When Wayne and I took our trip to Pak Meng back in March, and discovered the near-by beach of Haad Yao (literally “Long Beach”), we just knew that at some point in the future it would need to be a venue for a group camping trip. Talk began amongst the farang in Thung Song a few weeks ago, but it was the three-day weekend that fell last week that finally provided the opportunity for the trip.
A big group of us went down Saturday morning: five in Henk’s car, five in O’s car, and Jean and Jahan on their motorcycles. Sorry, did I say only five in Henk’s car? Looks like I’m forgetting one very important addition to the trip…
Thung Song has recently come into many a South African and American resident; with the exception of Kellie-the-Irish-Girl, Jahan-the-Persian-Swede, and two Thai friends, the campers all hailed from the two countries. As a result, there was a lot of Afrikaans to be heard over the course of the weekend, either in the form of real conversation between native speakers or of the occasional curse word finding its way through the unsuspecting lips of a giddy American (I’ll let you guess which American). At some point or another an idea for a children’s book based around our weekend, entitled Ollie in die Swembad (Ollie in the Swimming Pool) was voiced, and while the chances of this work ever being published (or completed. Or even started, for that matter) are slim at best, I thought at the very least my blog title could be an homage to the idea. (Spoiler alert: Ollie never actually found himself in a swimming pool in the course of the weekend.)
There were actually only four campers: Wayne and myself in one tent; Collette and Claire in another. The rest hunkered down into the clean and comfortable bungalows available right there on the beach. This provided a touch of luxury to the camping experience; we were able to use their bathrooms/showers/storage capacity during our stay as well. It was definitely low season; even the one restaurant that had been open for Wayne’s and my last visit was closed, but the owners of the bungalow were happy to whip up some fried rice for us when we got hungry, and some breakfast in the morning (though the eggs were generally either burnt or completely runny, with no middle ground).
Soon after our arrival we met yet another American, who was living in the area with his Thai wife and their two gorgeous daughters, Winnie and Lily. He invited us to a barbecue at the pier that night where there would be many other foreigners. We appreciated the gesture, but as it turns out we’d already been planning on our own cook-out. Plus Henk and Jean had a fire-building competition we were all eagerly anticipating, so we were happy to remain at home base for the night.
The next day brought even more excitement in the form of a random trip to Koh Kradan, but you’ll have to wait for Part 2 for that.