Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Koh Toa Dirt Biking & Last Night In Hat Rin

Day 78

    I had seen some sweet dirt bikes for rent the day before so I got up early and got one from a guy on the side of the street for 300 baht and took off not knowing where I was going, but on a mission to find some jungle trails to rip around. The bike was a 2009 KLX140 so it was quite small but actually had some good power and its size made it much more manageable on tight trails. The first dirt road I saw I zipped up with a huge smile on my face just happy to be riding a dirt bike again since it had been so long. The road gradually narrowed until I was off in the jungle on a single track trail just loving life.


 Trails splintered off in every direction and I intended to hit every one of them. Came to the top of the mountain which overlooked the island and stopped to admire the view.

     Some of the trails became quite technical and I got into some pretty hectic situations more then once. At one point the trail got so washed out and steep I knew if I went down there was no way I could go back. I stopped and contemplated the situation and walked down the section planning my line. Whats an adventure without a little unknown so I took off sliding down the slippery hill pretty out of control and barely avoided falling off the side into the washout. 

Soon the trail mellowed out and I found a random hammock in some tree's so I stopped and chilled there for a good amount of time just resting.


     Being almost in a euphoria from being able to ride in such a beautiful and differnt enviornment I dident even think about my gas situation until the bike started sputtering and losing power until it died in the middle of no where. Oh great the nearest gas was probably an hour hike so I got off and started walking until I came across a seemingly abondoned rock quarry with old heavy equipment in delapatated conditions. I found some old irrigation tubing on the ground along with a empty coke bottle and stuck the tube into a tractor hoping to be able to syphon enough gas to get me back to town. To my luck there was gas which inevitably got all in my mouth before I transfered it to the coke bottle. Gas here is red for some reason which is the same color as farm diesel back home so I was not 100% sure it was even petrol. I walked back to the bike and poured it into the tank and the bike fired right up, back in action!

     Took another bulldozer "road" to the other side of the island and came to an amazing bay with little bungalows strewn about the beach. This place was seriously out of the way and would be a great place to stay and just get away from it all with your girlfriend or something.

Back into the mountains again taking every trail I saw, some also getting quite hard but having a ton of fun. 

      I somehow ended up back on the main paved road and took it into town and to the south of the island where I came across a big psy-trance rave party in the mountains. I stopped and walked in and was pretty taken back by the scene. It was all decorated in psycodelic colors and there was a DJ spinning extremely loud techno music with strange looking people drugged out of their minds dancing around some passed out face first in the dirt. It reminded me alot of Reggae On The River Festival back home in California but in the jungle. I was obviously the only person not on drugs there and seemed to stick out quite a bit getting weird looks from everyone as I walked around just laughing at the whole situation.

 I stayed about an hour and then got back on the bike and down to a very small beach where I had a beer and took a short nap in the hammock.
     I had been to every part of the island except one bay so I rallyed over there and came to a very fancy resort which I walked around for a bit. It was all built into the stone cliffs and looked like an amazing place to stay, to bad it was $400 a night! 

     Went down to another random beach and saw some locals playing soccor and playing the drums so I hung out with them for a bit. 

      As I was on my way back to my room I heard some very loud Thai music coming from a hut so I rode by and there was a family of local Thai's singing Kareoke on the porch of their house. As I rode by they started yelling and motioning for me to come over and sing. I turned around and was greeted with a beer and lots of smiles and hand shakes. No one really spoke any english but they were having a ball of a time so I sat down with them tried to communicate with semi sucess. They were all very friendly and introduced me to all their friends and family as they sang into the microphone hooked up to a ghetto stereo system and a black and white TV. 

       They kept giving me beer after beer and then it turned into Thai whiskey shots and before I knew it I was pretty drunk and freestyling into the mic over Thai music with everyone clapping and playing make shift instraments. Ive got it all on video but its pretty embarassing and will never see the light of day ;)
     Dont know how long I was there but it must of been pretty late by the time I decided it was time for me to go to bed. I stood up and could barely even walk strait. There was no way I was going to ride my dirt bike home without disaster so I ended up spending the night on the porch of their hut which actually was not half bad haha. Quite the evening and well the whole day was amazing, one of the best so far.

     Didn't really do much at all today because I was so worn out from the Full Moon Party. I got some food hung out on the beach and swam in the ocean.

The restaurant had the movie Iron Man on so I watched it lounging and relaxing. then showered. We all went out to Had Rin again for dinner and drinks. It was strange to see the beach without thousands of people on it but to my surprise there were still a lot of people out tonight. We had some rum buckets and danced for a while on the beach having a good time.

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Years Eve Full Moon Party!

DAY 77
     Chris got up first today while I laid in bed catching up on rest because I am probably going to be up all night tonight.We both went around the corner to use the internet to message people to meet up with for new years. We also sent emails wishing our family and friends a happy new year. Around 11 we went to get some food. Chris's bus leaves at 12 and I will hang around a bit longer and leave at 2:30.
    Chris got packed and I walked with him to the tour office and we split up. Chris took my bag to Koh Tao with him and I had just my small bag with my camera money and extra shirt. I hung around the room watched tv and then checked out of the hotel at 2pm. On the bus I met some really cool people and we all hung out on the boat talking and trading travel stories.  

      When we got to Phangan we walked around the beach and had some food. The beach was filling up fast at dusk and I could already tell it was going to be crazy night.

     We hung out on the beach sitting in a group drinking our first drinks of the night. The beach was covered with people and everyone was in high spirits and had huge smiles on their faces. I lost this crew after not to long and roamed the beach by myself dancing and meeting all sorts of crazy people, some new and some I had met along this trip in other countries.

       I went to mushroom mountain for a while which was on the beach hillside and watched fireworks for a while. Close to midnight I went to the other end of the beach where there was a stage. It was overloaded with people and it colapsed in the middle. It was really funny as a Thai guy tried to tell everyone to get off the stage but everyone was to drunk and continued to dance on the broken stage.

   I saw a Canadian couple I had met in Ton Sai and met a girl from Finland and we all hung out on a rooftop balcony watching all of the people on the beach. With the loud music and packed beach it was quite a sight to behold especially from above.

     At around 3 am I met up with Beth one of the English girls we had met on Phuket and we partied together until 4 am.

      I had no place to stay yet and so I went with her to her bungalow 15 minutes away. The taxi truck was packed full of people and we had to hang off the back the whole 15 min ride and im surprised we made it back to the bungalow alive. I was really tired from all night dancing and we crashed out right away. We both crashed out totally exhausted from the crazy 2010 new years full moon party Koh Phangan.

    Since I had just gotten out of the hospital the day before I decided to go to Ko Tao Island to chill out while Zev went to Ko Phanang for the huge full moon new years party. We parted ways at about noon and I got in a mini bus to the boat. The driver kept stopping and turning around randomly and was late from the beginning so I barely made it on the boat, by barely I mean the boat was unhooked and leaving and I had to throw my bags and jump from the dock. About an hour later the boat stopped at Ko Phanang and most of the people got off leaving just a few of us to continue another hour or so to Ko Tao.
     Pull up to the dock and am greeted by crystal clear water and some very interesting rock formations along the beach. 

    I got a taxi to the center of town and then went on a search for accommodation. I had both my backpack and Zev's and it was just brutal to carry that much weight so I left them at a hotel reception desk and went on. Since it was new years eve everywhere was full, I must of went to 20+ places and none had rooms. I started to loose hope and thought id be sleeping on the beach when I came across a little booth where the lady said she had one room left for 600 baht, I took it without question.
   I dropped off all our bags and went to the beach for sunset and got some food. I was pretty tired so I took a nap only to wake up at 11:30pm so I got up and went down to the New Years beach parties. Cruised around for a bit watching tons of fireworks and hanging out with some people until about 3am when I came back and went to bed.

Koh Samui Day 2

DAY 76

     I was up at 6am for my final checks from the nurse and released with a clean bill of health. I went to the accounting area to pay the bill and was absolutely shocked at the bill. $1000 US Dollars for the night in the hospital!!  Ive been to 4 hospitals on this trip and they have never been over $25 dollars so this was pretty steep. I have travel insurance but I sure hope they cover all this. I paid the bill in full and rode back towards our hotel.

      I got up at 11am and did a workout in the room with the iPod speakers bumping. I waited around for Chris to come back but there was no sign of him. It was 12 already and Chris was still not back so I took the computer next door to check my email. I was on the net for a while but had no message from him. Just as I left to go back to the room Chris appeared on his motor bike and I greeted him with a big hug. He told me about his whole hospital ordeal and that he was fine. It was only a bad case of dehydration and he was just not drinking enough water. They gave him a drip and all of his tests came back fine so he was good to go.
     He was still a bit tired and weak from dehydration so he climbed into bed and took a nap right away. Soon after that the German girls came by to say goodbye because they had gotten more expensive room up the street. I went on a walk to 711 to get some snacks for us because Chris needed to rest and brought them back to the room. Chris was fast asleep when I returned so I took off on a walk all the way down the beach and back.
     When he got up we went around to some travel agencies to get our boat tickets to the other islands for new years. I decided I was going to Koh Phanang for the full moon party while Chris still not in full health was going to Koh Tao for a more mellow new years. After we booked our separate boat tickets we came back to the room and put on another movie. I am sending my big bag with Chris to Koh Tao because I have no idea where I will be staying in Koh Phangan. I am only bringing my small bag with my camera and an extra shirt. I  am super excited about tomorrow and am typing today's events now because I don't think I will sleep or have time to type in the next few days.

Koh Samui

DAY 75

     We got off the boat in the morning and got in Tuk Tuks to find ourselves accommodation. We were not sure where we were going but the lonely planet said that Lami beach south of Chawang beach was where we might find cheap accommodation. Some German girls from the boat came with us to look for a hotel. They were not used to the ghetto backpacker style that we were accustomed to and were a little taken back at the rooms that we found actually quite nice. The rooms for us were a huge step up from the Ton Sai monkey infested jungle bungalows. They had TVs a stereo a DVD player, hot water maker, two double beds, a fridge and were very spacious. We took showers to clean up after our all night journey and had a quick nap then check out the beach.


     Chris had decided to go get checked out at the hospital today around noon, so I left him at the room and went for food with the girls.

      Almost positive I had some bad sickness I rented a scooter and rode into the main town to find a hospital and see a real doctor to figure this out once and for all. I arrived at the Thai International Hospital and told the nurse my symptoms and they immediately gave me a make shift room and put me on a IV drip saying I was suffering from severe dehydration. They also took blood sampled to get tested in the lab. As I waited there for a real room to be ready three guys my age came in one with a badly broken leg from a scooter accident on another island. I talked with the injured guy who was very bloody and bruised up but still smiling. This made me not feel so bad.
     My room was ready and they wheeled me in, I felt like a dying patient with all the doctors and nurses around me it was a weird feeling. The room was nice and I got the nurse to get me a stack of bootleg Family Guy DVD's to watch. With the IV re-hydrating me I was feeling better already.
     After all the tests I was negative for all diseases and my organ functions were all fine so it was just a case of heat exhaustion which was a relief.

     After we had eaten we were walking back toward our hotel when the girls decided to stop at a shop to get themselves some towels. The lady working at the shop said 500 baht which is $15 per towel. I helped bargain down to 300 for each towel which for Thailand is still high. The German girls didn't really understand the transfer rate yet so I told them to ask 500 for both which is normal when bargaining. All of a sudden the lady became  infuriated. She freaked out and told us to leave the store. We left but as we did she said "fuck you, no have happy new year, stupid," and whatever else in Thai that I couldn't understand. I was surprised at first because I was respectful the whole time. So I said I was sorry as we exited the store but she was still seriously pissed.
       As we walked away she swung one of the towels at me. I dodged her and we headed down the road but she followed us yelling. She took off her sandals and threw them at me just barely missing me. The second time she picked them up to throw them again I had had enough and turned back to her saying "stop" in a loud voice. She retreated when I said this but when I turned around and continued to walk away, she threw her sandal at me one last time. It flew by my head and the second hit me in the back. This really pissed me off. I turned around picked up her sandal as she ran away to hide in the store and I hucked it onto a nearby roof. This shut her up and took away her ammunition. As I  walked off I was feeling totally shocked at how ridiculous the whole situation was. The German girls were very confused as well and asked what I had done to the lady for her to act that way. I told them I had done normal bargaining and had no idea why she acted so crazy.
     After that episode we stopped by a 711 and got snacks. I got a few Chang beers to put in the fridge in our room for later. When I came back to the room and I laid down for a bit listening to my music. Chris had left at 12:00 for the hospital today and I was beginning to worry about him once it got dark and he was still not back. By 9 I was fully stressing that something could be terribly wrong and checked the net because I knew if he needed to contact me it would be by email or facebook. I had a new messages from him in my inbox and it said he was staying over night at the hospital and waiting for the test results. 
       At this point I was really worried about him but knew that if he wanted me to come to the hospital to see him he would have said so. It was a bit stressful to know he was in the hospital overnight all alone. So the girls and I went out to check out the town and keep my mind off of it. We had a few drinks and just cruised around checking out the area. We didn't stay out long because I was not feeling the vibe and still worrying about Chris. We returned to the room and hung out on our deck. We finished the night there listening to music and eating top ramen noodels.

Tonsai to Ko Samui

DAY 74
      I got up at 8am and returned to our bungalow to sleep some more after staying up all night. I slept until ten and then packed up and checked out of the hotel awaiting our 2 oclock boat in the Viking bar. We take a boat to Aou Nang and then a 3hr bus across the mainland to a ferry which takes us overnight, to Ko Samui. I had my coffee with Nam at the Viking bar and sat in a hammock looking out over the glimmering sea.

      Ali, Gwen, and Christine came by and joined Chris and I as we waited for our boat. Ali was leaving a bit earlier than us so we said goodbye to her and she took off. Chris and I hung out in hammocks in the shade and talked about things we wanted to do in Ko Samui. Cookie showed up and sat with me at the Viking bar while Chris went to get a massage. I zoned out for a while lost in my iPod writing about the past few days and listening to my music. This beach is really peaceful and I feel completely relaxed. Our bus in Aou Nang leaves at 3pm but Chris lost track of time and didn't come back to the bar until around 2:15. When we went to where the boats left we had to wait for more people to fill our boat before we could leave. Already being a bit behind schedule we were a little anxious to get going. We sat on the beach in the shade of the huge rock cliffs and waited for enough people to fill the boat.

     We made our way quickly to the bus stop, but ended up waiting for a while before the bus came. Things here tend to be a bit slower, they say go slow on Thai time, so we had enough time to get some food while we waited. At 3:15 a funny looking bus came to pick us up. There were quite a lot of tourist on the bus already but they packed more of us in and off we went. We drove for like 45 minutes on this funny colored, very funky looking bus with rusty paint and long termite ridden boards as seats.
    We were dropped off at a small restaurant to wait for the main bus to the east side of the mainland. As we sat on the roadside I exclaimed to Chris how fast the time flys and how far we have come. We have seen so many great places, people and things in just 3 months. As a traveler, time can feel both extraordinarily long and also so very short when you visit so many different places like we have. Sometimes when you look back and remember the great times you start to feel sad they are over but then you realize there are many more great experiences awaiting you around every corner.
      As we sat waiting, Katie Bullock a girl from England we had met back in Thailand in the city of Pai as well as other places throughout our crazy adventures, showed up. A guy from Wisconsin named Joe plopped down on the roadside next to us and we all had a great conversation. He made lots of jokes and was very entertaining. He may have been a bit drunk but he was hilarious and we all laughed ourselves close to tears as we waited for the bus.

     A group of drunk French guys sat behind us on the bus and the laughing continued on as they sang french songs while still drinking. The ride was 3 hours long and very uncomfortably bumpy. The French guys all sound like borat to me and I could not hold back my laughter.

      Out of the blue a girl came running to the back of the bus as steam filled the front compartment. The radiator had overheated and steam had shot from the air con vents filling the front part of the bus. People all filed off the bus and waited on the road for the driver to fix the bus. They needed our drinking water bottles which they actually poured in through the dashboard of the bus to refill the radiator. We all gave them up quickly to help fix the bus.

      It was a quick fix and within 5 minutes we all got back on the bus and off we went. We arrived at a small restaurant around 8:00pm to wait for a transfer truck to the dock where the night boat would take us to Koh Samui. The restaurant was filled with bags and tourists loud with conversations. Finally our rides came to take us in loads of 8 to the harbor. We boarded the sleeper boat which was not at all what I had expected. It was very cramped and stuffed with cargo and people laying on mats side by side all over the boat. Because we had been some of the last to get on there were no beds left for us. Luckily we found two mats off to the side and put them over the engine room among the luggage. It was very loud right under us but we had plenty of space around us amiss the luggage and cargo and didn't have to sleep next to some stranger.

     I was tired and passed out quickly due to sleeping pills. I did not wake up until when we had already docked. I got up sleepy eyed and staggered off the boat.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tonsai Beach Day 6

DAY 73

It was 11:45 by the time I was up and out so we had a very late breakfast that consisted of a Pad Thai stuffed omelet and a mango shake. Afterwards Cookie, Gwen and I rented kayaks and paddled around the coast to the other beaches and little islands through shellfish encrusted caves along the cliffs. Bright orange, red, grey and white colors are awesome with the crystal blue and green water resting below these huge rocks that stick out of the water like massive pillars. There immense weight seems to be balanced on the ocean floor like a overweight ballerina on her toes. I sit and gaze at the rocks and water feeling so peaceful and content in life.

We were out for a few hours and found two beaches sun bathing for a while before coming back to Tonsai. Met up with Chris at the movie lounge to watch Year One with Jack Black. The movie was really funny and cookies high giggeling made me laugh even harder. After the movie Chris took off for bed and cookie and I headed to go hang with our friends. Before bed we got banana pancakes from Mr. Pankake which hit the spot.

Tonsai Beach Day 5

DAY 72

Ali and I checked out the open water solo climbing which is where you climb with no ropes or safety and then jump off when you get as high as you feel like jumping from. I have a cut on my big toe and they have no shoes in my size so I decided to skip it as well as I'm lazy today and feel like taking it easy. I dropped the key at reception and went to the street vendors for food. Papaya Salad and mango sticky rice mmmmmm sooo good. Only 80 baht and hit the spot. Back to our bungalow to find Chris and took a needed nap. We all got up and went to get food where Chris and I shared a mixed basket at our favorite restaurant and had ginger tea which has become a favorite of mine lately. Another good night with good friends on the beach