Day 159: Yippie-Ki-Yay Mother Sucker

• For the first time in 3 days the musical love bird didn’t bother us. It must have had something to do with the prayer I made. Unfortunately we couldn’t benefit from a lie in because the alarm clock sounded at 7:15am.

• We got up straight away and went through the morning rituals. We had some breakfast, packed a bag, and headed to reception to be picked up. On the way we saw a baby chameleon. It was two different colours, orange and green. The more it felt threatened the quicker it changed colour, eventually it camouflaged into the wood it was stood on. We made small talk with the receptionist who always very friendly and spoke with a very soft tone. I found it so relaxing that at times I found myself in a trance, as if he were a hypnotist.

• At about 8:30am a tuktuk pulled up with a few passengers already aboard. We befriended a married couple from Romania, and an older married couple from Canada. Although they originated from England. Funnily enough, even the Romanians had come from England, except they had been working there instead. By the end of the trip we still didn’t get their names.

• The tuktuk drove us a good half an hour down the road. Eventually we reached the beach, and from there we had to take the longboat. They’re not the fastest of sea vehicles, and it seemed to take forever for us to reach the first snorkel spot. We had to drop off a couple at a random beach to begin with, and then began our trip. We passed the lighthouse and our driver slowed down for people to take photos. The Romanian couple took photos of everything, anytime I looked over I saw them snapping at something else. The sea was in a very unforgiving mood as we sailed across it. It shook the boat from side to side, and threw water aboard whenever it could. Even with the plastic sheet rolled down to protect us, the sea managed to soak the passengers.

It must have been around an hour and a half before we got off the boat to snorkel, even then it was only for half an hour. Our ears were ringing non-stop when our driver turned off the engine, the thing was so old and loud (and because we were sat right next to it) that it really affected our hearing. Everything was muffled for a while. Sarah and I were very disappointed with the experience, as there were very few fish and plenty of people. Also, the sea wasn’t as impressive as we’d have liked, after the Perhentian Islands the blue waters of Thailand resembled Weston Super-Mare. For those who don’t understand the reference, Weston Super-Mare is a seaside area not too far from my home in England. The waters are never blue, always a dark brown due to the low tide and dirty sand. There is a pier though, and it has recently been rebuilt after a chip pan fire a few years ago. Don’t go out of your way to visit the place, but if you’re in that neck of the woods. As soon as the half an hour was up we swiftly climbed back aboard the boat to be taken to the next snorkel spot.

This location was better than the last for sea life and lack of tourists, but terrible for another reason. The water was very choppy, we found it difficult to swim without getting water down our snorkels. The area we stopped at was outside a cave. Inside they found the ingredients to make birds nest soup. Apparently it’s a very expensive dish (around 3000 dollars a kilo), and that’s why there was a man sat at a watchtower incase anyone came to steal. Our driver told us the man had a gun, and would shoot anyone that came too close. But he liked to joke a lot, so we couldn’t tell if he was being serious or not. He was also very big for a Thai person, he had a lot of muscle bulk. We found out later that day that he does a lot of fighting, we presumed he meant Muay Thai, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a street brawler. He told us that his head was busted open once, and lots of blood came out. He told this story after he spotted me showing sarah a random cut I’d acquired on my wrist – he was trying to call me a baby. He could call me what he wanted, I wasn’t going to fight him. We saw a few fish during our visit, but after another half an hour we returned to the boat to be taken to the next stop.

The third stop of the day was visiting a hidden cove. When we arrived there were loads, and I mean LOADS, of Chinese tourists. To reach the cove we had to swim through a mountain. From our boats we could see a chain of Chinese tourists holding the backs of each others life jackets and making their way through. When it came time for us to go through, we put on our brightly coloured buoyancy aids and jumped in the water. We followed behind the groups, but unlike them, our guide didn’t have a torch. It didn’t matter because it was only a maximum of 10 metres in the dark before we saw the light at the end of the tunnel – literally. The mountain we swam under stank of bat guano, so Sarah and I kept our mouths closed and kept swimming until we felt the floor beneath us. Somehow I managed to sustain my second injury of the trip. I caught my middle finger on an unexpected rock. Because it was sharp it cut it open, it wasn’t a big cut, but the salt water didn’t help the pain. As we walked up the small sandy area we observed the Chinese tourists (who were all fully clothed) posing for silly pictures. They often asked the western women if they could have a photo taken with them – I sill find that weird. We swam back after 20 minutes and climbed back aboard our boats.

The final stop of the day was a beautiful white sand beach, the same one we dropped the couple off at, at the beginning. The water was similar to that of the Perhentian Islands, but contained a lot of rocks on the seabed. We enjoyed our inclusive lunch beside the beach, and afterwards Sarah and I got in the water to splash around. We were given an hour to play about, so Sarah and I took some snorkels from the boat to see what we could find. Where the light blue waters met its deeper darker brother was where we found the sea life. There was one particular fish that stuck out more than the rest. I’m not sure what sort it was, but it was extremely ballsy. Anytime either one of us got near, it swam directly at us in an attempt to scare us off. Its colours were white, pink and yellow, and it was around the size of an adult human hand. I soon scared it off by splashing down on the surface. When the hour was up we began making our way back to the boat. It was shallow enough to be able to walk, unfortunately for me I ended up sustaining yet another injury. As I grew braver at walking over the rocks I started moving faster, it was only when I was a matter of feet away from the boat that I caught my foot on something. I don’t know what it was, probably some dead coral, but it was sharp enough to cut the bottom of my foot. It was only a small cut again, but seeing as I wear flip flops everywhere I’d have to do my best to keep it clean. The last boat ride of the day was just as long as the first. When we arrived back at the beach our ears were ringing all over again. The tuktuk was waiting for us and we climbed aboard for a 40 minute bus ride back. You could tell everyone was very tired because there wasn’t half as much conversation as earlier that day. People got off at fancier resorts than ours along the way making me feel slightly jealous, then before we knew it we were at the pathway to ours.

• We stopped in our room for a quick shower, then headed back out the door to grab some fruit shakes. We visited the hidden coffee place once more, used their patchy Internet, enjoyed their drinks and left. We swung by the 7Elevrn to grab some money, water and snacks, then returned to our resort.

• We used some of the money to pay for our accommodation, as well as book up a boat to PhiPhi the next day at 12pm. With our debt cleared we returned to the room until 8pm that evening, eating snacks while enjoying a film. However, we couldn’t fully relax because of an unwanted visitor. A mosquito. It had breached the netting and was as big as they come. Every time we tried to swat it dead it kept disappearing into the background. I gave it the nickname John McClane (the protagonist from the Die Hard movies) as much like the character, it wouldn’t die. Sarah had it in her sights and attempted to crush it about 10 times, but it was too fast and nimble and evaded her each time. After the movie, we visited the restaurant to grab a couple Massaman curries. Because I bragged of how good it was, Sarah felt as though she had to try it. Although, she gave up half way through claiming she wasn’t feeling too great. I ended up eating one and a half dishes and washed it down with my new favourite drink: the ice cream shake. When Sarah had finished speaking with her family on Skype we returned to our room. When we finally got into bed, we watched a couple tv shows and tried to find John once again. We spotted him one time only and Sarah managed to hit him. We didn’t see him again after that, but like in all the movies you shouldn’t presume he’s dead. Yippee Ki Yay ************!

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