Sunday, 3 January 2016

THE VERY SOUTH THAILAND RIDE, Day 8 - The mini deluge (5 to 13 August 2015)

The "Act"
The very peculiar, KC
Foldies in bags
Our ride to Krabi


When strange creatures start appearing in your room, you can guess something not quite right is about to happen. The day before, Claudine found a giant millipede resting in her outhouse shower. Celia too, found a giant spider in her bathroom.

True to fact, in the morning of Day 8, every one in Mook Lanta woke up to rain and a river of Cha Ron down below. Claudine's toilet clogged up because of the back log of water from the sewer. She waited until the water subsided to about half the bowl, then tried flushing again. This was a terrible mistake!!! The tank kept filling up the bowl with blue water till it almost spilled over. Thank goodness it stopped when it reached the rim!

Thanks to Internet, social media and smartphones, we witnessed the violation of YC and Lance! While resting on their verandah, they were shot by a sniper from across their chalet!! The perpetrator had the cheek to post his conquest on whatsapp!

Alvin and his Samsung!!!

All packed and with nothing more to do, we rendezvous for breakfast. Again, George and Wendy were already seated. This time, Papa Mike is back with a vengeance. He ordered a Full English Breakfast and sat.............................away from Claudine!

Alvin tried using the common toilet near the kitchen. But someone beat him to it!  He jumped out, disgusted and frustrated!!!!

At 10.15 am, our minivans arrived. The drivers refused to come all the way down to the lobby. The roads were flooded and merged together with the drain to form a stream. Small stones skipped down the slopes washed by the rapids.

Donning whatever rainwear available, we carried our bikes from the room to the lobby and onto the minivans. Five bikes and five passengers for each minivan. Each minivan costing 3500 baht for the journey to Krabi.

We left our cosy Mook Lanta.

We went back on our ferries. Ferry crossing on a rainy day can be troubling.

We passed by our fried cempedak stall.

We turned left and stopped by a petrol station. Potty break and fried cempedak in the rain. The batter from this stall was hard but we relished them all the same.

We reached Morakot Pool.

Walking from the car park to the park entrance, we passed by many stalls peddling food. YC suggested buying some food for a nice picnic upstream. Many of us bought boiled corn but the corn were big with rough kernels. Alvin bought a packet of fried rice.

We soon found out that no food are allowed in the park. Many of us threw away our half eaten corn. 7 of us ate from Alvin's styrofoamed box of fried rice.

Barefoot, commune living, daisy chaining.... If this is the hippie era, then 7 of us were French kissing each other from a spoon!!!!

Tickets to the park are 200 Baht for foreigners. We have to subsidize the local bathers!!!

Papa bagged his food but that too was not allowed. Unable to throw away the food, Papa stayed behind to finish it while we trekked ahead.

Dirt road, 1.2 km through rain forest in an otherwise flat terrain, we arrived at the pool itself. As August is the rainy season and also low season, there were only about 20-30 people bathing in the lukewarm waters.

The pool itself is very big with a diameter of about 20 meters based on my own estimation. Other people may beg to differ! It is possible to swim a breaststroke here as the bottom of the pool is not cluttered with big rocks. The depth is about 4 feet from the center to the rather flat and  smooth giant boulder where the water flows over and cascades down.

The pool's vastness, depth and lack of rocks at the bottom all gives the impression that this pool had been dug to create an almost perfect swimming pool. The other ends of the big pool are not explored so I can't tell much more.

Do be careful!!! Walking to the pool itself is a slippery experience!!! The guards told us to keep our slippers on so that it is less slippery.

When most of us were inside the pool, KC decided to take a group photo. He said, "Jump to the count of 3!"

We did.

As we flew out of the water, VT's spectacles flew too!


He caught hold of it but one of the lense fell into the water!!! Thankfully, he found the lense!

We dipped. Nobody actually swam. All of us tried a massage by the cascading waters. Claudine tried too until she felt the water thugging on her bikini bottom!

After awhile, we got out. The changing room was decently clean. The toilets are as all common toilets we have visited so far....squat toilets with no flush but a pail and dipper plus a basket for dirty tissues. Using the toilet takes some special skills. You risk slipping into the the hole and you risk the porcelain toilet breaking under pressure. There were 3 shower rooms with cold water from the taps.

We returned to the minivan via the wooden boardwalk. This is an equally long walk at 1.4 meters through swamp, ponds and the flowing stream. Walking with one good vision gave VT a headache. Eventually, he removed his spectacles and walked like a drunk.

Our final leg to Krabi was spent mainly in a state of half consciousness, snorting and listening to Papa Mike's "loud discussion with his Lord!" There were times when Claudine stirred to see a seemingly awake YC.

We arrived at Lada Hotel around 4 pm. VT and Claudine dumped their bags and started their search for a spectacle shop. They found 3 Top Charoen optical shops with girls dressed in too tight nurse's uniforms. All 3 shops could not repair VT's glasses. All 3 shops explained that since it was the Queen's birthday no technicians were available. On their fourth attempt, they found Sawang Optics, a family owned optical shop. VT's spectacles were repaired for a paltry 30 baht!

That called for a celebration! They found, by the five foot way of Maharaj Soi 4, near the optical shop, a most delicious Thai Laksa. This is a noodle dish of fish soup cooked with coconut santan. All tables were laid with an assortment of fresh raw vegetables like taugeh, basil, long beans and kiam chye to go with the Laksa. The portions were small, meant for a pre-dinner snack but the greedy couple topped up the meal with hot fried chicken.

Meanwhile, Alvin had gone out recceing for dinner. Map in hands, he sprang on the couple at Utarakit Road which runs parallel to the river. Papa Mike, Lance and some others however, had gone to the night market for pre-dinner snacks.

We met again for dinner at Le Gateau, a cafe with a French concept on Utarakit Road. Everyone agreed the food were good and reasonably priced. Less than 160 baht for a burger which comes with only 10 fries in a small cup.

When we finished dinner, we walked 20 steps to the right of Le Gateau for Cha Ron by the five foot way and delicious roti prata with bananas, fried crispy and drizzled with condensed milk. This is otherwise known as pancakes in Thailand!

Later, we head back to our hotel to pack our bikes. Our adventure ends in Singapore the next day. Our very resourceful friend, Alvin had made pre-arrangements with Champion Bike Shop to deliver 10 full sized bike boxes to us at 100 baht each. We were grateful Champion had thrown in pre-used cable ties, fork holder, cardboards and foam which makes our packing so much easier.

When packing was done, the sweaty bunch of men went next door for massages. Instead,  Claudine and VT escaped to their room for a good shower.

The night did not end yet for some. It did end for George, Wendy and Celia but the remaining greedy bunch scoured the town for supper. They tried the night market food just next to the hotel. Claudine and VT could not stomach another round of pork satay so they found themselves a sit down shop just next to the night market. Parked inside this shop are old motorcycles and bikes. VT ate a good spicy chicken noodle soup while Claudine ate wantan noodle that doesn't taste like any wantan noodle she has eaten before but still good.

When they were almost done, the rest returned from the night market to join them. They left just when the Thai national anthem was played over the loud speaker. Many peddlers stopped to stand in respect. So did we and our fellow boy girls that we have been ogling the whole night!

When the anthem finished, we left for more food. We walked to Maharaj Road. There were a lot of street food here. Alvin chose a stall opposite Volk Supermarket. KC had wantan soup, Alvin and Papa too ate some noodles.

We then walked further down Maharaj Road. We went in to our favourite 7 Eleven store. This time it is microwaved corn which never disappoints.

Still going strong, we turned to Maharaj Soi 4 again but alas, the Thai Laksa was already closed.

We went down Soi 4 to ogle over a bike shop. The streets were dark, the bike shop closed but yet we looked through the glass windows!

We turn again to Utarakit road that leads to Khongkha road with its predominantly Malay food peddlers. They were already closing.

Alvin was still bent on a takeaway for Celia.

Finally, we settled back to our roti prata with bananas shop. Alas, they had run out of bananas and Celia had to make do with prata egg ......... that is after the group had had yet another cup of Cha Ron!

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