Yesterday morning we woke up at 5:30 to prepare for a 6am pickup. A 3 hour bus 1 hour ferry ride to Koh Samui which was relatively pleasant. Our tummies grew more nauseous though and we both had some really wicked Gravol induced naps half watching the scorching sun rise in the sky over the lush scenery of banana and rubber trees. The sun was in full effect and the thin atmosphere here burns my opaque Caucasian skin very very easily. Typically for this time of year my body goes into fall winter mode which means it sheds any ounce of melanin leaving me ghostly white. Dad would be shaking his finger at me to reapply sunscreen more times than none. Beth's really good about reminding me and even she has to re apply frequently. We negotiated a 25 min taxi ride across the island for about 500$ baht (expensive). But the driver couldn't find our hostel so we tipped him because we felt bad. Our spot is on the outskirts of a dense bar/commercial couple of streets leading up to Lamai beach access. We found a great coffee shop in which we later came back and got a banana split for dessert and during that time ordered a scooter by delivery online to our hostel. 20 minutes later they delivered a beaten up "new" Honda PCX 150 cc with 2 helmets for maximum safety.
This morning was nice and slow as we hopped on the scooter for a 30min ride to Namuang waterfall 2. It's supposed to be the biggest waterfall in the area (80m) and quite a sight. Unfortunately it was not so special. They have fully capitalized the natural attraction by adding ATVing, elephant riding, shooting range and some other things that we have no interest in. It was a nice hike up to the waterfall and I feel like I am getting accustomed to the humidity. The trick is to learn how to live in the "swamp" called your clothes. Profusely sweating, even Beth, who rarely sweats a bead, was soured like a wet cat in a bath. I made fun of her as such. After stopping for a refreshing fruit smoothie and some spring rolls we headed to the local cultural and fine arts centre on the island. It's a pretty amazing story of a local who's building a collection of historical statues and figures and arranged them accordingly on his property in a vast array of temples and other structures. All gods/religions were represented as the message behind them all are very similar. All are tools to generate compassion, love and good will towards others wishing long healthy prosperous lives. Truly it was a calming experience that reassured me that regardless of the vicissitudes of life that everything will be okay as nothing is permanent. The impermanence of life flows like a river and it is only the grasping of things/ideas/beliefs that determine the island of "stuff" we surround ourselves with and create. In this one particular inspiring statue of Buddha(last pic) he had his neck recemented as it was chopped off. Had lost an arm on one side and a full hand on the other. He had a scar on his face over his eyebrow too, and yet he too could smile through it all in a relentlessly undisturbed manner. Such a deep lesson in life to really smile through it all and seek laughter. Except of course for being a creature of comfort because Beth and I always have gone back to the same restaurant and coffee shops along the way as we go. Even in the massive sea of options while travelling we fall into our "routines."Read more