Dec 16, 2018

The continuing adventures of Penny Dreadful

Nov 15
Travel day today, so I grabbed a songthaew (local taxi) to the airport, checked in, had my luggage weighed, (1.5 kg over, oops) moved some stuff to the hand luggage and purchased an iced Thai latte, which I have come to love. Can't decide what flavour Thai tea is, but it's very nice.
Unfortunately, in my haste to reduce the weightin my luggage, I took out my toiletries bag, which was full of bottles of  banned liquid........

Notices everywhere go on about the liquids thing, only one bag, blah blah blah. I usually split my supplies into 2, and then make sure I have at least 2 trays, one bag in each. But I only had one plastic bag, and when I asked the Airport Information person for another one, she shrugged her shoulders disinterestedly and looked at me like I was an earwig on the floor.  And the one  'official' bag I had was too small. Luckily I found an old plastic bag at the bottom of my pack, so bundled everything in there, and hoped for the best. And it worked!
On the second plane of the trip, they just let the backpack go through at 11. 5kg...........

So, 1hr flight, get off, find luggage, check out, check in again, wait in gate 44. Another hour flight, find luggage, find ferry operator, get ticket, get on bus, get off bus, get another ticket, discover its going to be an hour later than I thought, find there's no WiFi, or phone signal, so I can't let Will know to pick me up an hour later, get on ferry, drop my drinks bottle and break it, move seats to avoid gang of teenage boys running amok, and settle down for the 2.5 hr trip. Exhausting!

Had to move again to avoid the teenagers, but we soon arrived and Will was there with his trusty scooter, having spent the extra hour in the ice cream cafe.
I hopped on the back of the scooter, ton weight bag on my back and we set off. Was completely shit scared of falling off, all the way to their house, but I managed to cling to Will, and stay on.
The house is lovely but it's a bit of a death trap, lol. The last bit of the path is so steep I nearly didn't make it, hah, and the downstairs kitchen has rocks embedded in the floor, to trip you up as you stumble about searching for the light switch, conveniently placed at the furthest point away from point of entry. And that's if you make it down the stairs, which are very narrow, and the last one is a big gap away from its predecessor. Somehow, I survived the obstacle course, and had a much needed cup of tea, before collapsing under my mozzie net and trying to sleep, in the sauna-like room. No air con, which I am struggling with. Had to get up a few times, to plug in my phone, and to move the fan - which doesn't have a cover, so I nearly lost my fingertips....but I actually did sleep reasonably well in the end.

Arriving at Koh Phangan

Death trap path

Worth it when you get there!

It was so lovely to see Ellie again after nearly 6 months, and it was so nice of them to offer to put me up in their house, but the lack of A/C , coupled with my own personal central heating was more than I could bear.  I managed to find a cheapish bungalow (1000 B per night, about £21) in a resort type place on the beach not too far from them, so I moved in there Saturday morning.
Oh, the blessed air con is so wonderful! It took at least 2 hours for me to cool down properly, after which I felt SO much better, and not at all like going home anymore.
Later on they came to get me, and we had lunch at my place while it rained, and then we set off for Thong Sala (3on a bike! Oooerrrr) to get ice cream, look at the shops and check out the market.
I bought a few things, a sarong, a coconut spoon, and we had snacks, pork on a stick, deep fried sweet potato balls and curry/bacon and cheese puffs.
We had to be at the Crow Bar by 6 for the pub quiz, and when we got there I discovered that they have wine! And I met some of Ellie's friends which was nice.
We could've done with John for the quiz, but we still managed to come second, and win a round of shots! Ellie and I had gin, but then got tonic/lemonade to go with, as gin is completely disgusting on its own...... And they'd run out of wine by then. We would've had a Bailey's, but they'd run out of that as well - and Ellie's friend Wendy, who had the last shot of it, discovered a dead gecko at the bottom of her glass........ Luckily she was too pissed to care!

Wendy spots extras at the bottom of her glass

But she doesn't seem to mind too much

Nov 16/17/18/19
The next few days passed in a blur of beach life, eating lovely food in all Ellie's favourite restaurants, swimming, (except for when I saw the jellyfish), worrying about the weather and if we'd be able to stay here till Thurs or if a cyclone was coming in, and visiting a beautiful waterfall near their house.
It reminded me of the river at the bottom of the garden of our house in NZ, deep pools and shallow bits to paddle in, surrounded by jungle. And it was lovely and cold! There were loads of tiny fish who nibbled at your feet! I didn't have my cossie with me, so I hope we can go back another day, so I can actually get in and swim.

The lovely Grandma of Grandmas kitchen, who looked after Ellie and Will during their stay on Koh Phangan

My lovely (aircon) beach house

Shakes To Go, eat your heart out

We ended up last night at the 360 bar to watch the spectaclier sunset, and then afterwards at a restaurant that does nice curry. I had the massaman, (not spicy) and Ellie had green curry (very spicy). She saved some of it for Will's breakfast.

The weather seems to be ok, so we are staying till Thurs 22, then getting a ferry/bus overnight to Bangkok. The bus to Cambodia leaves on the 24th, so we stay one night in Bangkok ( there's a song in there somewhere) before departing on the 9 hour bus journey into the electricity starved, and wifi-less primitive wilds of Cambodia. Well that's what we've heard anyway. Bit nervous now!

Nov 29, 2018

I miscalculated slightly when booking things, so I have an extra day here in Chiang Mai, and then I fly/bus/ferry out to Koh Phangan on Thurs. So looking forward to meeting up with Ellie. <3

This means that I don't have to get up early today! I forgot to turn the 7am alarm off unfortunately, but I went right back to sleep until 11am, which means I missed my included breakfast again. But when I got downstairs, muttering, 'toast, toast', the lovely lady running the hostel took pity on me, and rustled up a late breakfast. Fried egg, frankfurter, lettuce (?), and toast. Well, I say toast, but it was actually barely warmed white bread. Never mind, as soon as it was smeared with Marmite, it was perfectly acceptable.

I decided to make for the touristy but interesting-sounding Night Bazaar. This is about a walk of 12 mins, but I managed to drag it out to about 5 hours, by stopping in shops, coffee bars, and many temples on the way.

Second breakfast was much nicer than the first, consisting as it did of a large plate of fruit, without any extra sugar on it, and a proper iced Thai lemon tea, also without sugar, which was absolutely delicious. They even had some very cute kittens, wandering about and attacking my feet, as they do.

Many shops later, having replaced my ripped up shorts, purchased the obligatory Elephant trousers, along with a few other elephant related things, I stumbled on a beautiful little  hotel, where I managed to get hold of a cheese salad sarni with chips. Absolute heaven, I am so missing cheese! And yet more lemon tea.

I eventually arrived at the night bazaar, where everybody was laying out all their stuff, most of it pretty similar to everybody else's stuff really. As I am already overloaded, I quelled the urge to buy more things, and settled on a henna tattoo, another iced Thai tea in Starbucks, and a couple of massages. At £2 for 30 min back, head and shoulder massage, it would be criminal not to. And after that, I felt that it was only right to indulge in another wonderful foot massage, for the same excellent value. If it was this cheap at home, I'd have one every day.

Decided to have an early night in preparation for tomorrow's trip to Koh Phangan, so I went to bed at about 8.30. 
But could I sleep, no, I bloody couldn't. Got up and ate my snacks for tomorrow at about 11......Then, more trying to sleep, eventually got off about 2. And had to get up at 6.30am.  Ho hum, gonna miss Chiang Mai, I love it. Definitely coming back here one day.