I needed a return ticket, and was aware that next week the Songkran (Water) Festival was going to be celebrated throughout Thailand, so I ended up buying tickets which, including the ferry, cost almost ฃ50. I knew I was paying over the odds so asked the price of the public bus, but it was it was only ฃ5 cheaper.
Although it was expensive, I believed the woman when she told me that all the tickets had sold out due to the festival and I also wanted a bit of a break before tackling Nepal. I was raging mad, like a rabid dog, when I discovered that the return ticket should only have cost ฃ7.5!!!! So I am determined to go back, stand in front of the agency, and tell tourists my story until I get some type of refund.
Nevertheless I am quite liking this place. It is the second largest island in Thailand after Phuket, it is also a Marine National Park and is mostly covered in forest. It is a mixed bag - the coast, especially the West side, is heavily developed for a few hundred metres in from the sea but otherwise is proper thick, bushy, rainforest.
The Thai Government is trying to make it more upmarket, and I must say that it is more expensive that other places I have been but, after searching, I managed to find a bungalow for a fiver, not near the beach but just nice enough. The only problem with the place was that my first bungalow had a nest of bees under the door and one stung me, so I had to rush to the toilet to piss on my leg.........
On the ferry across to the island I met three kiwis, a couple and another girl, who were travelling together for a few months. They are now off to Frankfurt, not sure why. Anyway, we hung out for the last three days. I have always said that this trip was about me broadening my horizons, expanding my mind. Well, Sheldon, the guy, was a hippie with dreadlocks....now if that is not me changing I don't know what is.
Why did we decide to take this road?
As the days went by we got on really well, especially on the last day whn we went down to the very South of the island, looking for a place called Long Beach where I would be able to snorkel. After hitting several dead ends, and the road turning into a dirt track, I thought they were probably ready to kill me, but they loved it......it was the road less travelled, in the frekking middle of nowhere. Keila had to get off her bike as some of the slopes were so steep her motorbike would not carry both of them.
The guys have now left, but I have decided to spend a few more days here. I am either here or in dirty Bangkok waiting for Ignasi and the Germans who arrive on the 11th before we head to Nepal.
So here I am, just chilling, realizing that I am getting so tanned that the hairs on my arms are going blonde.
It is a hard life.....