them away again. The guy who owned the bar had seen this commotion and came walking up with a big stick, the monkeys instantly recognised him and scurried off, all the same he followed them to the edge of the jungle and banged his stick loudly on a tree as a warning. He then had some choice words for the stupid man saying that they would bite people if they got frustrated, at least that's what he seemed to be gesticulating in his own language.
We did some more snorkelling until the tide had gone out too far to making it impossible to get over the coral. We then lay on the sand
under the shade of some palm trees. It's a hard life!
The following day we swam out to Shark Point again nice and early and we were not disappointed, there strutting around below us were 3 or 4 shark, we didn't linger too long thinking eventually our luck might run out and one of us would lose a limb. As we swam back I was surprised to come across another one quite close to the shore, for some strange reason this one spooked me out more than the others. Why was it here? What was it looking for? Easy food! Me!? I was relieved to get back to shore!
It was quite windy this day so after walking over to Ao Lode Moodee and finding that was windy too we went exploring. We followed a sign for a restaurant that had intrigued us for a while, it eventually ended up on yet another secluded beach with just a few very rustic bungalows and a restaurant. The only problem here was that the tide had been right up so there was no soft sand. It was nice to have discovered it all the same, we realised it was called
The monkey before it got a taste for human's food
Pooh's, one we'd read about in Lonely planet.
Friday morning found us up and eating breakfast extra early, and drinking in the views from Phi Phi hill's restaurant for the last time. This was the day we had to move on out. We grabbed a short hour on the beach before showering, packing up and checking out at 11 am. When we got to the bottom of the steps a Longtail boat driver had retrieved our bags and was waiting to take us to the pier for our ferry to Krabi. What great service! After killing some time in a bar near the pier we boarded the ferry at 1.30. Something tells me we'll be back one day, I just LOVE this island!
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