Day 227: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Is This Evil?

One day remains of this blog guys, then I’ll be free.

We spent the majority of today on the beach, soaking up the last of the Asian sun before we left for Australia the following evening. Although on occasion I reluctantly do a lot of things Sarah suggests, more often than not I do enjoy doing them. For example, had I not gone to the beach with her today I wouldn’t have seen a man sunbathing with his pet monkeys. Yes folks you read that correctly, there was a man on the beach with not one, but two monkeys… but we’ll get to that. After the beach we returned to the hotel for a few hours, then headed back out for an evening meal. All in all it was a good end to our Asian adventure, now allow me to explain what else happened on this day.

Sarah got her wish this morning when we got up early. The cheeky so and so woke me up 15 minutes before the alarm, our bed was so big that I didn’t feel her get out, it was only when I heard the toilet flush that I awoke. We then got dressed and went for breakfast. I took advantage of the buffet for the second day running, then we returned to the room to apply sun lotion and pack a bag for the beach. When we got downstairs the security guard helped us hail a taxi again, but this time there weren’t that many on the street. There was tons of traffic but few taxis. Eventually, after blowing his whistle to halt the traffic, he helped us cross the 6 lane motorway to a cab that had pulled over for us. Rather than go back to Kuta beach, we got him to drop us at Legian. In theory they were the same beach, it was just so long that it stretched over both Kuta and Legian. We walked a few hundred yards from the entrance to get away from the sewage like smell, and paid for a couple loungers for the day. I then got to work on yesterday’s blog, and wrote an introduction to the Erratic Ramblings for anyone yet to discover it. It was shortly after I’d finished, that the man with the monkeys arrived.

As he led sunbathing on a lounger, one of them led beside him like a hairy child. I’d never seen a monkey sunbathe before, and let me tell you, it’s quite amusing. I understand the severity of the situation, it was wrong that the monkeys were with him in the first place, but it’s not something you see everyday, and the sad thing is it’s not something you can do much about anyway. I don’t quite know how long this man had owned the monkeys for but they were in no rush to get away from him. There are two sides to every story, so maybe this man hadn’t killed their mother to get the babies like most poachers do, maybe instead he had rescued them. After all they seemed to love his company and all the fruit he gave them. Perhaps they were just in it for the fruit. And unlike most poachers, he wasn’t allowing people to hold them for photographic purposes. It’s weird to think that Sarah and I are accustomed to such sights now, I’m scared to think what would actually shock me these days.

Sarah and I continued to sunbathe until we began feeling thirsty. We left our loungers, at the risk of losing them, to grab some water from a nearby shop. When we got back we were fortunate enough for them to still be available. It was then back to sunbathing. Being the gentleman that I am, I “definitely” don’t notice other women, but today was an exception. As I led soaking up the sun, a woman with very large breasts came walking by. Much like the man with the monkeys, it was hard not to notice. There’s no other point to be made here, I just felt I had to write about it. Without warning the tide came in and was as high as our loungers. Sarah had had enough of sunbathing anyway (if you can believe that) and suggested we head back to the hotel to watch a film.
“Sold to the blonde haired woman at the back!”
I thought that was a great idea and packed our bag immediately. Before we could do that, we needed to collect our laundry. We walked a long way up the beach until we found an exit. Too bad we had to go by some shops along the way, Sarah stopped in a few and ended up buying a new sarong. There was an awkward moment when I took interest in some vests, but didn’t actually have enough money to pay for it. I had to explain to the owner I couldn’t buy them, but he thought I was making an excuse and kept reducing the price. In the end we walked away and located the laundrette. As we arrived they were adding the final touches to our clothes, a lady used a fragrant spray to keep them fresh as we transported them back. With 6kg of clothing we hailed a taxi and returned to our hotel.

We stayed in our room for hours this afternoon, partly due to the fact we discovered room service brought cooked meals to us. We took some showers to get rid of the sand from the beach, then we each devoured a burger. I also had an additional plate of spaghetti bolognese because of how good it was last night. Although we came back to the room to watch a movie, we didn’t actually get round to it. After I’d finished messing about with my blog, I played my Nintendo for a bit, while Sarah plucked her legs. It was around 5:30pm before Sarah said she wanted to go to the beach for sunset. We had been in Bali for over two weeks now and hadn’t managed to see a good one in all that time. In the distance she could see the large hot ball descending, and informed me there is a classic photo people take of it setting, which she also wanted to capture. I was still playing on my Nintendo while Sarah was waiting to go, it took me 5 minutes to save what I was doing and turn it off, then we had the pleasure of catching a taxi outside.

The usual security guard had finished his shift for the day and was sat with a friend conversing. He didn’t want to help us hail one this time, so it took us twice as long to get one to stop. The fist few wouldn’t take us for anything less than 50,000 rupiah (just over £3), which was double the usual cost. Then a random driver stopped and tried charging us 100,000 rupiah, again we said no. Eventually one stopped and took us on the meter to the beach. For some reason the traffic appeared to be redirected as we grew closer, meaning we had to take a lot of side streets to get to our destination. We ended up getting stuck in traffic no more than 200m from the beach. We paid the man and decided to get out and walk the rest of the way. It was too late when we arrived, the sun had gone and Sarah was angry. An argument ensued as to why we missed it, with me getting defensive when Sarah blamed me straight away. I only had a small part in it, but I’d like to think the 10 minutes waiting for a cab, and the 15 minute car journey had something to do with it as well. We still sat on the beach and watched the sky go through the colour spectrum, before taking some pictures and moving on. Now that Sarah and I resented each other slightly, we didn’t really want to do anything. Sarah claimed it was our last night in Bali and it was ruined. I did my best to cheer her up as we walked along the beach in an attempt to find the beachwalk shopping centre. That didn’t happen, and only fuelled the fire worse when I guided us the wrong way entirely. Along the beach, a little farther away, we saw a sign which read “turtle release 4:30pm”, another thing we had missed, this also didn’t help matters. We kept walking until we eventually reached a different mall. It was filled with designer shops, all of which we couldn’t afford to shop in, so we walked straight through and asked for directions. A local man set us straight, and saw an opportunity to drive us in his taxi. We said “no thanks”, then continued to walk a new part of Bali we hadn’t seen before. Building after building, there was nothing but expensive restaurants and surf brand shops. When we got back to familiar territory we explored the markets and found the beachwalk mall. By now we were scarcely low on money, and the only way we could afford to buy branded clothing would be if we were to make a withdraw. Seeing as we didn’t have our cards on us, we left after only 5 minutes.

We then walked down Poppy Street to find somewhere to eat tea. By now Sarah had perked up a bit and we were talking to each other again. Although I wished we weren’t, every time Sarah spoke she tried encouraging me to get a massage with her. Along the road someway, we stumbled upon a cheap massage parlour, and just to shut Sarah up we went in. Now, you remember earlier when I said I reluctantly do things Sarah suggests, but actually end up enjoying them? Well this would be one of those times. We had a half hour reflexology treatment, followed by a half hour back massage. Both of which came to a total of £5 at the end, very cheap I think you’ll agree. I preferred the reflexology to the back massage as I’d never had it done before, although, having a stranger rub my feet is a punishment I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. It felt really nice and I nearly fell asleep, but there was a slight painful sensation when he squeezed the little toe of my right foot. I didn’t know what that meant, so later that evening I researched. Apparently the little toe is connected to your ears, maybe I’m going deaf. I think Sarah was really chuffed with not only the foot rub, but also with what the lady had to say. She compared her arm with Sarah’s and told her they had the same coloured skin – this was by far the best compliment anyone could give to Sarah. After the half hour was up it was time for our backs to be pampered. I didn’t enjoy it much, as the whole time it made me aware of just how much weight I’ve lost. There was no muscle anywhere for my masseur to work. As he rubbed the oil into my back I could feels his fingers playing my ribs like a skeletal xylophone. Had I gone there at the start of the trip it would’ve been another story entirely, there was plenty muscle to work with then. My treatment was concluded with an Indian head massage, I found it very difficult to answer his question while he did this because of how relaxed it made me, I was like putty in his hands. When the hour was up we paid the cost and left them with a tip, then we went to Mozzarella for tea.

This was the restaurant we’d eaten at with Sarah’s parents. The food was so good then that it brought us back for a second visit. I ordered a massive helping of pork ribs. In their menu it claimed to be one of their best dishes, and I’m not surprised, it was fantastic. Sarah had an equally as tasty dish when she ordered the mushroom and cream pasta. Surprisingly, for the size of food we ordered it took no time at all to arrive, it couldn’t have been any longer than 10 minutes maximum. As we sat opposite each other at a candle lit table we contemplated everything we’d done so far. We were really sad to think this was our last full day in Asia, the past 8 months had flown by. Neither of us were fully ready to embark on an Australia adventure next, we were still having too much fun up in the clouds, but all good things must come to an end. We couldn’t have asked for better meals than the ones we had, afterwards we settled the bill, then went outside to find a taxi.

Because it was a quiet road it didn’t take long, and the driver didn’t charge us much. We were a little farther away from our hotel now, so rather than have a meter running we agreed a price of 30,000 (£2) to get back. As we grew closer I pointed out our hotel to the driver and he dropped us at the entrance. We then climbed in the elevator to the second floor and retired to our room. I used my phone to Skype my mum again, as it rang I looked in the mirror and saw the full extent of my sunburn from earlier that day. My lower back and upper legs were scarlet. My bum now looked whiter than ever. It was only a short call lasting around half an hour, but in that time my mum mocked my tan lines. After that I had a quick shower, then we attempted to watch a movie in bed. This didn’t work for one reason, when watching a movie with Sarah, she tends to like having all the lights off. This in turn made us tired, so much so that for the second night running we had to pause the movie. I then struggled to stay awake as I wrote this post before going to bed.






















Day 222: Nintendon’t Disturb Me

We were lazy… the end.
– Sarah Duxbury

This is what Sarah suggested I put for today’s blog, and to be honest, it wouldn’t be too far from the truth. Unlike all the other times I’ve said “today we did nothing”, this time around truer words were never said. All day we stayed at our resort, only leaving in the evening to go out for tea. That is unequivocally it! Today will be the shortest post of them all for that reason alone, but I have committed to writing about everything this far, so it would be a shame to quit now.

Sarah and I finally got the lie in we’d been craving this morning, although, the early starts up until now meant we woke up naturally at 9am. It was just a pleasant change of pace not to hear an alarm ringing beside us for once. We led in bed for a further half an hour, watching a tv show, until we joined Sarah’s parents for breakfast.

We were all tired as we sat around the table. Ann and Simon because they were up several times during the night, and Sarah and myself because we were in a deep sleep before coming too. The Bali coffee is really strong, and is the only coffee that actually perks me up. Caffeine is something that doesn’t usually effect me, but that stuff is something else. When we were done eating, Sarah and I returned to the room for a further hour to watch the end of our tv show, before putting on the beginning of a movie. While Sarah’s parents chose to sit in the shade of a parasail beside the pool.

About an hour into the movie Sarah decided she wanted to do some sunbathing. We put the tablet down, then procured a couple loungers. Somehow she was able to stick it out in the sun. I stayed in the shadows going over the previous days blog. When I was done, some two hours later, I hopped in the pool with Sarah. After I had cooled down I led in the sun to dry off, then returned to the room to grab my Nintendo 3ds. I knew there was a reason behind my trepidations about asking for the console. It wasn’t that I was afraid of what people would think of me, it wasn’t that at all, it was in fact my addictive personality. I couldn’t put the thing down. I completely ignored the “take an hourly break” rule that comes with the device. I played it so much today that I ended up having to plug it into a socket to feed my addiction some more. Bye bye social life is all I’ll say. Hours passed as I levelled up my mighty Pokemon, I moved between the sheltered downstairs area of our hut, and the sun loungers, where I simultaneously played and worked on my tan. Eventually hunger came a knocking, and the four of us had dinner at our resort. But after that it was straight back to the world of Pokemon for me. I’m 25 for god’s sake, I shouldn’t even be playing this overly addictive drivel, but I couldn’t help myself. It was 5:30pm before I tore myself away and did something more practical, I Skyped my mum.

I told her the previous evening that I’d phone her during the day so she could see our resort. That plan didn’t work out because the Internet wasn’t strong enough for a video call. Instead we talked for around 40 minutes using our devices as international telephones. As we spoke, I had the pleasure of watching Simon playing table tennis in the background. He was playing against one of the young family members who ran the resort. I don’t know who won officially, but Simon had to call it quits when he began overheating. It wasn’t long after Simon threw in the towel that I finished my Skype call with my mum. In the time I sat downstairs I became the proud owner of 4 fresh mosquito bites. I retired to the room and continued playing Pokemon some more beside my bessie on the bed.

10 minutes later there was a knock at the door from Sarah’s mother. Ann had grown restless of doing nothing all day and wanted to go out for food. It took Sarah and I a further 10 minutes to get ready, then the four of us walked to Mushroom Bay for tea. We had to walk all of 5 minutes along dark paths, using torches to guide us. When we arrived it was like a ghost town. There was nobody in sight, and all of 3 or 4 different places to eat. In the end we selected a place called Mushroom Garden Villas. It was a nice change of pace to receive our food quickly for once. All our meals were tasty and satisfying, but come the end was where it all fell apart. The bill. I handed over 100,000 to cover my 70,000 fee, after that pandemonium broke loose. Sarah always had this gift when it came to sorting out a multi person bill, but this time around she was busy playing on the phone. Ann then started throwing numbers around, followed by Simon, then I didn’t know what way was up. Eventually Sarah joined in, grabbed the tray with all the money, and took it to the waiter to explain we wanted small change. The main problem was non of us had any small notes, had we done it would’ve saved all the confusion in the first place. We got what Sarah requested, left a bill, then left ourselves. 5 minutes later we were back at Nanuk Bungalows to draw an end to our day.

We said our goodnights at the steps of our hut, and encouraged Ann to join us on the snorkelling trip the next day. She was a timid little mouse, and was mainly focused on all the things that could go wrong while we were at sea. I tried my best to encourage her to come along, as its not everyday you get to swim with manta rays. Time would tell if those words of wisdom helped. Sarah and I then got ready for bed, I wrote this post, chatted to a friend from home on Skype, and last but not least, concluded my evening with another helping of Pokemon.

Day 217: The Day With No Name

By comparison to yesterday’s action packed shenanigans, today was slow and boring. We did nothing bar eat breakfast, sit by the pool, go into town, and go out for tea. That is it. Literally, that is it. I don’t even know what to name today, I can’t think of anything witty at all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about it at all, it was quite nice to relax for once. Since Sarah’s parents arrival we’d been moving nonstop. I think they were quite happy to do nothing as well. I will do my best to elaborate on the day’s happenings, but don’t be expecting a lengthy read by all means.

Our day started at 8:55am. The alarm was set for that time because Sarah’s parents preferred to have breakfast early. Thanks to all the walking and swimming the previous day, I was out for the count. I was in such a deep sleep that when I awoke and stretched, I thought I was a balled up piece of paper unravelling itself. For once Ann was impressed when she came to our door because we were up. When Sarah and I were dressed, the 3 of us went for breakfast.

For the first time since our arrival, new guests were beginning to check in. Because of this, before having breakfast, Simon and Ann did the trick of putting towels on the loungers in the hopes of reserving some. Something they’d probably leaned from the German couple during their bike ride yesterday. Ann, Sarah, and myself all had the same meal, strawberry pancakes. To say they were small, we all struggled to clear our plates. Afterwards we went over to the pool area where we spent the majority of the afternoon. To be honest there’s not very much for me to say. I started off listening to my iPod on one of the loungers, and because of the heat I sweat buckets. I sweat so much in fact that the material of the lounger cushion left an imprint of my body on it. It resembled the chalk outline of a body at a crime scene. The funny thing about the heat, although it was hot, Sarah and I didn’t mind it. It wasn’t until her parents came out that we realised we’d acclimatised. They always chose to stay under the shelter of a parasail, and it’s too cold for us to go in their room because of how frosty 18 degrees feels to us now. At the beginning of this trip we were the ones setting the a/c that low, nowadays it’s all about the 25. I spent the afternoon lying in the sun working on my blog and going for a swim when I was too sweaty. Around 4:30pm we thought about going out for dinner. We returned to our rooms to get ready, then walked down the cobbled hill to town.

There was a slight problem at the bottom. A solemn monkey from the sanctuary was busy eating leaves. Ann was petrified of them after our visit the other day, and stayed close to the others as they passed. We followed a different street this time around and bought a few items. I bought two new pairs of shorts for the beach and pool, while both Sarah and I bought gifts for friends. Again, I can’t say what they were in case they’re reading this. By now shopping enraged me. I never enjoyed it, and every other shop sold exactly the same things, yet we still found ourselves stopping in each one. Fortunately, during this visit there weren’t that many to look at, but we were walking so slowly that it drove Simon and I crazy. After about half an hour a storm came over head and forced us into the shelter of a nearby cafe. This was where Ann was introduced to Pad Thai, but sadly it was a bad one. It had no flavour and was full of spicy evilness. Ann then said she’d never have one again, the poor thing didn’t know what she was missing. After dinner we continued up the road, only to come back on ourselves. There were no more shops to look at, so we ended up going back in the ones we’d already visited. Eventually we reached the slip road which took us back to our resort. I told Sarah this was my stop, then Simon and I left the girls to visit a spa, while we returned to Inata.

When we got back all we did was sit on the loungers beside the pool. I briefly signed into Skype to see what was happening, and as luck would have it, my nan was online. I gave her a quick ring to see how everything was going, and I showed her our resort. When my uncle showed up at her house I gave him the same treatment. He predicted the beautiful resort cost us £60 a night… sucker, it only cost us £30! The phone call lasted around 40 minutes. When I’d hung up I returned to find a sleeping Simon. Together we tried to figure out why the tablet still wouldn’t read my sd card. I gave it one last try by wiping the card clean and blowing into the sd port, Ureka, it worked. Sarah would be happy, all our tv shows were back, as well as our photos from the early parts of the trip. In that moment I felt like a technological genius. Next up, the build of an Ironman suit. Around 6pm the Mosquitos came out, so we returned to our rooms.

I took a quick shower then got into bed to watch a newly saved tv show. After it had finished I began writing about the day. I managed to write the first paragraph before Ann and Sarah came back. 7:45pm was the time, and those pampered princesses had been out this whole time getting various treatments. My mind was elsewhere when Sarah got in, and she began asking me what I’d been up to since she’d been gone. I sort of answered them, but I’m not fully aware of where my mind was. 5 minutes previous I was in bed in my own little world typing away, then out of nowhere Sarah disturbed the peace. She then sarcastically said “yes the spa was great, thanks for asking!!” My mind was everywhere and nowhere at the same time, and I hadn’t thought to have asked her. I was thinking we’d be going out for dinner and we’d talk about it then. With a newly p***** off girlfriend we got ready to go out.

Sarah and Ann had made a plan for what we should do the next day. They had discussed it with their taxi driver on the way back from the spa earlier on. Everything they had in mind was a good 2 or 3 hour drive from the resort, so if we wanted to do the various trips they’d have to be spaced out over two days. We all discussed it with the staff of our resort to get a better feel for everything, then caught the shuttle bus into town. We were dropped off outside Starbucks, then walked down our second different street of the day to locate a lovely restaurant. It was called “Nomad” and prided itself on selling foods that contained no additives. There was a brief explanation at the front of the menu which told the story of the owner. He looked to be a successful man having founded several different businesses throughout Indonesia, and named the restaurant “Nomad” because of the many places his job takes him. Their food was great, and afterwards we walked back to Starbucks to get our shuttle back. Because we were running 5 minutes late, the driver had walked up the street to greet us, at first I almost mistook him for another taxi driver trying to get our business. I had to stop myself from shouting over “no thank you” when I recognised his face. Back at the resort we booked a taxi for another all day session tomorrow, and returned to our rooms. Sarah and I then got into bed and concluded the evening with a movie called “I give it a year”. To say its an example of a British comedy making a comeback is an insult. Neither of us found it funny, in fact, I imagine it was about as enjoyable as reading today’s post. If so, I am terribly sorry!











Day 175: 1 Day Later

Today saw the girls getting their dream come true. They finally got to spend the majority of the day on the beach, soaking up the sun. Whereas I stayed in the shelter of our room, writing away, adding the previous day to my collection. It was a far cry from the action packed day before, and was a familiar, slower sense of pace for us all. This will be a quick post because of how little happened, and will probably translate as a dull read because of such. But here it goes…

• We found ourselves waking up early once again, and to the joys of Sarah complaining because of how little sleep see achieved. She claimed over the past 2 nights she got a total of 8 hours. The girls were quick to put on the suntan lotion, and when everyone was ready we went out for breakfast.

• Anna took us to yet another different restaurant. It was on the beach, and had small tables that we knelt around to eat. I ordered banana porridge and a fruit shake, but was annoyed when I discovered I had forgotten to bring my anti inflammatories. By the time we finished our food and left, I had forgotten about forgetting them, and didn’t get around to taking my first one until 2pm. So much for 3 a day.

• Before the girls could sunbathe, there was the issue of how we were going to get to Chiang Mai for Songkran – the water festival. After stopping in a couple tourist information stores, we had to learn an unfortunate lesson. We could easily catch a bus to Bangkok, but all the buses from Bangkok to Chiang Mai were sold out. The only way we could possibly get there was if the people at the bus station were to run a reserve bus. This was a bus they ran when all others were sold out, and it was ran on a first come first serve basis. So there was no guarantee that if we left that night, and reached the station by the morning, that we’d get 3 seats. And if we were stranded in Bangkok that would have been the worst, as the only place that held any form of water fun was on Khoa San Road. In the end we came to a decision that we’d catch a boat to Koh Phangan, after seeing plenty of posters advertising Songkran related madness there.

• With heavy hearts because we weren’t going to make it to Chiang Mai, the girls headed to the beach, while I returned to the room. Hours went by that day, it turned out I had more to say about my rabies scare than I first thought. Eventually the girls returned to the room to tell me they were heading to the 7eleven for food. Moments before their arrival I’d taken a tablet, I thought it best to tag along and grab some food, as you’re not supposed to take them on an empty stomach.

• I put my blog on hold, then grabbed some pizza toasties and a bottle of water from the shop. Sarah then went back to the beach with Anna, and I returned to my work. A little later on the frizzy one returned, she was going back to her old dive school to see one of the girls. About half an hour later I was joined by the third occupant of casa del ****tip, when Sarah returned to the room. Another couple of hours passed, and in that time I had finished the blog, and began playing on my game again.

• When Anna came back we all went out for food. Not wanting to go back to any places we’d already been, we took a stroll around the area to find somewhere new, and preferably with wifi. About 10 minutes later we found a place called “El-Gringo”. They were offering a BBQ burger with salad, fries, and a soft drink for 129 baht (£3). Bargain. Plus they had wifi too. I used that to Skype my mum and put her mind at rest. I was feeling fine after being injected left, right, and centre, but I knew I’d worried her the night before. Even though she’s a nurse, she couldn’t help but google rabies and its medical treatments. I shouldn’t have told her until all my jabs were done, and I was 100% sure that I was ok. My mum was worried about my nan finding out over Facebook (that’s right, my nan is a Silversurfer) so she told her what had happened as well. Nothing spreads like panic I guess, by the end of the conversation, I think it’s safe to say my mum was a lot happier, and at ease with the situation. She let me go when my food arrived, then I had to do battle with the countless flies that continued to pitch all around us.

• After dinner, Sarah returned to the room because she was feeling tired, and Anna and I went to “Choppers bar” to watch a diving video she was excited about. The video contained footage of a group of people from her old dive school, they had gone out earlier that day and were scheduled to display it on the large projector screen at the bar. Anna was disappointed when we arrived, as all that was playing was an English football match. In the end we stopped in the 7Eleven for some drinks, then returned to our resort.

• We used the Internet outside reception for a while, before I left Anna to speak with her family. Sarah was awake when I got in, and was busy reading her kindle. Some hour later Anna returned to us, we left Sarah in the room and went out in search of a boat ride to Phangan for the next day. We tried 3 different companies, but all three were extortionists. The prices varied depending on the time, the cheapest being 350 baht for a 10am boat. We didn’t want one that early, and opted for the later boat at 3pm. For the luxury of having a lie in, and more time to get ready, we had to pay 420 baht. The boat journey only lasted an hour, making it the most expensive ride we’d had since England. £9 for one hour at sea, that was more than one nights accommodation. Seeing as we didn’t really have a choice, we reluctantly paid the fee, then headed back.

• During the walk I stopped at a pancake stall. This was no ordinary stall however, this was a stall that had famously made it into the Lonely Planet guide. The man running the stall was called Mr Ali, and he produced pancakes so quick that you’d think they were preheated ready mades. I had the Nutella banana option, and I could see why he’d made it in the book, it tasted fantastic.

• With a boat journey sorted, we then spent the rest of the evening in the room. I completed the game (no thanks to using answers from the Internet for the last 160) then got to work on the blog. When I finished the post and began getting ready for bed, I learned that our room was home to many creatures besides us. We had a gecko on the wall, Anna had a jumping spider in her bed, and there was a millipede (or centipede) on our bathroom wall. Anna killed the spider out of fear, but the other two survived. We then got into our beds, and I stayed up until 1:30am watching Boardwalk Empire. It was the perfect end to a very slow day.

Day 172: Anna-mal On The Loose

Yaaaaaay, today we finally met back up with Anna. She had been busy over the past month, working with young children at an orphanage in Cambodia. And when she wasn’t there, she was out exploring the country to see its many tourist attractions, including Angkor Wat. We didn’t do much to celebrate the reunion, instead we decided to save ourselves for the following day, on account of us all feeling a little tired. But here’s what happened on yet another hot day in Thailand.

• I never manage to sleep well when I know I have to be up early, and today was no exception. The alarm rang at 6am and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so tired. I stumbled around the room packing the last of my things, eating some cereal, and going through the morning rituals. Then the pair of us waited at reception for our taxi driver.

• Somewhere between 6:30am and 7am a lady showed up in a large 4X4. She took us all of 10 minutes down the road to the closest ferry port.

• After receiving our pink stickers for Koh Tao, the pair of us had to wait an hour for the boat to be ready. As we sat around a concrete table, we were befriended by an older British woman. She explained how her daughter was travelling, and that she’d just recently treated her to a couple weeks of luxury at a nice resort. The thing with backpacking is it soon gets tiring staying in budget places all the time. So if someone offers to take you to a nicer place, even somewhere as cheap as £15 a night, it’s seen as a luxury for people like us. The lady was heading to Bangkok to fly home, but was getting on the same boat as us, she went on ahead and that was the last we saw of her.

• At 8am everyone walked onto the rocky boat. Sarah and I found a couple seats together, so she decided to have a nap while I played on an addictive game called “alchemy”. The boat journey lasted 2 hours exactly, with various people getting on and off at the two islands we stopped at along the way.

• When we dismounted the boat, we then had the issue of not knowing how to find Anna. She too was arriving on a boat that morning, and should have been arriving at a similar time. Seeing as she hadn’t replied to any messages online, we only had to hope we’d bump into her. One by one the bags were unloaded, then when I collected ours we had to walk through the gauntlet of beckoning taxi drivers. Rather than accept any of their offers we kept walking until we found a place to have a drink.

• It was a small cafe called “Cozy”, they sold fruit shakes and food for a reasonable price. We thought, if we used their wifi, we would be able to see if Anna was online – she wasn’t, so we were left with a conundrum. I ordered a full English breakfast, and the pair of us ordered fruit shakes while we pondered over what to do next. While we were waiting for them to arrive, Sarah noticed a large frizzy hairdo bobbing up the hill outside. “There’s Anna”, she screamed excitedly, and immediately ran over.

• Anna came inside to join us and she filled us in on what she’d been up to. She hadn’t had much rest, because for the past day she’d been travelling 15 odd hours to reach Koh Tao. Her boat had come in from Bangkok, and arrived 10 minutes after ours. When we were done eating and drinking we began a search for accommodation. We bartered with a taxi driver to get the fare to a more reasonable price, and he took us to the main backpacker area. Koh Tao was also deceivingly large, with many roads winding all around the island.

• As we began our exploration by foot, we were rejected by the first hostel because they were full. The lady inside said that people were flocking to Koh Tao after having been to the neighbouring Phangan for the half moon party. We then began to panic when we thought we wouldn’t be able to find anywhere to stay. Someone must have been watching over us for what happened next. Roughly 700 metres away we found a bungalow resort called “Sairee Cottage Resort”. When Sarah went inside to enquire about availability and cost, they told her they had one building available for 1200 baht. This made it really cheap when split by three people, but Sarah just got that room by the skin of her teeth. 2 seconds later a guy walked in, and the only available room they then had cost 2000 baht a night.

• We had to wait 20 minutes for it to be cleaned. When it was ready. the receptionist walked us to the building. It was a lovely room with comfy beds and an en suite bathroom. The only issue we had was the heat. Because we were cheap and opted for fan, it meant it was cooler outside than in. Somehow the room acted like a car on a hot summers day, trapping in all the heat it could. A piece of advice to anyone reading this that is thinking about coming to the islands, pay the extra 8-10 quid for a/c, that way you won’t feel sticky and sweaty all the time.

• After dropping off our things and applying sun screen, we went to the beach. The most annoying thing about being near a beach, the second someone says “let’s go to the beach”, you can guarantee some idiot will sing the Starships song by Nicky Minaj! After the 3000th time of hearing it, it soon loses its charm.

• We spent the best part of 2 hours on the beach. The dry bag came with us so no one had to sit guard of our things, instead our possessions came with us in the water. The sea wasn’t that clear, and there were constant waves caused by the boats farther out. We floated about for a little while, with me ending up scratching my back on some rocks. Eventually we decided to get out and dry ourselves off, and went for dinner. There was a nearby restaurant on the beach which sold plenty of Thai dishes. I had a large plate of pineapple rice with chicken, while the girls had mushroom toast and tuna sandwiches. We were full by the end, and after paying we walked back along the beach.

• The girls were undecided at first. Initially they were going to sit on the beach some more to top up their tans. Sarah now had some serious competition in the form of the darkening Danish one. Anna only had to be in the sun for 10 minutes before she changed to a darker shade of brown. They decided against staying on the beach when I said I was returning to the room. But they agreed they’d do an all day tanning session the next day, Sarah even had plans to sabotage our friend from changing colour. Back at the room Anna and I ended up falling asleep for the next 5 hours, leaving Sarah to read her kindle, occasionally perking up whenever she thought we were beginning to stir.

• It was 8pm when we finally got up, then after getting ready, we all went out for food. I swear we are living like the animals you see on a wildlife documentary these days, sleep and eat, sleep and eat. Because Anna had been to Koh Tao before, she acted as our tour guide as we walked around the streets. We ended up in a Thai restaurant which was filled with tourists from all over. We base our opinions on restaurants by the amount of customers. I don’t think the employees spoke very good English, because when I ordered my Massaman curry I made the point of saying “no spicy”, yet when it arrived it nearly blew my mouth off. I got through it somehow, and when we were done, we retired to our resort for the night. Stopping in the 7Eleven for beer and milkshakes on the way. Outside the shop was a local man making pancakes lightning quick. Anna informed us that the man was in the Lonely Planet for his exceptional delicacies.

• We promised ourselves we’d go out properly the following night, but for this evening we’d take it steady and have a quiet one instead. Koh Tao is very similar to Phi Phi in a way, in the sense that it has a bustling night life. The only difference is it’s not as busy, which is nice because it means there aren’t as many drunken a******* wandering around. I ended up going back to the room first, leaving the girls to sit outside reception sucking up all the wifi like some social networking vampires. I played the Alchemy game for around half an hour before they showed up, then they became addicted to the cooking show that was on the television. All three of us didn’t get to bed until around 1am, with me staying up to type into the night about my day. It wasn’t the most exciting day to write about, but now we were with Anna again, things were beginning to look up.







Day 115: A Good Day To Die… of boredom from watching this movie

Well today was nothing special. I am beginning to grow weary of the island that is Langkawi. The problem with the islands? There’s only so much to do on them before feeling slightly marooned. Not much really happened today, not without trying though, allow me to explain…

• We woke up around 11am. Yes, eleven. Lazy I know.

• After much debate of what to do, in terms of eating or sitting on the beach first, we chose to eat. This was ultimately decided when we couldn’t go to the cable car. Not because it was closed like yesterday, but because it would have cost more in taxi fare than the activity itself. In the end Rosalie and myself booked up parasailing for 5pm that afternoon.

• McDonald’s was the location, and to stop the girls getting on my case for not eating much, I showed them how Ben Norris can really eat. Close to 2000 calories in one single sitting. That ought to shut them up. It didn’t, they felt disgusted by my feat.

• Back at the motel Sarah booked up some flights for 3 people. Me, her, and Sarah’s friend Rachel. Rachel would be flying out to meet us early March. A slight problem then occurred, she put in the wrong email address. That meant we had no confirmation of the flights. Then an online queue started, one that we never got to the front of. Much like all good crime mysteries, the issue remains unsolved.

• 5pm, time to go Rosalie. The pair of us had to wait for a good half an hour on the beach, before being told to follow a guy for the parasailing. He took us away with 5 other people in his van. We drove a mile or so down the street until we reached a second beach. There, we took it in turns to get harnessed up and attached to the back of a speedboat. Rosalie and myself flew together, to help speed up the whole process. If we were to have gone separately it would have taken ages to get through everyone.

We ran a few steps down the beach and before we knew it we were high in the sky. This was the first time I’d ever had a Dutch girl between my thighs… Ooh eeer. The experience – I’m talking about the parasailing now, was a bit of a let down. It felt quite rushed. We were only in the air for all of 7 minutes. The most exciting thing we saw was a black shadow swimming under the water. I was expecting to be lowered down and taken high, not the factory process which we received. At the end I had to pull down hard on the ropes to steer us back in, then the instructors grabbed us as we landed. It was then back to the car where we were returned to Sarah and Anna.

• Back at the Motel we all showered, before heading out the front doors for food. We had a plan, book up a snorkelling trip for the next day, have some food, then go to the cinema (again!). We had food first, as the stall we wanted to book the trip was closed. We didn’t go to McDonald’s this time however, instead, chose a local restaurant selling traditional food. It was good, but no 2000 calories. After food the stall was still closed, so we chose another place to take our business. It cost the same price, so we booked it there and then. The bus would arrive the next morning at 8am! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

We had missed the 8pm viewing of the new Die Hard movie, but after looking up times we saw another was showing at 9:45pm. We then caught a taxi and arrived with 15 minutes to spare. The cinema was in a multiplex like usual. We had to go all the way to the top floor of the building, like usual. When we bought our tickets and popcorn it was cheap, like usual. The film was a complete let down as far as the franchise goes. They should have stopped with the last one, and much like our diving instructor once told us:
I think he was referring to an easy way of remembering the safety checks before a dive, but I felt as though it applied in this case.

After the movie we then had the displeasure of finding our way out of the building, and also a taxi outside. This always seemed to happen, perhaps we should start watching earlier screenings, as whenever the movie ends we’d find ourselves trapped in a closing, or already closed complex. The only way that gave us our freedom was to ride the elevator to the basement. It took several wrong floors before discovering that. Outside no taxis passed by. Lots of traffic but not a single one. A police car drove by at one point but didn’t stop, even when Rosalie tried waving them down after mistaking it for a cab. That’s reassuring should there ever be any real trouble.

Eventually one did show up, and for the same price as our arrival (£24 ringgit/£5) we were taken to our motel. In the room the girls did a quick pack for the next day, I wrote this for you guys, and set an alarm for 7:15 the next morning. The end!