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Krabi, Thailand

Ok, so I’m all alone now. So sad, kindof. Although I miss my travel companions (and especially Joc), the upside is I’m completely on my own schedule and free to make as many bad decisions as I’d like with no one else to blame. Wait, that’s not necessarily an upside . . . Anyway.

With two weeks completely to myself, I’ve been struggling with the decision of what to do. Visit Laos? More of Cambodia? Back to Northern Thailand? Viv’s family in Hong Kong? A bit of Malaysia? In the end, I decided to come to Southern Thailand for a few weeks of both rest and recreation. I’m now in Railey Beach, one of the top climbing meccas in the world. It is comprised of amazing overhung limestone jetting out of beautiful beach and surrounded by lush jungle. I chose to come here, to only one place, in large part to hopefully heal my back and then climb a bit while I wait for Joc to finish with her good karma acts in Malaysia (I’m hoping she is working hard enough to provide good karma for the both of us because I am being satisfyingly selfish and lazy).

Although this place is gorgeous, I had one of the worst days of the trip so far getting here . . . good story. I read in the guide book that the only way to get to these beaches is by long tail boat from the port city of Ao Nang. So, when I arrived in Krabi by plane I took a taxi to Ao Nang and stayed there for the night because a storm was coming in and the long boats were done for the night. The next morning I awoke to an amazing monsoon-type storm at 6am that must have had sustained 40mph winds (it was crazy for about 1 hour). By the time I loaded onto the boat the seas were pretty rough (and as a side note, the rain cover for one of my packs ripped while getting to the boat). About 3 minutes into the 20-minute boat ride a wave came up and over the front of the boat, completely soaking me and both my bags.

The boat then dropped me off at Railey Beach and refused to take me to the neighboring Ton Sai beach even though that was what I paid for. Then as it started raining (which really didn’t matter given my status) I headed to the nearest climbing shop to get the low down on the area. I ran into a kid who was staying at Ton Sai and told me that I didn’t have to wait till low tide to walk to Ton Sai, I could instead walk over a rough, bushwacking trail to get there earlier. I decided I would like to get to my bungalow to get all my stuff out of my bag and start drying as soon as possible, so I started walking. I got on a trail that was definitely not easy and could be described as “bushwacking” so I continued. I realized later that I was WAY, WAY off course! 1 hour later and a frighteningly close call with slipping on a cliff and almost tumbling into the sea (my hand and wrist are now all cut up from my “heroic” save of myself and bags), I found the real trail and ended up in Ton Sai. Only after hauling my 70lb bags for 1.5 hours did I find out that it is low season so they only have electricity in Ton Sai for a few hours a day. Despite what the website showed, I would not be getting an A/C bungalow with warm water . . . I thought this would make for a difficult time drying all my wet belongings. Turns out I was correct.

After two nights of effectively camping out in Ton Sai I put my heavy bags back on and trudged another 45 minutes back to Railey to a bit better bungalow with electricity all day. Now I am chilling for a few days, sleeping, reading and exploring the cliff faces. I climbed two days ago and my back wasn’t too happy about it, so I’m hoping that a few days off will set me up. In the meantime, I’m finding the best crags to visit and recovering a bit. Provided the sporadic, heavy rains cooperate, I think I’m in for a great time here over the next few weeks.

PS - I tried to upload some pictures today, but was thwarted again . . . I might have to wait till Australia to find a good connection, but I'm hoping not.

permalink written by  GoBlue on July 11, 2007 from Krabi, Thailand
from the travel blog: Carl's Circuit
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