I decided to explore the island today so I got up, put on my Keens, and started walking. I walked from the southern tip of the island to Sairee Village in the north. It is way more touristy than where I am staying, lots of nice resorts, restaurants, and dive schools. I signed with Asia divers, a mid-sized shop that has nice new equipment and a big pool for lessons. Im going to do the PADI openwater course, 4 days, 5 dives…costing me around US $250 to get certified. Once certified, two 45 minute dives cost $19, not bad! The downer is that the classes are 08:00 – 17:00 with a book to study and test! Arrrg…way too much like work when youre on a holiday. Especially since Im still in island bum mode.
I left Sairee village, and decided to get off the tourist track. I oriented myself to the big mountain on the north side of the island and started walking. Eventually the paved road turned to dirt and got very very steep as it went up the side of the mountain. I passed a lot of Thais working and they looked at me as if “youre a little lost, Farang”. I probably only walked 2 KM, but the roads are terrible, very hilly, and it is close to 100 degree F….so HOT!
Finally the road ran out and I started scrambling up the boulders on the side of the mountain. Basically through the jungle. I have never been afraid of snakes, but after seeing the viper in Bong Rok, I was a little nervous in the waist high grass. Plus, no one really knew who or where I was. I climbed as high on the mountain as I could go without equipment, and ended up sitting on a large flat boulder with the most incredible view. I could see the entire west side of the island, the harbor, all the boat traffic coming in and out….it was spectacular. I was totally alone, not a soul and it was so quiet….other than a monkey that screamed a couple times because I wasnt close enough for him to fling some poo at me.
I sat on my rock for almost an hour, forgetting all about the heat. I felt so alive it was incredible. Eventually I could see some nasty clouds moving in from the west across the Gulf of thailand and I knew that I had a 2 hour walk ahead of me so I bugged out. I did take a couple pics though, they are in the usual place: http://www.fotki.com/bucho-ky