Ollie in die Swembad (Part 2)

Day 2 of our tale is one of spontaneous island getaways… or rather, one spontaneous island getaway. After getting our feet wet in the early morning high tide, Wayne posited the idea to hire a longtail to take us to Koh Kradan. He said it would be 2500 Baht between us for the boat ($80, give or take; between 10 people, not too bad), it was about a 40 minute journey, and that we’d need to leave soon-ish because the swells get too big in late afternoon to make a safe passage. We thought it sounded great.

at the pier

puppy’s first boat ride!

ollie’s face actually represents about how i was feeling at this point… turns out the swells were already pretty big, and there were noticeable exhaust fumes making their way around my respiratory passages, and it was sooo loud… nice scenery though!

we made it!

I’d say it took a little longer than 40 minutes, but eventually we did make it. Koh Kradan is known to be a bit of a sleepier island, and as it was low season anyway we knew it might take some searching in order to find a restaurant, or any sign of civilization. The first thing we noticed was an advertisement for a resort on the Sunset beach, which was allegedly 5 minutes away in the direction of an arrow pointing us towards the island’s interior. So we set off.

ollie the trailblazer

hard to see, but the sea is right there past the trees. the trail took us to a dead end; there wasn’t even a beach but instead rocks that dropped off straight into the water. turns out we’d passed the resort without even realizing because it was very much closed.

so we headed back. did i mention that the advertised ‘5 minutes’ were also a bit of an under-estimation?

back on the original side of the island, now with 20 minutes of our allotted 2 hours gone, walking the shoreline to find a restaurant. again, at least there was phenomenal scenery!

We finally found a restaurant, as part of a gorgeous resort. This was the closest Ollie came to actually being in a swembad; there was a swimming pool there but though we were arriving with clear intentions of eating in their restaurant, we were informed that the pool was for guests of the hotel only. This sat especially poorly with us when we discovered the prices on the menu to be around 10 times, in some cases, what would normally be spent on a meal. (No really… fried rice, easily a 30-40 Baht dish on menus we’re used to, was going for 280 Baht! Daylight robbery!) Alas, we were most of us famished and had to take it on the chin.

uncle and nephew. hahaha! favorite.

Turns out the way back was even worse, from a sea-sickness perspective, than the way there. The exhaust fumes seemed to be hovering around us for the entire journey, and though we were riding with the waves (“longtail surfing,” as it were) the motion had us all feeling a bit queasy. But we were determined not to lose our $10 lunches, and so resorted to a lot of breathing-through-various-forms-of-cloth and even to rubbing a bit of my peppermint lip balm under our noses. Somewhere in the recesses of my memory I was sure I’d heard that the smell of peppermint fights nausea? Anyway, mad props to our driver… he was clearly an expert in his field.

almost back

chris has found his happy place: playing FIFA with the local chillins.

walking back from the pier to our campsite

nearly-full moon at the mediocre seafood restaurant at the pier.

After a sub-par dinner at the restaurant on the pier (in fairness, the American guy we’d met the day before had recommended that we not eat there, suggesting another place instead. Alas, we could not remember how to get there and went against his good advice.) we had another fun night around the fire. In the morning we had another breakfast of runny eggs before beginning the journey home.

look who got the toast that fell on the floor!

‘i am ready to return.’

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