Caroline surveying the pothole .. and wondering if we should go further
Having successfully navigated parts of the island by scooter myself and Caroline decided to take to the road (well the pathways anyway) again today , so we hired out 2 scooters again and decided to try and go see some waterfalls! We had read that there was a great waterfall on the other side of the island and according to the lonely planet map it was on a broken line road ... or what we later found out to be a disputed roadway!
So off we set, filled the tanks again for about EUR2 and off down the road we go. We managed to find the sign for the road we had to take so we turned off the main road of the island and continued uphill toward this waterfall. The roads on the island are all concrete ones and some of the ones on hillsides have storm drains down the side to take away the vast majority of rainwater during rainy/monsson season.
Caroline on one of the dodgy dirt roads
Well seeing the state of them as we went up these hills i should of realised how much damage the monsson season does to the roadways around here and what we should of expected later on. There were parts of the road that had been eroded almost several feet underneath the edges .. and jeeps, pickups and lorries all continued around the roads .... which to say the least is a little unsafe .... so we continue on ... up hill all the time until the road starts to turn dusty .....
The dust became more aparent until we could see pot holes in the road and then we realised that there was no longer concrete beneath the road .... just more clay/dust ... we continue around the corner after a few hundred meters of a bumpy pot hole stretch of road and we hit the first major hill .
The Baan Tai Elephant trekking center
... it was a clay hill that had huge crevaces down the middle of it .. that had been eroded by the monsoon rain water! We met several pick up trucks coming down it .. and they were taking it very cautiously!! We wondered if you could even take bikes/scooters up here but then we seen 2 other 'scooterers' coming down the hill so we presumed this was just a bad patch .. so we carefully navigated up the hill .. avoiding the crevaces and keeping the scooters moving all the time .... otherwise we would never get going again!
Well .. this went on for another while until we reached the top of the hill and a sign that said the waterfall was 5 km away ... we began to wonder but thought things would be better going down hill .... well that was a stupid assumption!! Downhill is as much of a problem .
There was a waterfall on the other side of this bridge .. but i'm not sure it was made for scooters!
.. because you don't see all the holes and hollows in the road!! Anyway .. we come to a sign that says waterfall 100m ... but the sign pointed right into the middle of a clump of trees .. so we thought this was a spoof .. and continued on ... we eventually came across what is the base of the waterfall .. a small stream of water coming down over a few rocks .. but after the journey qwe had we were glad to see anything! A local even stopped and asked us if we were lost ... and he pointed out where we were on the map ... and we were on the complete other side of the island .. about 500m away from the beach .. so we decide to head down there and complete our cross-island trip!!
The beach wasn't much to look at really ... and both myself and Caroline were starting to think of the trip back!! There was nothing we could do .
Me in front of Thansadej Waterfall
... and we were both getting hungry os we decided to brave it and head back into civilisation .... It seemed to take us less time to navigate back towards our side of the island again ..... and boy were we glad to see the main island road again!
Once back in civilisation we got something to eat in a lovely little Italian restaurant and headed back to the good road networked side of the island again!! We went back up to the beach that we had found the last day out exploring and relaxed there - after our traumatic exploring earlier that morning!!
We felt that the relaxing just wasn't enough ... so we decided to get a Thai massage on the beach front! Now this was relaxing ..... i've never had a massage before and it is a kind of strange experience .
Veronica (Canadian) enjoying a cigarette
... but the Thai masseus did know what she was at ... Caroline got one done too but she had to ask for her masseus to go easier on her as they can be quite firm .... they use their whole bodyweight during the massage so it can give you bruises!
Well after our lovely relaxing massage we headed for home where we met up with Kerry, Ramo and Juan again! We all decided to head back down to the same beach again that night for a few drinks! So after getting cleaned up we all headed down, grabbed someting quick to eat as some of us hadn't eaten in a while .... and moved to a beach fire surrounded by picnic chairs!!
Now this was the way to spend and evening, relaxing on the beach in a plastic picnic chair, looking up at the stars with a beach fire burning in front of you and surrounded by friends! The beach fire loked more like we were burning old drift wood that had landed on the beach .
Our beach fire ... i think hey were burning bits of washed up wood
.. but hey is was a fire!! We met 2 other friends there .... 2 more Canadians ... Veronica and her friend (sorry i didnt catch her name) and we sat chatting about our experinces to date. Veronica and her friend had spent the last month travelling southeast asia and were just relaxing on Koh Phangan before heading back to Canada and back to work.
Once the fire went out ... we all headed home ... thankful for another exciting day!