The map showed that there was a cut-through to our side of the island and the scout Jack, who trusts map more than anything was determined to find this shortcut. I believed less and less in it's existence the higher we walked up the mountain, there were no more people, the path got smaller and smaller and we were entering the jungle. I was still hoping that Jack would find it because my knee had started giving me grief and the rain had become worse, so I really couldn't face walking back for three hours. It turned out though that we had to give up on the shortcut because every path we tried ended up in a dead end of jungle. So walking back it was.
We were really lucky though and on our march back a truck passed us. The driver must have had sympathy for the soaked travelers in their silly waterproofs because he offered us a lift back into town. It was like being offered marshmallows when sitting in front of a bonfire - we were so happy. Back in town we rewarded our unsuccessful exploring with our favourite lunch from a food-stall: BBQ chicken skewers with sticky rice. Yummy.
After a day up in the mountain it was time to sink down low and we booked a dive for yesterday morning. People say diving is not dangerous but they forget to think of clumsy people like me. I always find a way to get hurt and I don't even need the help of fish. We went to a very cool dive site pretty much in the middle of the ocean. The waves were pretty high and I struggled on the surface swimming towards the buoy.
But all the stress on the air washes away when the head goes under water and the world becomes quiet. While in the Gilis diving was very diverse and colorful. Whereas Koh Tao offers huge schools of fish, swimming around you and eying you nosily. My personal highlight was a school of barracudas. There must have been hundreds of them. So yeah, while I float around under water looking at all these fish I get distracted and unaware of my closer surroundings so I floated backwards into a wall of corrals. Surprised I pushed myself away with my feet, luckily I only ended up with scratches on my foot. It would have been much worse if I had touched the sea urchin right next to it.
Pretty much towards the end of the dive I felt something nibbling on my leg. It was one of those small long fish that are usually attached to whales, which then tried to hitch a ride off me. When I wouldn't let it, it tried its luck on Jack, but was just as unsuccessful...
After a relaxing day at the beach today we will go on another dive tomorrow before we leave this beautiful island. I will try not to hurt myself this time.
We arrived in Ko Tao three days ago. The weather was too bad for swimming and we were too stingy to rent a motorbike so we decided to do a little hike to one of the island's viewpoints. Turned out that the map we had been given was wrong and instead of walking straight up the 300m "mountain" we had to walk around to the other side of the island first. It took us about three hours to reach the viewpoint.