Back to the beaches and Diving!!!!!
Trip Start Aug 27, 2011
19Trip End Ongoing
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What I did
Snorkel, dive and enjoy sunshine!
We watched a couple of films on the way to Koh Tao, Shutter island and Fast and the furious (we have seen this loads of time on this trip - I think the Thais think it is good - IT ISN'T) Shutter island was good although just before the big twist they decided we had all wanted to stop watching it and turned it off :-(
We got to the middle of nowhere at about 3am and then changed from our comfortable bus to a pickup truck and did the last 30/40 minute trip to the pier in "exceptional comfort".
We arrived at the pier and had a long 3 hour wait for the first ferry of the day, we got to watch another great cheap budget movie, something about a crock'o'shark or shark'o'dile ( a mix between a shark and a crocodile) and met a guy from Belgium who had just bought a Canon camera, Stu was happy as he got to kill the time showing Tom (the Belgian) how to use the camera, then the sun rose and we got to try out and use these tips.
The boat arrived and we boarded about 07:10 and had a 2 and a half hour trip on the ocean ahead of us, Stu had a lovely ham and tuna sandwich and needless to say then fell asleep. When we arrived in Koh Tao - the pier was exactly as Stu remembered 10 years ago and Cynthia remembered 5 years ago, we said good bye to Tom who was off to get his Open Water Diving License on the other end of the island.
We got in the back of the pickup truck that took us to Tropicana resort - Cynthia had stayed here last time she came so at least we knew what to expect. We had a 3 bed apartment with fan and cold shower. Now Stu didn't think this would be too bad as it was very hot outside, might be nice to cool down?!? Uh NO!!!!! Stu tried the shower and it was colder than any water we had drank out of the fridge, we thought we would see how we go, the accom was cheap, and as we were not all diving we couldn't stay in a lot of places and get a deal (the way it works in Koh Tao is that a lot of the diving schools have accommodation attached and if you sign up to dive you get VERY cheap rates, if you don’t they charge you a lot)
We went for a walk along the beach front and came across a diving school called Sunshine Divers, Stu enquired about doing some dives, he had not dived for 10 years, and booked himself on to a refresher course that afternoon in a pool
We stopped for lunch and then went back to Sunshine Divers to get Stu in all geared up, they were really nice and also let Sally and Cynthia in the pick-up truck for free to take us all across town to Baan diving resort where they used their pool, sally and Cynthia went off to explore and Stu got his kit on!!
Very strange being back in the water with all the kit on, but was very surprised at how much I remembered and how much it all came back to me, although buoyancy was an issue at first I soon got it nailed and was hanging around in the water effortlessly.
Sally and Cynthia then came back and after a whole lot of chatting to my instructor decided to give diving a go and booked themselves on to a discover diving course, one day of training and a dive, I took this opportunity to go for some dives myself, and Cynthia and Sally came along to snorkel.
That evening we walked further along the beach and found a nice little bar on the beach and sat in net hammocks drinking beer,cocktails and smoking a shisha - Not sure if this is Tobacco, does anyone know?
The 1st 2 dives were good, we saw a lot of fish, a massive school of yellow fish, sorry forgot the name of them but they completely surround you and you can’t see anything except the fish, saw a couple of giant groupers and loads of trigger fish, these are great to play with as they are very territorial and will snap at your fins, you want to stick your finger out at them though as they will have it off
The next day was an early start. We had to meet at 7.15am to leave at 07:30am to get the truck to take us to the pier to go to the boat and dive again.
This time we went to 2 more dive sites, in all honesty pretty much the same as the previous to but saw a few different fish like rays, turtles, moray eels and a mahoosive grouper, think it could of put my head in its mouth - and I have a big head!!!!
Cynthia and Sally also did their, discover diving here as well, Sally really enjoyed it but it was not for Cynthia.
OOHHHH forgot to say, as we had booked up to dive with sunshine we moved in to their accommodation 3 person room with WARM shower and AC - and also a Large lizard as a guest in our roof.
After the diving we managed to get back for the World Cup Semi Final. We got to a bar called Choppers, we arrived just after kick off and left as the whistle went - this is all I am going to say about this!!!
We had hired a couple of bikes and decided to go and explore the island a little bit - See photos) Cynthia was feeling a little tired so went back and me and Sally went for a walk all the way down the beach and saw a lovely sunset - I was very excited as I had brought my camera with me this time and took loads of photos!
The following day we went on a little trip on the bikes - it was VERY hot and we went up in to the island to go and see a whale skeleton, we all thought it was surprisingly small for a whale but never the less it was there, we had the best Mango Shakes here, so good we all ordered 2, after a while though it got to hot and we had to leave to cool down on the bikes.
The final night we took a walk down one of the other beaches and bumped in to Tom again, who had just finished his diving course, he invited us to come and watch his diving video in his resort and have a few beers, now who could turn down beer and videos!!!
When the video finished - which was good by the way, we bumped into 2 Welsh people who were on the course with Tom, Ros and Rhys from Newport, they were leaving the following day too so went to pack and we arranged to all meet up later to eat and drink
Stu, Tom, Sally and Cynthia went down the beach and watched a fire show and ate some good food, ask Cynth and Sally about the meat kebab they had, I am sure they will pleased to tell you all about it!!!! (to be fair it was awesome)
After a couple of hours we decided to call it a night as we had to pack and drive back in the dark!!!!!
We decided then it was time to move on from Koh Tao and head towards Koh Pangang - PARRRRTAYYYYYYY!!!!