Sunbathing, snorkelling and falling off bikes
Trip Start Sep 07, 2004
53Trip End Aug 15, 2005
We arrived here on the 2nd not really knowing where we were headed but settled on Chalok Bay to the south of the island. What we did not know was that all the rooms on the island were full due to the Tsunami and more travellers being over on the islands on this side of Thailand. After at the last minute deciding to go to Koh Pha-ngan and not Phi Phi, lady luck was again smiling on us, as at the second place we tried to find a room we found 2 people at that moment in time, checking out
On our first night here we went for a farewell meal with some friends who we had met on Koh Pha-ngan, one of which Punji had fallen hook line and sinker for but alas there was to be no holiday romance.
Our following 2 days we filled with nothing more than sunbathing, snorkelling and cards with 2 Americans Brad and Ray , so by the 3rd we were itching to see some more of the island and a bit of adventure. Liz suggested that we should hire some bikes out and get out and see some more of this beautiful island. Bearing in mind, I have not riden a bike since Liz and I went to Turkey over 8 years ago and that was my first attempt during which I managed to throw Liz of the back on more than one occasion. Punji, however used to ride one so he was up for it so how could I say no. As we hired our bikes I was informed that the one I was having for me and Liz was brand new and before I got it was shown the prices for any breakages I might do during the next 2 days. Punji and I decided we might need half an hour or so to re-acquaint ourselevs with the beauty of 2 wheel transport. After 3 goes at trying to kick start the bike before handing it over to the bloke who rented it out to us to get it started we were away. Or so I thought, 3 or 4 stalls later with Punji away and gone the bloke comes over and gives me a lesson and looks at me gone out as if to say it's gonna cost you a lot today and why the hell have I rented the newest bike to a total idiot who does not know what he's doing
If at first you don't succeed try try and try again and at my next attempt I pulled away no problem and the open road was mine. Whizzing up and down the main road seeing Punji go in the opposite direction I was beginning to feel more comfortable and after about 20 minutes decide I was OK enough to have Liz on the back. Although I did say as Punji has got far more bike experience you could go on the back with him, but no she trusted me and we were away.
Before I go any further I will give you a little background to the roads of Koh Tao - there's one and it goes from north to south on the west of the isalnd with little dirt tracks heading off to the east to take you to the other side. After a farely uneventful 25 mins and with my confidence increasing I decided to try and take one of these tracks. Avoiding potholes, bumps, holes, weaving between cars we made our way about 1/2 a mile up this winding track to be confronted by about a 1 in 3 hill, I was taking it steady and approached it slowly always wary of my precious load before realising that I was in 2nd and needed to get into 1st, as I dropped down a gear I gave it too many revs and before I knew it the front wheel was up by my nose and Liz had flown off the back managing to stay on her feet though, within seconds the bike was gone and I was on the floor. As I got up unhurt I turned round to see "El Punji" laughing his tits off at the bottom of the hill
We thought that hill was bad, at the top where it levelled out it lead to an even steeper one and as we pondering what to do we saw two bikes coming down the hill that had passed us earlier, one with a bloke covered in scratches and with a bandage over half his face, no doubt from earlier crashes. Within 20 seconds both had managed to lose control and fall off quite badly and then as we glance to the top of the hill see somebody else struggling, lose control and fall off as well. At this point we looked at each other and said "Fuck this, lets take them home". Liz started to walk down the hill and as Andy lead the way I lost control again and ended up in the grass with the bike on top of me. Luckily I was in tact with superficial scratches only and somehow the bike was too. Shaken but not stirred I got back on and met Liz and Andy at the bottom of the hill. At this point Liz and I were in need of a beer and a fag to calm down so we set of for the bar at the bottom of the road, but Punji had forgotten he had left the stand down so proceeded to do a 180 before reganing control! That beer could not come quick enough!
After a beer and about 3 fags my hands had eventually stopped shaking and we could get on our way.
The next day Punji left us so we are now planning what to do next.