Off we go
. Koh Lanta has one main road circling the island. We get lost on it. So we stop for gas, which is sold by the litre(ish) in old whishy bottles, and consult our map. Hmm. It seems we have ended up on the wrong side of the island about 30km from home, on a little side road that our map describes as 'for experienced riders only'. We have one helmet between the two of us. It's a childs helmet and Anna is the current wearer. It is far far far too small and has a sharp peak on the front which stabs Ian in the back of the head each time he breaks. Because of this we are both getting headaches. No problem though, the sun is shining, we have gas and we have crisps. Less than 5 minutes later we have torrential rain too, as the heavens suddenly open and the rain starts to come down so hard it feels like hail. We make a dash for home, Ian wearing sunglasses to fight the stinging rain. The roads have become rivers and we overtake a number of boats sailing down the street. We arrive home around 30 minutes later drenched to the bone and freezing cold. We didn't find the waterfall but we sure found the water.
Waterfall hunt part 2 - After a while the sun comes out and bakes everywhere dry, we change clothes, eat the crisps, and head out determined to find the waterfall (after consulting the map again we are pretty sure where we went wrong on Koh Lantas one road...) This time we make it over steep hills and windy bends to a dusty road and pass an English-American couple who confirm we are heading the right way. Hurray! We pass a few elephants having dinner and pay some locals 20baht to watch our scooter as the road worsens and the rest of the trek has to be done on foot. It's 2 hours to sundown and the locals laughingly tell us it's a 1-2 hour trek. Undeterred we march on! Gradually the path vanishes into the stream and we begin to question whether we have missed a turning as we havent seen another person since the locals about half a mile back
. Then we pass an English chap heading back the way we came, he says he thinks the waterfall is further up the stream but him and his mate had to turn back as they had to be back at the hotel for six. He is on his own. We don't ask where his mate is and never see him during our journey. We try not to worry about this and carry on with renewed hope that we would find the waterfall. After some further Indiana Jones style jungle trekking we find It. And it has water falling out of it! We dance in the river. Its The Riverdance :) We are officially King and Queen of the jungle and pioneering explorers of the unknown.
Heading back to to the scooter we stumble upon a cavern and overhanging cliff. Some of the trees roots have spilled over the edge to form a hanging web of tree. Very cool. Travelling up the stream again Ian gets a leech on his leg. He deals with it in a manly fashion by screaming and flicking it until it lets go. Anna currently has around a dozen mosquito bites and is not impressed by Ian's tiny leech. The bite ratio is definately not equal so far! As he puts a plaster on the gaping wound a nearby monkey climbs down its tree and starts to make very strange aggressive noises. Anna says she thinks it's time we left. Ian agrees. We make it home before sundown and go out for food as the crisps have run out.
Thanks for an awesome day Koh Lanta :)
We awake in our bungalow to find a little red scooter waiting for us outdoors (with the key in the ignition - crime must be low on Lanta!) We are both quite nervous, the last time Anna was on a scooter it crashed and last time Ian was on a scooter he was about eight and his dad was letting him pretend he was driving it. We hired the scooter the previous night and are starting to wonder if it was such a good idea. We have breakfast while we worry about the days coming adventure. First things first. Start the scooter. Errrrrm.... Ten minutes later someone takes pity on us and comes over and starts it up. We climb aboard and head to the nearby shop for treking rations to see us through the big day ahead. We buy crisps. Growing more confident on the scooter and being fully loaded with crisps, we set on our big adventure to find Koh Lanta's elusive waterfall - so named because sometimes its there, sometimes its not.