inconsistent news from southeast asia

Thailand-Travelogue  |  Travel time: September 2005 - March 2006  |  by Matthew Audley

THAILAND - Ton Sai

Last I got around to updating, I think it was on this selfsame computer... Maybe we've become lazy travellers. As promised, the last nine days was spent in Ton Sai, doing very little. Consequently, very little news.

The night before we left, I got up to go to the bathroom at about 2 a.m., only to be confronted by a huge black scorpion that promptly scuttled over and nested halfway under our door frame. I spent a lot of time standing there staring, as I recall, before I woke Catherine up to join me in the staring. I think we just stood there and watched it do almost nothing for ten minutes. Never expected to see a scorpion in Krabi. Yeah, there's a picture to prove it, but it's blurry and hardly worth posting.

The first five days or so we spent in Ton Sai, we really did manage to do nothing. We got up late and sat on the beach. I went through the books we'd bought for the week at an alarming rate. Read the new(est) Hunter Thompson and was grossly dissapointed. We even went to bed early, though we did get to a bar one night and caught their nifty fire-twirly show thingy. Other people in Ton Sai also seem to have a lot of time on their hands so some of them seem to spend time.. umm.. doing this.

I suppose the doing nothing got old, so we signed up for a half-day of rock climbing, this being the thing to do in Ton Sai. So we might as well give it a try, right? Somehow, I also signed up for a "SUPER DAY" at a local dive place, scheduled for the next day. Suddenly there was a lot to do.

Putting on my antique shoes.

Putting on my antique shoes.

So, we had a half day of climbing on some beginner routes on the beach. It was fairly neat, if awfully difficult when it did get difficult.

Catherine and our teacher, Nan.  He was pretty quiet until you got on the wall.

Catherine and our teacher, Nan. He was pretty quiet until you got on the wall.

What to say about the climbing? Catherine wasn't sure it could be classified as fun, but she seemed to be doing pretty well up there, most of the time. Better going up than she was at going down.

I didn't have too much trouble with the climbing until the top of the biggest (30m) climb, where it got awfully hairy. I'm still not sure how anyone's supposed to be able to do that. I have some very intense memories of a few minutes spent clutching a crappy handhold while my exhausted legs shook, resting on some small knobs down below. Meanwhile, Nan's yelling "Put right foot where left foot is!! Put right foot where left foot is!" I'm still not sure how I was supposed to do that without a handhold for my left hand. It was an interesting few minutes, though.

Approaching those interesting minutes.  Never did make the top.

Approaching those interesting minutes. Never did make the top.

I still insist it was fun, however.

Learning to belay was also fun.  I even got to belay Catherine and for the record I didn't drop her, even once.  No jokes about "belaying", please.

Learning to belay was also fun. I even got to belay Catherine and for the record I didn't drop her, even once. No jokes about "belaying", please.

It's a good thing we didn't sign up for more than a half day. The wrists and hands where not fit for anything by the end of four climbs and it lasted the next couple days. Here's a good illustration of our condition after the morning spent climbing.

The next day, I did in fact go out and do three dives. I was still tired, but the diving was good. Took no pictures, saw a banded sea-snake. And we sort of saw a shark. It was in a cave, you see, but I did witness bits of it's rear end in the light of our divemaster's flashlight. I also completed my deep dive "adventure dive", so I'm now licensed to dive to 30m instead of 18. Whee.

© Matthew Audley, 2005
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The trip
 
Description:
Leaving for bangkok on Sept. 12. Where we go from there is anyone's guess. Hoping to see Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos. Be back in six months or so if everything goes well. There really isn't much of a route planned - we'll see what happens.
Details:
Start of journey: Sep 12, 2005
Duration: 6 months
End of journey: Mar 19, 2006
Travelled countries: Thailand
Canada
Laos
Vietnam
Cambodia
Southeastern Asia
Malaysia
The Author
 
Matthew Audley is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 13 years.
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