An Impromptu Goodbye

Cha-am Travel Blog

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Volunteers April 2008
I woke up at 5.54am this morning; 1 minute before my first alarm usually goes off! Hmmm. Body clocks are weird like that. I went back to sleep again though until 8am when I suddenly had a dozy flash of inspiration that I could get the bus from wherever we were headed back to Bangkok rather than returning and taxi-ing tomorrow. Cue a rushed packing job (which took far longer than anticipated and raised rather worrying questions about how much my luggage has increased by and what the weight limit is flying 'home').

Finally we set off at 11am after a quick goodbye to all the guys at breakfast and a big hug to Emma. As we pulled away I could barely believe I was leaving. Although it has been on my mind for days, it has crept up on me as my leaving day changed so many times until finally I just upped and left when I wasn't expecting to. As we drove through the forest I almost forgot to listen to all the gibbon calls and smelled the air sweet with animals, but when I did I was struck with sadness and surprise. As the month has gone on I have maintained that I probably won't return, on the basis that there are so many causes out there and so many projects in so many places, but as we drove away I realised there is no way I could ever be in Thailand and not come down and visit. I want to see all the changes, all the new enclosures as it grows and improves. I want to check in with my favourites; find out if they have integrated, if they have new friends, if they are happier and seem more enriched. The animals have got under my skin, and I will want to know how they get on in the future. Especially the gibbons, my new favourite primate. :)

At Hua Hin we had some dramas over me withdrawing money. With 2 days before I reach Australia and settle down with a job, my Mint account is frozen because I haven't kept up the minimum payments, and Egg was refusing to give me cash. Plus I forgot my pin for my current account. Laura lent me money to get me by but the question of excess baggage charges left a question mark over how much money I might need for the next 3 city and country-hopping. Weighing up whether to ship the stuff before flying or risk the charges was a toughy, and finally I decided to buy some cheap hand luggage and try to squeeze everything in.

We spent an hour at the internet cafe before heading down to the beach since it had become sunny and the usual 2pm downpour had not materialised. Down at the beach we sat on the sand drinking wine and enjoying our last hours together. It was strange when they finally waved me off at the bus stop - after 7 months traveling "on my own" (mostly) I had got used to living and working with a large group of people, so the prospect of going back to Bangkok on my own was a sad and lonely one. Plus the chances of us ever all being together in the same place again is so unlikely. It's sad that I will not spend time with them like that again. Elise, Lieke, Laura (and Lyndsay and Sarah who left already) - big kisses. It would have been a tough old slog without your smiles and laughter.

The bus took longer than I hoped but I didn't get ripped off this time by the taxi to the city. My hotel didn't have a cheap single room available so I took a 'superior' room; anything with air con, movies and....a hot shower. Heaven. It was good to get the first leg of my journey to my new home out of the way. Next leg - Bangkok to airport and onto Singapore, third and final leg - Singapore to Perth and bus to Hay Street! 72 hours and counting - a glass of wine flopped on the sofa with my new flatmates awaits....

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Volunteers April 2008
Volunteers April 2008
Cha-am
photo by: thelailama