25.03.2007 - 10.04.2007 33 °C
After a fantastic time in Cambodia we headed to south of Thailand to enjoy some relaxation and sunshine before we head back to reality - England. Before booking the bus south me made a quick call to Quantas we delay our flight back to Heathrow by 4 days. At this point the end was in sight and desperation had set in to extend our adventure for as long as possible. The thought of going back had to be still a long way in the future.
We booked a bus and ferry link journey to Ko Tao. The bus journey was probably one of the worst we had had on out whole 6 months. This was not due to the poor road conditions like we have had in Bolivia, it was not a particularly bad bus or anything like that, but it was because we had the smallest leg room on the whole bus, a guy behind us who was hideously drunk who i thought was going to puke on me any minute and lastly the fact that we arrived at the random town ferry terminal 2 hours early. With the 2 guys in front of us reclining their seat as far as possible and with minimal room for legs anyway, I just about managed to squeeze in to the feotal position while Rob could only sit with his legs streched out to the aile! After the rather cramped overnight trip to the ferry terminal, we arrived at about 4 in the morning and had a 2 hour kip before the ferry left for Ko Tao. That 2 hour sleep on a cold wet saltly bench next to the ferry was heaven after the bus journey.
Ko Tao is absolutley beautifull and definatley the closest to paradise we have been during this trip. The water is so clear, the island is small, not too much tourism and the atmosphere is so relaxing. We hunted once again for the cheapest accomodation but knowing we were now getting closer to the end of our trip we found lovely small bungalow on the beach (they also had the biggest mugs of tea I have had during our travels).
After doing very little for 5 days in Ko Tao we thought it was about time we visited another one of the islands on the east side of Thailand. The Full Moon party was a couple of days away so there was no chance we were going to get any accomodation on Ko Phangan so Ko Samui it was. We were looking forward getting our lazy bums off the beach and doing some watersports on the island for a couple of days. We hopped on the catarmaran for Ko Samui and arrived approx. 1 1/2 hours later. Within 5 minutes of 'landing' on the much larger island, we realised we had made a mistake. The island was far too over developed and there was definately too many tourists. We headed to a recommended accomodation from the lonely planet and checked in with a huge price per night. We hired a scooter to check out the island for the next two days. We managed to find a small beach cove on the east side of the island where we could swim without the crowds of the more popular beaches. On our journey back to our hut, we had a puncture. Great we thought, another added expense. Well after a quick change of inner tyre and 2 pounds down later we were back on route. The next day we headed back to Ko Tao knowing our 2 days in Ko Samui had been an expensive waste of time.
On the night of the Full moon party we headed to the largest beach in Ko Tao to have our own full moon party!! We joined the rest of the parents and kids for dinner on the beach and began to realise we had made a bit of a mistake. We began to drown our selves with sorrow and quickly downed a couple of 'buckets of joy'. The following morning the buckets of joy turned into toilet of joy!!! Fighting for the loo seat Rob and I felt the after effects of drinking and spent the day on our balcony and in the restaurant having numerous cups of tea!!
A couple more days of swimming with fish, kyaking from bay to bay around the island, scootering around and we found our selves on a catarmaran and bus link journey back to Bangkok. This was now the end of our journey! What seemed to be a lifetime away from even starting was now ending. The journey back to Bangkok was a delight compared to our previous experiences. We booked oursleves into a nice hostel with air conditioning and white sheets for the next few nights. With only a few days left we decided to spend it shopping, drinking, eating, and also do a Thai cooking course.
We met up with our cooking teacher outside our hostel and headed for the local market closer to where the cheif lived. Now this really was away from the tourists and inamoungst the locals doing their local shops.
The excitment of seeing our family was slightly shaded by the fact that that was it, it was all over. We now have only our memories and stories to tell. This has to be the best 6 months of our lives ever!