Eventually after a hour the downpour came to an end and I was able to get going. First up was a trip to the Hammock shop, with my nice new bright orange tie dye hammock under my arm I skipped off to the taxi stand
. I found one other guy there that was wanting to go to bottle beach so we were able to share to cost of the taxi and boat around there. I heard about bottle beach from a Canadian guy called Cooper that I met on a Thai night train four years ago he talked about it so enthusiastically that I just had to go and see for myself, even though it took me four years to get round to it! It didn't disappoint. The beach was a picture postcard. I was fortunate enough to get one of the beach huts that are actually right on the beach front. The first thing that I did was string up my hammock and swing in it. Two hours later I got out.
My time spent on bottle beach was super lazy, getting out to have a swim in the sea is difficuilt enough, never mind even attempting to climb the hill behind (although I did try this once, I took a wrong turn and then headed back to my hammock and didn't try again!).
On one of the lazy afternoons whilst contiplating the cloud formation from my Hammock I heard a little splash in my ensuite toilet. I didn't think too much of it until my bladder forced me to leave my comfort zone to head to the loo. Sitting in the bowl was a twelve inch lizard (that includes its long tail) just looking at me! I got such a fright when I saw it, yes I really am a bit of a girl
. I left the hut and got my Norwegian Biologist Neighbour, Trond, to come and have a look at it. He tried to grab hold of it but it skooted back under the U-bend. Fine, I'm happy it's gone. A number of hours later it was back, and a bit meaner. I picked up a little yellow water skoop in order to do a little bit of lizard taming. I flailed at the poor animal who quickly disappered again. This wasn't the end of it as he reappeared again. I guess he'd got himself trapped in there. I called for Trond again who came in and went for it. This time the lizard didn't hop down the U-bend, I guess the sight of a 6 foot something human with big hands coming for him was far more appealling that what it'd found in the nether regions of my loo. After a little wriggling Trond managed to grab him by the tail and take him outside, where we received a little biology lessons regarding lizards bites and tails that don't fall off. All this excitement went to my head and before I knew where I was I found myself back in my little bit of tie dye heaven.
That certainally sums up what I got up to for 5 days, if it wasn't for the lizard story I don't think that there would have been anything to really talk about!
It was sad to leave the beach at the end of the week, but I had to get back to Bangkok for my trip into Burma. Due to a really crap boat and bus company on the way back to the train station I managed to miss my sleeper train by five minutes! quite often the Thai railways run a little behind schedule, however this time it was perfectly on time. I managed to change my ticket for an extra five pounds but this left me with a 5 and a half hour wait before I even got onto the 11 hour train ride. Fortunately I'd met some Americans and had swapped a couple of books with them. For the 3 hours that I had to myself after they left I was just glued to 'The Human Stain' by Philip Roth, it's a fantastic book that just grabs you from the start and doesn't let go, brilliant.
So I jumped into the overnight train from Bangkok and found myself in Surat Thani by the morning. I love the Thai trains, they're just so cheap & comfy. I caught the bus and then a boat over to Koh Phangnan, the boat ride is so fantastic that it doesn't actually even feel like you are travelling anymore, you can just kick back and enjoy the ride and the sun. Sadly though as we pulled towards Koh Phangnan we hit a storm, goodbye sun, it was fun for a little while at least. By the time we docked and I walked into the main town of Thong Sala the rain was just belting down. I decided that there wasn't any point trying to get to any other part of the island whilst this deluge was still taking place that I just hid out in a little restaurant in order to get some lunch.