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  • Jan16

    Day 38 - Message in a Bottle Beach

    January 16 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    We both slept for over 10 and a half hours straight. I belatedly wrote up my blog & realised that we had failed to visit Bottle Beach the previous day. Disaster, especially when I discovered that to get to it by road was 18 miles away & yesterday we had been within 2 miles of it.

    We had an iced coffee for breakfast & the resort was noticeably busier, so Jackie negotiated with Pat to rent a ‘superior’ bungalow for 8 days when we returned from Koh Tao at a discounted rate. Nice work Jackie.

    It was gone 11am before we were back on the road again. We headed north to Chaloklum Beach where we found what appeared to be a number of nice waterfront restaurants & decided we would return that evening for dinner.

    We then followed a road up a high headland until we reached a car park full of scooters. We weren’t sure why or where everyone was, but a young lad informed us it was possible to walk from here to Bottle Beach. It would take at least an hour & the path was through jungle & up over a mountain. We decided against it on the grounds that we didn’t have any water with us. Just so we didn’t feel entirely lazy, we embarked on a 200 metre climb to a viewpoint looking down on Khom Beach, which was bloody knackering.

    We then drove the now 17 miles around the island to Bottle Beach. We found the correct turning off the main road, which for the next 2 miles took us along a bumpy dirt road until we reached a sign that read that only 4x4 vehicles were allowed to continue. We therefore parked up our bike with several others & continued on foot.

    For the next 500 metres (I measured it) we slipped & slid down the very steep loose gritted track. I effectively ‘snowploughed’ down in my adventure sandals. Our relief at reaching the bottom was short-lived when a couple coming the other way informed us we still had another 3/4 of a mile to go. This last leg was actually a pleasant undulating walk through coconut trees & the occasional sighting of a monkey.

    Dripping wet, we arrived at the very scenic Bottle Beach & made straight to the bar/restaurant for a much needed beer & food. Jackie had a Niçoise salad & I had spaghetti carbonara. It was all very pleasant apart from the flies attracted to our sweaty bodies. We noted that beach front huts with a fan could be rented for just £9 per night. We decided that we would stick to our aircon, but visit the beach again, but next time by taxi boat.

    After lunch we had a swim in the sea and wrote a message (in the sand) on Bottle Beach. I took photos of the message & Jackie, then I asked Jackie to take a photo of me with the message. Somehow she managed to adjust the camera settings from automatic to manual focus (As can be seen in the subsequent photo).

    We then steeled ourselves for the trudge back to our scooter. It took us half an hour of serious toil to complete the journey, particularly for the ridiculously steep last bit. At least we could now cool off with the air rushing past us on the scooter!

    We had gone no further than a couple of 100 yards when the rear wheel started to have a life of it’s own. My fears were realised when I looked down to see we had a flat rear tyre. Brilliant, on a Sunday, in the middle of nowhere & with absolutely no-one around.

    We had no choice but for Jackie to get off & walk, whilst I rode on ahead & turned left to find somewhere to get it fixed. I then crawled along the dirt track leaning over the handlebars to preserve the rear tyre. Luckily you are never too far away from a scooter repair shop in Thailand & less than 2 miles from where I left Jackie I found such a repair shop.

    The young mechanic undid the exhaust pipe to remove the wheel, then he replaced the inner tube & put it all back together again in about 30 minutes, by which time Jackie with her helmet in hand had caught me up. It would seem that a small sharp stone had caused the puncture & the cost of the repair & new inner tube, just 200 Baht. Less than a fiver, bargain.

    The afternoon was now pushing on so we rode back to Ban Tai & stopped at Lotus for more provisions, booze, mixers & a token bag of grapes. Opposite Lotus we found a shoe shop & we each bought a pair of Crocs to wear between the house & The Lemonery, for just 100 Baht a pair. Well we have to keep up with the Joneses (Clarkes & Rushes)!

    Pleased with our latest bargains, we sped north through the island back to Chaloklum Beach, but not before we had been waved through the police road block set up in exactly the same place as the previous night. At Chalokhum Beach we narrowed down our 2 favoured restaurants & chose the right hand one. It was the wrong one, next door was bustling with diners, so we had a quick relaxing beer on their empty waterfront tables, paid up & went next door to Cucina Italiano.

    In Cucina Italiano we ordered Italian food, Jackie had penne with ragu sauce & I had gnocchi with my favourite carbonara sauce, which didn’t really work & a garlic bread. It was very nice & warrants another visit.

    It was then a cold scooter ride home, where we ended the night with a nice hot shower & the remaining episodes of Afterlife.

    Song of the Day: Message in a Bottle by The Police.
    Nostalgie by Viken Arman.
    Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell.
    Read more

    Traveler

    Garden clogs is where it's at! All the cool kids are wearing them...

    1/17/22Reply
    Simon and Jackie Annals

    We’re joining the club!

    1/18/22Reply
    Andy and Teresa Mays

    Nostalgia - where did you see that track? You losing the plot? Too much sun?

    1/17/22Reply
    Simon and Jackie Annals

    It was playing during lunch on Bottle Beach. Probably doesn’t travel well to a cold winter’s day in Sussex.

    1/18/22Reply
    Andy and Teresa Mays

    Obviously helps when you spell the artist correctly. You sure your Mr Arman was a Viking 👀 😂😂😂

    1/18/22Reply
    Simon and Jackie Annals

    Bloody predictions spelling!!

    1/18/22Reply