By this time it was becoming obvious that Gemīs illness wasnīt lessening and on the day we arrived she was feeling particularly unwell
. So Tim and I ventured into town in search of a pharmacist. Town consisted of a single road lined by various shops and restaurants, many of which clearly believed in diversification. A single shop could sell a variety of wares including clothes, petrol, bike hire, tours, massage and more. The pharmacist appeared to also serve as an internet provider. The lady disappeared with the list of Gemīs symptoms that weīd supplied on a scrap of paper and promptly returned with an armful of medicines. With an air of complete confidence she pushed a small bottle of pills into my hand, said something to the effect of, 'for pee-pee', and insisted that they would solve the problem. We had suspected a urinary infection and the small line of English in the instructions seemed to suggest that she knew what she was talking about. It was all over in seconds - no questions about doctors or other symptoms or anything much.
We tried on a few silly hats at the neighbouring shop and headed back. Well, these pills did provide us with some amusement. The packaging could have been from some kind of joke shop or 1970's horror film, complete with a cartoon drawing of a pair of kidneys on the front, and other than the single line of English in the intructions all other script was Thai. The one warning was about the colour it would turn the pee-pee, and I think it was early the next day that Gem ushered Tim and I into the bathroom to have a look at the toilet contents
. Now ordinarily this kind of gesture might be considered a little gross, but these were very exceptional circumstances. Imagine, if you will, a toilet filled with that deep bluey green bleach stuff you get to clean toilets - that was the colour! Seriously! We even have photographic evidence!
So anyway - let's move on. The day after we arrived Gem and I hired a scooter for the equivalent of about 80p an hour and went island exploring. I drove and Gem was my passenger. Afterwards she said it might have been her favourite Thailand activity to date! The other side of the island was only about 15-20 minutes drive and we passed through various shack villages that made the island feel a lot less touristy than some of the other places we'd stayed. We stopped half way across at a bar with an impressive view over the island and had a couple of drinks. We also stopped briefly in Old Town, the oldest settlement on the island. It was just as I was beginning to feel a lot more confident on the scooter that we arrived back at our resort and handed back the key - nevermind.
That evening we visited a restaurant a little further down the beach and sat on a mat around a low table. We ordered barbequed seafood, including some huge prawns, and watched a guy playing with fire poi
. Gem and I had mistakenly thought that the seafood was priced by the kilo but later discovered it was per 100g - whoops - nevermind, it still worked out at a lot less than what we would have paid back in the UK (that's what we told ourselves). We were each offered a free shot at the bar and upon seating ourselves on the high bench were presented with a bottle of tequila with a snake and scorpion in it, and another spirit made from snakes blood! Not what we had been expecting, but by this point it seemed too late to pull out. We all chose the lesser of the two evils, the tequila, and upon downing it made a relatively hasty exit - a story for the blog we told ourselves.
Anyway, I think it was the following day that we boarded a ferry bound for Krabi. See you there ...
Koh Lanta was reached via ferry. Once landed we were driven to our resort that was once again situated close to the waters edge. This time we all shared an air conditioned room with ensuite bathroom. It felt a lot less basic than our previous bungalow and we were grateful for the airconditioning. Along our stretch of beach were numerous restaurants and tourist accommodation and unlike Phi Phi the shore was not guarded by coral, which made it much safer for swimming. In the evenings tables with a variety of seating arrangements were positioned on the beach under the light of lanterns. For conservative westerners there were standard chairs but for travellers in search of alternatives there were various other configurations, most of which involved lying next to low tables. Once again the food was very tasty.