Catch up

Koh Tao Travel Blog

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So I guess the only thing I can do is apologize to those who have kept interest in reading my blog as well as to my future self for skipping the last couple days of writing.  I have been so busy as of late trying to keep up with the pace of Koh Tao that I haven't found just time to document what I have been up to.  As I now find myself on an airplane, hopefully my memorywill forgive me and grace me with some documentation of what I have been up to.  Again I shall break another of the unwritten rules that the constitution of this blog has formed by combining a few days into one entry. Again, my sincerest apologies.  I'm pretty sure that the last day I wrote about was the first day of my two day advanced diving course.  We went on three dives on the 2nd day of this course; two in the afternoon and one at night.  The day dives were fun, just like all the other dives but with a more specific educational ciriculum to be taught to us like search and recovery and reading our dive computers and compasses.  (We just took off from Bangkok, have you ever noticed that every city looks the same as you take off, no matter where you are?) the night dive on the otherhand was completely different.  We boarded the dive boat at sunset and departed for the dive site.  After a quick night dive orientation, we were given underwater torches and explored the dark world of The Gulf of Thailand.  Something that is kind of interesting with respect to divig is that as you go deeper underwater, colors start dissapearing.  I'm not quite sure the order but I think first you lose red, then another, then green' and then blue.  When you night dive and you have these bright lights at night, you are able to cheat nature (as if any part of diving is natural) and see these amazing colors that you can't see in the day.  As well, a lot of nocternal fish come out to play like sting rays, squirrel fish and massive massive 2 metre barracudas. Truly it was an amazing dive.  After the dive, we were done our advanced course!  Now I am certified to dive anywhere in the world to a depth of 30 metres, as well as night dives etc. When we came back from the dive, Abigail was on the beach to tell us the great news that she feels better and would be able to teach the last of our courses which started the next day called Nitrox.  I am not sure what Ant and I did that night but I assume it was an early one for me as I was exhausted from the diving.  The next morning was an early one as we had another classroom session (with more videos!) to educate the class on diving with enriched air a.k.a nitrox. Not to be too technical but the basics are as such:  when you dive regularly, the mix in the tank is 21% oxygen, 79% nitrogen, the same as air.  With enriched air, you have as much as 40% oxygen which allows you to stay underwater longer before you get close to decompression sickness a.k.a The Benz.  Nitrox seems to be becoming the diving norm and thus I decided I wanted to do it. Anthony also did it so we got to dive as a buddy team which was great, as did a bunch of other people from my class. Rarely people go on to take the Nitrox course but there was 8 of us in this class as we all had such a great time together in the other two classes.  Our first dive was at the dive site Chumpon, where there are many a bull sharks roam.  We saw so many, by far my favourite dive.  These bull sharks are death staring at you in the face.  You're unnaturally well beyond a human's natural environment, while offset by the shark being well in it's comfort level exactly where evolution placed it.  These sharks are 2.5 to 3 metres long, probably a 2 metre perimeter around it's torso, swimming exactly like the ones in your nightmares.  One came so rediculousky close to us that when we all got out of the water we discussed it and it became apparent we all had the same two thoughts at the same exact time.  1) who was going to be the first to go and 2) what seriously was the right protocol to get the hell out of there.  Anyway, we finished the two course dive and became certified nitrox divers.  11 dives in total.  Amazing. The following day was confirmed to be my last in Koh Tao (for this trip) as Helma, my new Dutch travel partner and I decided it was time to head north.  It was almost instinctive like a Canadian goose leaving the south come spring. I just relaxed on the beach all day.  Anthony has been working when not diving on his latop which is incredibly boring for me to be around when I don't have a laptop and thus decide to rather sit on the sand at what became my beach of choice and basked in the sun.  Towards sunset I started talking to the sexy girl who had been on our dive boat yesterday who I never had a chance to speak woth.  Suprisingly, not French or Sweedish, but from Edmonton.  I told her that it was Anthony's and my last night together and on this island and asked if she'd like to join us for a nice dinner which she readily accepted.  I told Ant about our new guest and he told me he invited 4 other BCers so by the time dinner rolled around, there was seven of us, all from Western Canada.  We partied that night, taking cabs into the Koh Tao mountains to find recomended bars and had a great time.  I eventually made my way home as I was tired and just wanted some me time.  I turned on the tv and this very unusual movie just started.  At first I couldn't tell if it was an art movie or a comedy like Naoplen Dynamite but as I watched I was amazed by this non-Hollywood style piece.  It was about the Alexandria Police Orchestra from Egypt that find themselves stranded in Israel for a night before there performance.  The whole movie is about the one night and the stories behind each person via their connection with the Israeli people who have taken them in for the night.  Seriously, find it and watch it.  Powerful movie.  It is Israeli I later found out and has won many awards. "The.  Anyway the next day I packed up my stuff, said goodbye to Abigail, Anythony, some other newly found friends, and took off to the pier with Helma to start our ascent up north.  We paid a little extra to sit in the Vip section of the boat which had A/C and more comCortable seats.  After a 3 hour ride, we waited for hours for our bus to pick us up to take us to Bangkok.  Finally after 4 hours it came and picked us up and dropped us off at another bus 20 minutes later.  8 hour later, 5 am, we arrived in Bangkok. We tried to book two seats on the train but it was full for the next 3 days and we had no interest in sitting on another bus for 12 hours and thus book the 1 hour flight to Chang Mai.  We spent the day near and on Koah San Road and picked up some gooddies that we thought would be useful in the small towns we are about to visit.  Helma got an iPod while I bought a small guitar and a tshirt.  We just landed in Chang MaI.  We met two girls from Amsterdam just before we boarded, Cynthia and Karen, who told us of a great place to stay and thus the 4 of us caught a taxi from the airport and headed.  The place was/is great with a big pool and an ancient Thai theme.  Helma and I are sharing a room for 500 baht or 17 dollars.  This vacation sounds cheap but don't let anyone tell you differently, money flies out of your pocket.  I'll tell you how much I spent tomorrow (today, as I am now writing this the day after).  The four of us decided to grab a drink and headed to The Reggae Bar.  It was so much fun, the 3 Dutch and myself drinking, hanging out, and dancing to a live jam band of jazz, reggae, and rock.  The two new Dutch and myself decided to play some pool after Helma turned in.  We made a bet on the game, of which I won't disclose, but I will say I won, but really, we all did ;). Ciao!               
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Koh Tao
photo by: RyanCorrea