The Final Chapter
11.03.2010 - 21.03.2010 37 °C
A Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening to you all - wherever you happen to be reading my last blog entry from. I am now here in Thailand with Steve enjoying his wonderful company, the fabulous Thai food, great hospitality and stunning scenery. I am more tanned than ever before, having spent the last 6 months in SUNSHINE! Hehehehahahahahahah. Every country I have been to was having, or is still having, their Summertime so I have been a very lucky lady to have had the sun bless me...
You may well wonder what the story surrounding the title of this blog entails... Well, on one particular starry night in island number '4' of the Ko Similan's (there are 9 islands in the Ko Sim's) myself and Mr Steve had to contend with all three of these animals (only one of them gave us no bother). We opted to spend the night in a tent (having been given the choice of staying in a bungalow or a tent we decided to rough it for once) only we hadn't given much thought about what would be hovering above us, alongside us and beneath us while we slept. Whilst looking for tent number 37, we came to stand in front of a small green tent covered in what looked to be a huge mass of bird droppings. But this poo had not come from a bird, for we soon realised from looking above us that we would be now sharing our living space with mammals from the BAT KINGDOM.
Throughout the night they were alive and kicking, and so too were we. But for all the wrong reasons you see. At one point in the night I awoke to Steve throwing a water bottle at the side of our tent. "What are you doing?!" I knew it wouldn't be good news waiting for me. "There's a rat running alongside our tent!" Nooooooooooooooooooo! Not again?! Could this be the cousin of the rat from Nepal? "Please don't tell me it's inside our tent?!" No - he's running along outside our tent but he's just bashed 'imself into me because I bashed 'im first with my bottle! Oh mi. An angry rat. Next thing I know the rat's come over to my side of the tent and I can see his fat shadow running behind my head. I bash him with my bare hand (via the tent of course) but he withstands my strength and carries on running along like I've done him no wrong. My mind flashes back to the set of rubbish bins I noticed earlier on positioned rather closely to our tent. Then it makes sense to me as to why this rat is so determined not to lose this battle over ground space...Well, Mr Steve got back to sleep that night. I don't think I actually fell asleep properly until 6am. The bats flying overhead us, with all their squealing and squawking certainly didn't give a rat's a*se about my lack of sleep.
As for the chicken crabs, well at 8pm (before the rats and the bats had surfaced) we were invited to follow our Thai tour guide, who we had decided to call 'Dennis' (from looking remarkably similar to Mr Wise from the ol' Chelsea FC days) into the darkness of the forest. "You want to see 'Chicken Crab'? We show you". Apparently this Thai crab gets its name from the sound of its claws snaping together sounding like a chicken! Anyway we're following Dennis, along with the rest of the sheep brigade, into the depths of the forest - torchlight in hand (borrowed from Dennis). Mr Steve and I find ourselves right at the back of the group, having been pushed and shoved out of the way by the eager sheep crew wanting their prized photographic evidence of the Chicken Crab. From seeing the bright flashes of light and the sounds of clicks from multiple digital cameras, and of course the sound of "ooooh's" and "arrrr's" accompanying them, we realise the Chicken Crab must be in sight. What we didn't expect to see was Dennis actually grasping the poor thing in his hands, while people shoved their cameras towards it blinding it with their lights, most probably shocking it to death, all for the sake of taking some greedy photograph. Chicken Crab looked scared and so was I from looking at the behaviour of those around us.
Rewind to earlier that day. Mi oh mi. The sights we have been priviledged to witness. The reason we found ourselves in the Ko Similans in the first place was to experience a 2-day snorkelling tour. We took a fast boat from Khao Lak, which took just under 2 hours. And what did we see on the way?! DOLPHINS! They were jumping and diving next to us as the boat sped along! We stopped at one point to take photos but you couldn't tell where they'd spring up from next so didn't get a shot of them - sorry! After this unscheduled stop, we were taken to numerous islands of the Ko Similans (all given numbers like 9, 8, 7,...). Oh it's been marvellous! This was our first experience of being in the most crystal-clear waters you can imagine with giant turtles swimming around us; the brightest coloured fish dashing in and out amongst protected-coral. Yes, we swam like we were in our very own giant fish tank with so much to explore and see. We were considering going on a diving course at first and I'm glad we didn't. We were happy with our borrowed snorkels (but not so happy with the fins, which didn't fit and just got in the way!)
Talking of fins...on the last day of our snorkelling tour when we were being taken to yet another beautiful island, my fins were taken off me for it appeared to the staff that I had taken someone elses! It looked to me that someone had probably lost theirs and then said that the ones I was holding belonged to them! I was not impressed. Especially when Dennis said "You will have to pay if you cannot find them. 1500 Baht." No Dennis, that aint gonna happen. Luckily, I got to go back on the boat and found myself another pair that looked just like mine. Phew...don't want no Thai police coming after me, that's for sure!
A few days before this, Steve got to go on his first Elephant ride! Our Elephant was named, we think - 'Nike', and she was 28 years old - my age! We couldn't believe how she was able to manouvre herself (and us) around big rocks and shrubs to take us around the National Park here in Khao Lak. There were certainly a couple of times when we thought we would actually fall off, and we were very grateful that she got us back safely to our starting point later on. After dismounting, I gently placed my hand on her head and I kept it there a short while. It was then that I saw a tear falling from her eye. Do elephants cry out of saddness? I still can't believe what I saw happen.
Today we are taking a taxi back to Phuket Airport so we can get our flight back to Bangkok (for our flight back to UK on Tuesday!). Neither of us were that impressed with Bangkok when we arrived on 9th March. Perfect if you're into your shopping, prostitutes and lady boys though! We spent 3 nights in Majestic Grande Hotel - beautiful 5* luxury - but unfortunately our hotel was also being used like some brothel. On our second night in Bangkok we went to see some Thai Boxing - we could have been at a football game listening to the sounds of the fans! Great entertainment all round...
Well I guess that's it from me. I want to thank you all for taking this journey with me. I hope you have all enjoyed reading my stories and looking at my photos from the last 6 months! Thank you all for your comments and kind messages that you have sent me from the other side of the world. I'm looking forward to seeing you all again when I get back on British soil.
With All My Love,