Found 'The Beach', now where is my Leo?
21.09.2006 - 21.09.2006
This morning we were up extra early and met up for breakfast at Patcharee for the daily banana pancake. After breakfast we went down to the port and met Sid who had arranged for us to take the boat out. The 10 of us were just enough for the boat. Not too empty, not too full. Unfortunately, I had to wear a t-shirt and shorts because of my sunburn but I felt more comfortable in them anyway.
Our first stop on Phi Phi Ley was a small cove. It was early so we had the cove to ourselves. I jumped in the water expecting to sink or freeze, but the water was warm, like a luke warm bath and there was so much salt in the water that you didn’t need to do anything to stay afloat, just move your arms a bit. It was amazing and beautiful, we were surrounded by high cliffs all around us. The water was turquoise and the sun was right on us through a gap in the rocks.
After getting attacked by a crab that had lost its way, we climbed back on the boat where Sid took us past the caves where families live to collect birds nests, for birds nest soup. He then took us to a small beach in another cove where we could stop for dinner but we decided against it as it was full of rubbish.
The next stop was at the entry to the first cove we had been in, this is where we did our first bit of snorkelling. I had never done this before so wasn’t going to throw myself into it. Eventually, Judith took me into the water and showed me how to snorkel properly. It was so simple, just needed a bit of getting used to. It was like another world under the water. I thought there would be a couple of plants, some coral and a few fish but there were hundreds of everything and it was so colourful as well.
After about an hour, Sid took us to a small beach where we sat and had dinner (chicken and rice, mmmm). We sat and watched a small town of hermit crabs as we ate. Then it was back on the boat to see ‘The Beach’, actually called Maya beach. Unfortunately, we didn’t actually go on the beach because you have to pay an extra 200baht each to set foot on it. So we decided to just sail past and take pictures. It was just like the movie and instantly recognisable. The only downfall was that it was so busy. Ironic considering what the film was about in the first place.
The next stop was ‘Monkey Beach’ but there weren’t any monkeys while we were there, then out to sea again for a bit for some more snorkelling. I wasn’t so bothered this time and got straight in the water with my camera. I think I got some brilliant shots. I made my way back to the boat but still had some photos left on the camera so passed on my snorkelling gear and went on without them.
Little did I know the tide was going out and although I had no trouble staying afloat, I swam for half an hour to get back to the boat and got no where. I was so embarrassed. I can swim, just not very fast! Emily jumped backing the water but realised I wasn’t in trouble, I just wasn’t going anywhere and in the end the boat came to us and picked us up. I could have died from embarrassment went I got back on the boat but the others said it could have happened to anyone, it was just because I didn’t have the flippers on.
The boat then took us back to the port where we paid up. The girls went to the bakery for more food. I went with the lads to go home, get showered and get a kip before dinner. I got showered but wasn’t tired so went on the internet where I ran into Rebecca and Chris. Instead of having a rest we sat at the internet shop and had a drink and a chat. As I was leaving tomorrow, I wanted to see the Tsunami Memorial, so I left Rebecca and Chris chatting and walked up to the gardens. It was really touching and made it seem so real. It seemed real anyway as there is still a lot of rebuilding going on all around us, but at the memorial there was pictures of people from all over the world that friends and relatives had left of the victims. There was even a santa hat left on a post. I left a donation in the box and went back to find Chris and Rebecca were still sat drinking at the internet shop.
Not long after, the others joined us and we walked down to Papaya, this time we booked a table. Seven of us weren’t bothered what we were ordering so we just ordered 7 plates of rice and left it to the guy there to cook us 7 random dishes. This was the best idea as we all tried so many new dishes and loved them all.
After stuffing our faces we went across to the Reggae bar and had a couple of games of pool. I had to be up really early the next morning, so I left early but not before taking a couple of pictures of everyone and saying goodbye.