Thursday, July 21, 2011

Turtle Island - lazy days and mucus in my head

Our bus arrived in Krabi and picked us up just after 4pm....It wasn’t as long a ride as we thought though, as just 10 minutes later it dropped us off at the companies local bus depot, where we had a near 2 hour wait, to get aboard the real bus. This double decker coach, took us to yet another bus depot, in the middle of nowhere, where we waited for about 20 minutes, until a 3rd bus finally picked us up and dropped us in the town of Suran Thani, where the overnight boat to Koh Tao leaves from.

Now, the overnight boat wasn’t exactly luxury. It is a wooden boat about 30metres long, with 3 levels. Two of the levels are for cargo such as food, drink and the like, while the top deck, only about 5 foot high, has rows of mattresses down either side, where we, the passengers sleep as the ferry takes us to Koh Tao. It sounds a bit shit, but in fact, apart from the bugs and the heat it wasn’t too bad at all and could have been a lot worse. We all managed at least 3 hours sleep and as the sun rose in the morning we could see Koh Tao as it got closer. Once ashore, we found our hotel and spent the next 3 hours catching up on our sleep in the air conditioned room. Some of our fellow passengers weren’t so lucky as they had been trying to get to a different Island for a start but there had been no boat, so they ended up following us to our hotel and grabbed a simple room with just a fan, so they could get some rest before finding some real accommodation later on.

In the afternoon we swam in the sea and put up our hammocks between some palm trees, just in front of Buffy and Joels hut, next to the sea. I cut my toe on some submerged rocks and this added to the fact that I still feel a bit ill, spoiled my day a little, but not a lot. I still enjoyed relaxing by the sea for most of the afternoon in the warm sunshine. Its a lot better than most Mondays I can remember!!

The next morning we all had a lie in as we were still a bit tired from the overnight boat trip, then we went out and had pancakes for breakfast, from the 'Best and Best' pancakes in town. It is actually just one bloke and his pancake stall on the corner of a road junction, but he flips and throws all the ingredients around just like a cocktail maker in a bar. Tossing the oil and throwing the bananas and chocolate behind his back before chopping up the banana so quickly you couldnt see what he was doing. He was really good and the pancakes were great too. It was then a simple case of having a look around town to arrange some diving for Buffy and Joel and for me and Nicki to visit he pharmacy to get me some more drugs for my sinuses. We also started to sort out the tickets we need to get out of Koh Tao in a couple of days time. This time we are hoping to take the night train to Bangkok. Eventually we got the tickets booked for the boat and train. We were hoping to get either 1st class tickets or 2nd class lower seats, but there were none available, so we ended up with 2nd class upper seats. According to reviews that means that we have a light in our sleeping compartment that cannot be turned off – that’s why all the lower ones go first. Its only one night though and I’m sure we will cope -its gonna be fun anyway getting the overnight train to Bangkok.

At the moment, I am lying in a hammock next to the beach overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. I’m actually starting to feel better after my illness, that we think was caused by the scuba diving in Malaysia. My sinus headache is all but gone and my aches are a lot less than they have been for the last week or so. Its been a bit shit, as I have been resting a lot and missed out on seeing Phuket and more of Phi Phi and South Thailand, but at least I am rested now and well on the way to being better.

When I have snorkelled in the past I always had a lot of mucus from my nose, from the salt water, but when I did the scuba in Malaysia, my nose was virtually dry after both my 18 metre dives. Nicki (who is a doctor) thinks that the mucus has gone up in to my sinuses instead of out of my nose, causing me to get my sinus headaches for the last 10 days and making me feel like shit. At least the worse of it is now over and hopefully by the time we get to Bangkok, I will be back on form. Its not been too bad though as its the first time I have had any kind of ongoing illness for years and it just meant that I had a few days vegging out doing nothing and spending no money, so it had a positive side. For now I’m relaxing on my hammock, while Joel and Buffy are diving and Nicki has took a wander down to a beach further along the bay. There are worse places to get ill!!!!

On the overnight ferry

Everyones asleep

Early morning TV in Thailand

On the hammock

The best and the best pancakes

Turtle rock

The hotel - taken from the sea

Koh Tao is actually a really cool and laid back place. It is larger than Koh Phi Phi, where we were last week and is therefore a lot more spread out and easier to get away fro the crowds of youngsters that we couldn’t escape in Phi Phi. The TV here is a bit special too, as we turned on the TV in the morning we had a choice of Zombie Movies or Jeremy Kyle, so that was interesting. Its our last night here tonight and we ended up in another beachfront restaurant, sitting on large pillows with a low table, eating pretty good food for aboiut £4 each. A band started just after 9pm and although they were pretty good we decided to gheade back along the beach and have yet another mellow night. A lot of people here tend to get pissed from about 9pm onwards, but thats just not us and we are enjoying just mellowing out and enjoying the days.

We left the accomodation just after 11am and after a really good breakfast and more mellowing out – including feeding some yoghurt to the restaurant cat – we made our way to the ferry just after 2pm and left Koh Tao behind – heading to Chumpon, where we are getting the overnight sleeper train to Bangkok.

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