04.05.2010 - 06.05.2010 33 °C
As Matt mentioned in his last blog we decided to hire motorbikes on Ko Lanta. We go these little scooters from the place that we were staying and off we went. Once I got the hang of it driving around the island was beautiful. The rainforest's growing up limestone cliffs and the views from the top of the island were breathtaking.
We were both pretty proud of ourselves when we made it back to the hotel in one piece that night, with no scratches on either ourselves or the bikes.
To prepare for a full day of biking the next day we had a very early night. I was really enjoying zipping around on the bikes. Its a nice cool way to travel when you are so hot and sweaty. Anyway in the morning g we were back on the bikes and wandering around the island. We went and booked our ferry tickets on one side and then decided to go and see the Mae Kong cave in the middle of the island.
After an uneventful ride down (of course not counting the scenery as uneventful as it is stunning everywhere) we arrive at the cave and the chat to a nice lady who has about 10 or 11 cats napping on her verandah. She informs us that she will have a guide for us in about 5 minutes and motions for us to sit down. \However sitting down is a bit hard when every surface is covered with cats.....
Eventually the guide shows up and as much as Matt thought it was a proper tour company that had great guides that would tell us the history and significance of the cave he didn't t speak a word of English.
He motions for us to follow him and up we go up a slightly sloping hill. This is pretty good I start off thinking. A nice stroll to some beautiful cool underground caves with a chilly pool for us to take a dip and cool down. As I am walking along daydreaming I notice the guide has stopped and has walked behind us. Matt looks at him and he motions up this rock face. It has crude steps carved into it and a rope to steady yourself.
We get ourselves to the top and then we look up. We are not even a quarter of the way up. As we stumble our way to the top I realise just how unfit I really am.
The guide stops on a rock and sits down so Matt and I do the same. There is a narrow slit in the face of the cliff. It is the opening of the cave. After we all catch our breath and load up with mozzie spray (so so many bites!!) we head down into the depths. Its beautiful and cool down here. The guide bangs his hand on the side of the wall and we can hear that is hollow.
The rock formations are beautiful and Matt got to feel like he was Indiana Jones. They had these ladders that looked like that had just been knocked together for you to climb down sheer cliff faces. It was awesome. It was a bit muddy and not too tame to feel like we were not on a bit of an adventure. At the end of the climb through we ended up in a huge cavernous room. The guide vaguely points to a hole in the floor and mentions water.
To get back to the entrance we had to walk though this enormous corridor which made me feel a though we were about 2 inches tall. It was hard to believe that all of this is underground. The guide stamps his foot near the base of the wall and again we hear that is hollow. The entire floor is a shell.
Near the exit there a few animals noises and the guide points out hundreds of bats hanging from the ceiling. The guides leads us out and back into the heat...
Matt is putting photos up of everything as we speak!!!!
After we get out of the caves we only have a few hours before we have to head back to the hotel to return the bikes. There is a restaurant that I really wanted to go to at the southern most resort on the island. They were supposed to make the most amazing wan ton soup.
We get down to the bottom of the island and still with a few km's to go the road turned to dirt. Very uneven dirt. You could say we were both shaken to the core... Still we persisted.
We hit the 1km mark and even though we both thought we should turn back as the sun was sinking and the hills were huge we still went on. We had gone about another 2km when we still could not see the resort. We turned back.
As I was going down a steep part of a small hill I hit a rather big rock that was neatly disguised with sand. I CRASHED. I am lying face down in the sand, the bike on top of me and my leg hovering near the exhaust. All I can think is "Get it off me". Matt can hear me yelling and stops his bike at the top of the hill. By the time he gets down to me I have untangled myself and checking my body parts to make sure nothing is broken.
I am a bit banged up (scratches and bruises but ok.) and with the construction crew watching the show as if it the most entertaining thing in the world all I want to do is get back on and get out of there.
We pick the bike up and have a look. It is leaking g a bit of oil but we think it will be ok to get back to the resort.
We get to the bottom of the big hill and it blowing smoke. A lot of smoke. I am devastated, shocked and covered from head to toe in dirt.
We pull over to the side of the road and a few Thai men stop and say that the bike is ok to ride although we don't wan t to risk it. Our little gathering in the middle of nowhere does not go un noticed and we soon have a large German man by the name of Marc inviting Matt and I to clean up at his place (about 20m from where we were standing ) . He takes us into the yard and his wife walks out to make sure I am ok. The hose starts running and I do feel a bit better once I am cleaned up. He gave me some antiseptic spray for my hands and a nice cool drink of soda water. I sit down for a bit and start to feel alot better. As my shoes were pretty covered in dirt and dust Marc picks them up and starts to rinse them out. When he couldn't get them clean hit wife hands him a scrubbing brush and he starts to scrub them.. I don't know what to say. They were just amazing generous people.
Matt and I leave the bike there and take Marc's number down and leave on Matt's bike.
The woman who runs the resort we were staying at had gone on a short holiday and left a woman who speaks NO English in charge. We get back to the resort and she wants to know why there is only one bike. We try and explain but she doesn't understand. She says we can talk in the morning.
I head back to our room for a needed shower and a well deserve beer. I catalogue my injuries. A few scrapes on my hands and knees, a slight burn on my leg and a few bruises on my hip and thigh. Not too bad considering what could have happened.
We wake up the next morning and get everything ready for our trip to Phi Phi island. As we walk up to the reception desk the woman come running up to us wanting the whole embarrassing story. We tell her the best we can, leave a note with what happened in English and our phone number and also Marc's number so that they can pick the bike up and we leave them some money for the repairs.
And we are off on our way to beautiful Phi Phi island. Matt's favourite place in the world, which he will tell you about in detail another time.
That's all from me
Oh and thanks for the travel towel Rhondda. Its perfect!!!!!!!