A quick snorkel before we beached
After a long night from the night before, I woke up at 9:54 which as you now, is a bit late than my normal time. I had set my alarm for 10am so I guess my brain and body were on the same page. I was ready to leave Phi Phi and move on but I knew that if I never did the one thing I had wanted to do since I arrived on this island, I knew I likely never would. I went down stairs, to the lobby of my hotel and booked it. Everything here doubles as something else. Why not? The more revenue streams, the more money you can make. There is not such thing as just a hotel lobby or just an internet cafe. There are only cafes/travel agents and restaurants/massage parlours. So back to my lobby, they are as well a booking agent and I was able to book my nights accomodation through them.
Before Sunset - overcast for 30 minutes
I've mentioned this beach a few times in the blog thus far, it is called Maya Beach and it is the beach that the movie "The Beach" is based around. If you haven't seen the movie, it is a story of Leo DiCaprio who travels to Thailand and finds his way along with a couple from Paris to a secret beach that no one knows but but all know that it may exist. A beach hidden by the gods for those privied enough to find it. I had been a few days earlier as part of my 8 island tour but when I went there there must have been a hundred boats in the bay, each having transported many tourists to visit this gem of Thailand. It was nice, but it didn't allow you to fantasize as if you were the one in The Beach who had found this marvellous place.
Daf and Tom playing soccer in the rain
I had heard that there was one company that got special permission from the Thai Government to bring small groups of people here overnight (it is a government protected park). 1850 Baht later (about 65 dollars) and I was on the list. As I was to be picked up at 3:30 by the tour at that same hotel, I had several hours to kill. I made my way back to D's Books, enjoyed a latte and slice of banana bread and kept on reading my book. I am not sure if it is because I have a bit of a soft soul, or because I am so far from anyone I love, or perhaps the book was just sad, but I was just so touched by the story in this book. Something about true and unbreakable love, heart warming. Eventually 3:30 came around and I was picked up by a tour guide and brought to Lemon Grass Restaurant whcih was the meeting point for anyone who was to sleep over on Maya Beach.
I knew the night ebfore there was 42 people on the trip. It turns out that this night, my night, there was only to be 7. Myself, a quiet couple from Singaporem, and 2 couples form England/UK. I struck up a conversation with the 4 and it was immediatly apparant that we were all cut more or less from the same jib. Few...friends! After arriving there, there were still many tourists on the beach so we jumped off the boat and snorkled for a while. Its the same fish everytime but it is just such an amazing colorful menagerie within these waters. Eventually we made our way to the beach and watched as all the day visitors left. It was us 7 and our guides. I was finally the character in the movie. This place is unbelievable.
I won't attempt to describe in words. Hopefully the pictures speak for themselves. The 7 of us sat on our beach till the sky turned pitch black, ate dinner, listened to music, played guitar, and just absorbs this gift from the earth. The sky was littered with stars and I couldn't take my eyes of the night sky as if it was beautiful woman who demanded, with her looks, to be looked at. After several drinks, served in buckets, and card tricks, and drinking games, and card games, it was time to go crab hunting. This island has HUGE land crabs that roam the jungle at night foriging for food. We all took a trek into the jungle and started hunting. Eventually we came across some and not only were able to see them, but the more adventerous of the group, held them as well.
Crab wants his bucket.
I took my matt, pillow, and light sleeping bag and walked about 100 feet from anyone else and lay down on the beach to soak up more of the sky's graffiti. It must have been an hour of just taking it all in. This place was magic and I wanted more. I finally fell asleep. Unfortunately though sleeping on sand is not as glamourous as it sounds and I was in and out of sleep through the night. The only positive of that was I was able to cehck out the stars troughout the night. What was amazing fun to notice thouse was that the show kept changing. Since were always moving, the sky's actors are constantly changing and where I fell asleep seeing some random stars, I noticed after waking up that I was just in time for the headlining show, The Big Dipper - right over my head.
Terry and I attempting to sing
And then, back to sleep. One of the guys from the UK is on a 3 month leave from the UK army. I don't mean he's working in the offices of the UK organization. He is a Sarjeant and on the front lines. Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, everywhere.... he told us many stories, as if he were he himself performing theatre and these stories were INSANE. When we were drinking, I, shall you say, might not have been keeping up with the team and naturally he went into Sarjeant mode treating me like a soldiet. "I will punch you in the toe if you do not..." with his thick UK accent. I couldn't but laugh at how this must be how he is with his soldiers, albiet about much more serious issues. Lastly, I forgot to mention that a few days ago, I slipped in to this tiny Thai restaurant for some curry and couldn't help but notice and laugh when I saw the tv was on and a certain movie was showing.
Harvard Man. In Thai. If you know me, you know why that is just sooo funny. It is the next morning and I am waiting for my boat, which leaves in 30 minutes, to go to Krabi
, and then straight to Au Nang (sp?). And, in case you were wondering, I enjoyed all of the latter for all of you who weren't there. The best thing I have done thus far.