Dead Bat and Gecko Juice

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August 15th 2003
Published: February 23rd 2008
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Ko Ngan YuanKo Ngan YuanKo Ngan Yuan

A small island off Ko Tao
What a night!

The full moon was WAY bigger than any new years I have been to. And everyone wants to go mad. Very fun, went to bed after 8am, lost some chunks of memory but not my jandals (onto the fourth pair now). Watched the sun come up over the water. Magical, and also weird because nutters were still dancing in the full light of morning.

I am in now in Ko Tao, a small island to the north of Ko Phangan (which is in the Gulf of Thailand). IT IS VERY BEAUTIFUL. Better than Ko Phangan. More peaceful. Less potential to lose sandals. Start my open water diving cert tomorrow, four days. Then am going to do the advanced PADI course. Deeper, night nav etc. Can't wait.

I just had the best green curry ($2.40) so far at a cool place to the north west of the island. You are out on a deck, with these cool loungy things, drinking a Pina colada, gecko scurries past and leaps into a tree, kitten on a rock, sun setting over the sea with a longboat cruising over the surface, small island off the main one being hit with
After the full-moon partyAfter the full-moon partyAfter the full-moon party

We had bought our tickets for Ko Tao for two days after the full moon party in an attempt to avoid having to travel the day after. However, as the Thai queen's birthday was on the same day as the full moon, the party was delayed and we needed to travel in a very hungover state.
some of the last rays of sun. Beautiful, relaxed, beer, food. I love life.

Some of the bungalows I saw on the way in to the island on the ferry were insane, perched on the massive boulders, right over the sea. So romantic, dream like. (Post script: It was on one of these boulders that I proposed to Trace two years later).

We are staying in a free bungalow for the duration of the PADI course. Sweet.

22nd August
I'm not sure when I last wrote, I think it was after the full moon party. I swear you really lose track of days when everyone is on holiday, shops are open every day, and you can go out any night you want.

After the full moon party we purchased a ticket for the fastest ferry to Ko Tao (1pm), the ferry was two hours late, and we arrived after the slowest ferry. This wasn't too bad, as the concrete at the dock felt pretty good to sprawl on after wandering home at 8am with a couple four many Thai whiskey and red bulls.

Come to think of it, I did write a little bit about Ko Tao didn't I. OK. Anyway...

A story:
At Koh Phangan Jess and I arrived back to our luxurious double bed... The room smelt worse than usual (two boys with little respect for the nicer things in life). Jess saw something on the top of the mosquito net and kicked it off onto the floor. It landed with a questionable thud. "Mat what the hell is that?". It was a bat, an ex-bat, long ago had it expired, and was ready for some serious daisy-pushing. It was nothing an empty tube of Pringles couldn't fix, however it took a long time for the smell to dissipate (or more likely Jess took the opportunity to expel the contents of his dodgy belly).
Then... we arrived in Ko Tao, booked into a bungalow, and stumbled inside to rest our hungover bodies. THERE WAS THE SAME SMELL IN THIS ROOM AS WELL. "Dead bat?" we say in unison. But there was no bat to be found. We knew one was there, but a search did not reveal necrotic bat of any description. Once we had given up on the search a strange brown liquid dripped onto my arm... (the retch-inducing smell from that drip lasted for about 12 hours). So up I looked and saw a very ex-gecko lying in the bars of the upside-down fan which was blowing his special scent all over the room. Not the type of thing you want to deal with after an all-nighter at the full-moon. So Jess and I tossed a coin to see who would clean it up, and I lost. The fan cover was firmly attached so I was giving it a bit of a pull and when it did come off I dropped it and it somehow landed in a way that catapulted the gecko in a cart wheeling fashion from one side of the room to the other. Before splattering on the floor it released most of its juice in small droplets all over the place. It was the last thing we felt like, but hell it was funny.

Anyway, since then I have eaten a large number of green curries, completed my PADI open water diving cert, as well as my advanced cert. That means I can dive to 30m. The diving here has been amazing. Just like the best documentaries on tropical reefs etc. The colours of the fish are insane, there are heaps of clown fish in anenomies which I love. Some of the fish are quite big considering how beautiful they are. I did a night dive and saw heaps of puffer fish, and a massive hermit crab. Missed out on the huge turtle which lives there and a spotted ray. We covered our torches and you could activate the bioluminescence or thousands of plankton by moving your hand through the water. For the third and fourth dives of our open water course a guy came down and videoed us and the environment, then he edited to music (The Cult was in there Stevo and Stu) and had a showing at a pub. Brilliant! I got bought a bucket for being the biggest fool (showed my startlingly white upper thigh and made the diving hand signal for "wrong/no good").

Today I went to 30m and had my first experience of nitrogen narcosis. Not too bad at 30m, just relaxed and at peace with the underwater world. Have started a Nitrox specialty (oxygen-rich diving tanks which increase the amount of time you can stay underwater before needing to surface to avoid decompression sickness) and deep water specialty which will certify me for 40m dives. Bring on the narcosis... no, ok mum, I will be careful, I promise. I am the only one in the class which is cool. A bit of sciency maths which is interesting.

Anyway, off to read for a test tomorrow.

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