No great bus journey is complete without a conductor shouting at you at 1am to get off the bus. The restaurant that we had conveniently stopped in front of, along with 5 other buses, had a selection of stale and rancid curries on offer. However, this worked to their advantage, with a storming trade in Pringles. It was a unique stop, in that they offered to charge your phone for 20baht. Must be a desperate situation to need to charge a phone for 30minutes before being whisked off again. Katherine was hitting it off with the 2x Belgian girls. A mutual dislike of the NYC girl the night before and everyone smoking in our vicinity when we had found a quiet spot, meant for an talkative 40mins before being allowed back on the bus.
A bit of restless sleep and we were shouted off the bus again at 6am – this time in the bus companies own personal depot, complete with toilets they charge for and a shop that sold sandwiches, more Pringles and cigarettes. Of course, the mark up was worthy of a Sheikh. A further hour sat on our ass, twiddling our thumbs and we were ferried back in the bus with other arrivals to go to the Donasak ferry terminal. This terminal was proper nice, i.e. clean, free toilet, comfortable seating, glorious views and food that was affordable. We got chatting with Claire and Caroline again and sat together for the ferry to the island. A rather leisurely (and not so painful) three hours later we only briefly stopped at Koh Samui before arriving at Koh Phangan. Oh the joys of travelling. Almost 18hours to get from A to B. The taxi tuktuk drivers charged us 100baht each for the privilege of 6.7km and we arrived at our charming little resort. Pad Thai noodles with the waves crashing on the beach.
Our beach is not the picture perfect postcard setting that one might expect. It has seaweed, rubbish and the low tide reveals silty areas with coral fragments. But, the herons munch on the sand fleas, crabs hide in our stretch of vegetation between neighbouring resorts and the view is still pretty awesome and the sound still magical. A delicious dinner later that evening, a few episodes of tv and the day ended pretty damn well. Saturday 15th October 2016
Sniffing all night, constant wriggling and when she did get some sleep I’m sure it was with bad dreams – fitful and restless. Then there was the beeping: a car honking away from someone who had clearly blocked in him/her and they were pissed. So it continued for at least 15mins. There was always the hope of falling back to sleep and getting an hour rest, but no, the brain had clearly written off any decent rest for the night. A cruel joke and I’m now pretty tired writing today’s blog.
A few hours adding photos to blog, a leisurely shower and we finally descended to reception to continue work on the laptop and iPad. I found a nice vacancy for January 2017, so even though the deadline isn’t for another fortnight, it was best to plough through it and that way have the opportunity to apply for something else at another time. Katherine went and got us lunch. A nice treat of a toastie sandwich AND a pot of noodles. It kept me going for the afternoon and even when I wanted to throw the little netbooks across the room – the little blue circle constantly spinning, but not loading my gmail to send the application. I think the combination of guests watching Power Rangers and the staff watching a live stream of events was crippling the poor wifi. I do not for one second begrudge the staff this streaming – watching events and mourners after the loss of their king. Suspicions the night before were confirmed and the sadness was felt in the city.
I grabbed us a take away dinner from our restaurant. The streets were relatively quiet, but traffic was already a nightmare. I think businesses are closing early and everyone is off to pay their respect to the royal family. 2x sets of red curry later and we hailed a taxi to get us to the station. Leaving earlier than necessary for precaution, we were there with almost an hour before our bus should arrive. The railway station seems more organised than we remembered it from 3 years ago and the air conditioning was blissful. Sticking our heads outside before 18:50 at the rendez-vous, we waited another 40minutes before a rep appeared to tell us the bus was severely delayed in the traffic. Go back inside and enjoy the cool air. I love this rep.
We noticed that somewhere between 70 – 90% of the Thai nationalities were wearing black. Staying out of the way in the main hall we watched the throng of tourists flit about with the stickers we had been tagged with. Now on a bus at 21:10, Katherine has had her toes rolled over, an elbow to the tummy and a reclining chair bang her knees… all from the same obnoxious girl from NYC. My ears are bleeding from the mixtures of loud laughter, incessant coughing, constant chatter and the rattle of the overhead luggage compartment. I did say I was tired, I may just kill someone during the night – I have been watching a few episodes of Dexter, I’ll only take out the ones interrupting my serenity and calm. 😜 Enough petty talk and jest, I’m going to watch something on the iPad and hopefully get some sleep.
Friday 14th October 2016