Day 157: Driving Miss Duxbury

My day started at 5:30am, I was happily asleep when all of a sudden I started to dream about an object making a funny noise. Except it turned out the noise was actually real. Outside our room was a little bird in a tree trying to get his feathery little end away. Over and over, this particular bird made a repetitive noise that increased in volume. As I came to my senses I could hear a second bird reciprocating the same sound in the distance. Seeing as it woke both Sarah and I up, I left the confines of our mosquito netted bed and went outside to scare it off. Then something worthy of a comedy sketch show ensued. I could see it sat in a tree directly opposite our porch, as I grew closer the bird flew to the next nearest tree. I walked over to that tree and the bird flew to a nearby wooden post. As I walked towards that, it flew to another tree a few feet away. I gave up in the end as I deemed it far enough away not to bother us, and returned to bed.

A few hours passed before the bird was at it again. Because there was no sound proofing around our hut, and no glass in the wooden window frame, it woke us up for the second time. It was 8:30am and unlike Sarah’s usual lazy self, she remained awake with me. I didn’t bother scaring the bird off this time because we ended up watching tv shows – besides, who am I to come between true romance.

We got through quite a lot of tv shows that morning, and ended up having a late breakfast, early dinner at our resorts restaurant. When we were done we returned to the room, I then applied some suntan lotion to hit the beach, while Sarah swung in the hammock. It was 12:30pm when the student became the master, although I had a dilemma. On the one hand I wanted to beat Sarah’s tan, but on the other, I didn’t have enough suntan lotion to fully protect my body. I applied what I could to my front, and stupidly, when the sun was at its highest and hottest point I visited the beach. It was an error for me to do so, I led on my back for an hour, soaking in as much of the crispy characters rays as I could, before Sarah came along and said her classic line “oh dear!”.

I had overdone it, the areas that weren’t covered with lotion ended up turning red, and for the rest of the day Sarah wouldn’t stop telling me how burnt my face was. The lotion appears to sweat off after a while, as I always apply plenty to my face to avoid getting wrinkles – as Sarah is always so keen to tell me. We chilled out in the shade of the bamboo terrace for half an hour, sipping on water and coke. Sarah told me that when she went to buy the drinks she noticed the strange girl from the evening before. She was sat on her own eating food, and at one point she looked over to a man who was smoking and asked him to put it out because she was allergic. I fear she wasn’t on drink or drugs when we saw her before, and may just be an odd ball. Eventually she left the table and wandered to the beach, again with a carrier bag in tow – this time it contained a towel. As we led there we continued to watch and see if she did anything else, but she didn’t, other than get in the sea and move side to side rather quickly. When we finished our drinks we returned to the room. I had a quick shower and when I was ready we hired a bike for the day.

We started chatting with another couple as we waited for the receptionist to return. They were new to the area and asked us what the resort was like. We gave it rave reviews, but they didn’t like the sound of the mosquito netting around the beds after they had a bad experience with one. The girl told us how her boyfriend (or husband) was stung by a scorpion that found its way inside the netting with them as they slept. They showed us a picture of it, it was bright green. Luckily for him the creature wasn’t poisonous, but as a precaution the guy left a love letter incase the worst happened over the duration of the night. They seemed very friendly, and the sort of couple we’d get on well with had we been sticking around that afternoon. Soon enough the receptionist showed up and we hired a scooter for the next 24 hours.

I then became Miss Duxbury’s driver for the day. I asked for a map before we left so we could get a better idea of the island’s layout. Our intention was to visit Lanta’s Old Town area. After a fill up at the fuel station we were on our way. I was a little rusty at first, but I soon got back into the swing of it – even with Sarah on the back. The route was straight forward enough, we had to follow one road all the way to the end, then take the right hand turn. If we stayed on that road we’d eventually reach our destination. I maintained a speed of around 40km/h as the roads aren’t safe enough to go fast. Many travellers can testify to that. The main thing to look out for when riding the roads of Thailand (as I’ve said before) are the potholes. It’s quite tricky when you’re only used to driving a car, as on a bike you have filter your eyes between the road and what’s coming up ahead. Else you could end up hitting a hole and earning some road tattoos. At least in a car the worst that can happen is a flat tire. I briefly saw a street sign pointing to the left which read “Lanta Old Town”, but seeing as we weren’t told about any side roads I continued on by. Eventually it took us to a dead end, which just so happened to be a tsunami evacuation point. We turned around and stopped in a small roadside restaurant for a bowl of fries and a fruit shake. The restaurant itself was quaint, and boasted an incredible view of the sea and surrounding islands. The return ride didn’t seem half as long, and before we knew it we were back at the street sign we passed.

Down that road was a small town containing gift shops, a pier, post office, fire station, and a large statue of the countries king. I parked up our bike and we went about exploring by foot. The pair of us looked at a couple of the shops, but ultimately they sold the same items as everywhere else. We ended up buying an ice cream each and returned to the bike. I deliberately put on the steering lock before we left, and there was a slight panic when I couldn’t figure out how to unlock it. It took a few minutes before I sorted it, and the pair of us rode back towards our resort in the suns setting gaze.

Somehow, we ended up taking a different road back, but it didn’t matter as we got to see more of the island. As we rode, with the beautiful blue sea on our left hand sides, we came upon the bar we stopped in on the first day of our arrival. We decided that it was as good a time as any to pay them another visit. Even though the sun was on its way down, it gave off an incredible amount of heat. We found it very difficult to sit in it while we drank our cold beers, and ended up moving to the shady bar with all the flies. Every 2 seconds one would pitch on me, I was glad when we finished the beers to be leaving.

All in all the ride was very peaceful, and we got to see plenty of the island that day. Nobody forces you to speed up here, and they’ll happily overtake you if they want to ride faster. When we got back to our resort the time was around 6:30pm. We were greeted at reception by Black Jack, who happened to be out on the dead grass sunbathing. I gave her a little tickle under her chin before we walked to our room. We stayed there for over an hour to cool down. Sarah watched “The Vampire Diaries”, while I typed out the days events. When her show finished she went to the bathroom to play with her make up bag and get ready for the evening ahead.

Food was what we wanted, and now we had a set of wheels it meant we could venture farther to find a different restaurant. However, when we rode beyond our usual place there was nothing but desolation. In the end we returned to our usual Italian restaurant. We enjoyed chicken burgers and fruit shakes, and we shared a brownie with ice cream for dessert. Afterwards we paid up and hopped back on the scooter. Like usual we concluded the evening by stopping in the 7Eleven for some water, and by chance the giant was in there again. I honestly don’t know how he manages to get around in Asia, I struggle for legroom on public transport at the best of times, he must be in constant agony. I rode the pair of us safely home, and we climbed into bed to enjoy yet some more tv shows. However, tonight would suck more than usual for me when it came to the temperature, as it wasn’t only my face that I burnt. The majority of my lower torso was also red, I felt like a human furnace! Now it’s time for me to go to sleep, let’s just hope that horny bird isn’t back on the pull again tonight!!!

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