On the Road Again 4 Monday 27th Feb to Sunday 5th March

Monday 27th Feb

Rainforest hike: we set off from the hotel. An underpass avoiding the busy 'logging' road led us to the track but there were a few tracks to choose from and no indication of how long any of them were. We chose the lakeside walk & headed off to the left down a very steep and rugged track, hanging on to a rope tied to the trees, for balance. After about ten minutes, the rope support ended and the track became impossible. We turned and retraced our steps to the main track and continued on that route not sure where we would end up.

Unidentifiable creature hanging from a branch!

A two hour, pleasant but hilly walk, punctuated by a sudden downpour half way along the route, led us to a rather ramshackled cafe where no one seemed to be in any hurry to serve us. When we asked for a drink, the woman just pointed in the direction of a table piled high with cans and cartons of drink.

Doesn't look so bad in this picture
View from the highest point

Then there was a choice; go back the way we had come or take the road which was quicker but we would have to dodge the logging lorries. We chose the former but without all the stopping and detours, it only took an hour on the way back. 10km today.

A swim in the infinity pool

Had the food from the Menu this evening; much better!

Tuesday 28th Feb

Left the hotel at 9.30am for the two & a half hour's drive back to Penang. Rang the car hire co. 10 mins before arriving at the airport as requested & a young employee was waiting to inspect the car - discovered that the trim around the from headlight was missing and wouldn't give us back our deposit! Much arguing ensued plus calls to head office. Eventually, they relented and paid up. Threatening a review on trip adviser really helps!!!!

Flight to Phuket via KL with an hour and a half wait in between. Both flights served chicken 'pocket pies', (not a culinary delight.)

At Phuket airport: taxi driver (no Ubers) chatted aimiably to a fellow taxi driver as we followed him to the car when Doug noticed that the one ahead dropped some money from his pocket & pointed it out to our taxi driver. He picked it out & pocketed the money! Doug remonstrated with him and the driver said 'do you want it? Doug said no but you should give it to your friend. At which point our driver shrugged at put it back in his pocket! So our first impression of Thailand: They have become very mercenary since we were last here 20 years ago!

Taxi to Tim's place and some confusion about his address - guard at the gate was adamant we were not at Surin Springs Condos yet the sign said Surin Spring! Eventually, when we mentioned our friend was a teacher at the International School, all was well.

As we hadn't seen Tim for twenty years, we had a lot of catching up to do! Late night chat and Cuba Libres!

That submerged boat kept moving around
Views from Tim's balcony

Wednesday 1st March

Tim left for work early (6.30 am). We had a lazy day; a bit of washing, sorting, reading and a gentle walk around the area to pick up groceries for our breakfast. Tim returns at around 4.30 and after much chat we drive to a local restaurant and discuss what we'll do for Doug's Birthday tomorrow.

Thursday 2nd March

Another extremely lazy day. Amble to the shops for breakfast basics. Reading and catching up on the diary. Tim is home a little earlier and we celebrate Doug's 66th birthday with a Cuba Libre before driving to the 360 degree bar at the Pavilions, Laguna. Tim turned left and approached tall wooden gates. A guard checked his pass and the gates slid apart and we drove up a steep gradient first through a fairy light fantasy, then through an archway of bamboos to a car park halfway up.

Don't do it justice

As we parked, a little open, electric people-transporter/golf trolley turned up to convey us to the top.

As the name implies, the hill top bar had a 360 degree view, a soft breeze and unfortunately a DJ!

Tim & the Birthday Boy

Cocktails taken, we set off for the restaurant. Again, it had an impressive, varied menu. Doug chose Beef Bourguignon and I had Tagliatelle with Chorizo.

More reminiscing before bed.

Friday 3rd March

Decided we must have a walk today! After a much neededclothes wash, we set off left to walk along the coast, or to keep as close to the coast as possible. There are some very up-market clothes shops in the Surin area; it is quite an expensive part of Phuket but behind the scenes, the charm is still there.

Not sure what this was

We left the busy Main Street and immediately reached the pleasant, quiet roads. As we passed a 'Beauty Salon', Doug noticed they offered Hair cuts as well and I grabbed at the opportunity. While he walked on, I had my hair cut by a Thai lady from ChangMai who had worked in Sydney, Australia for 7 years (illegally) so she spoke good English.

Just 10 minutes away from the madness of the Main Street
And this

Hair chopped and feeling much better, we continued our walk and returned to Tim's place. Read and caught up with diaries while he had a siesta after work.

The flag of Cornwall

Cuba Libres, dinner and more chat. Tomorrow we leave for Koh Lanta ....

Saturday 4th March

Taxi to Phuket Ferry port. Ferry a definite improvement on the Malaysian style; at least we could see out of the windows. Two and a half hours later, we arrived in Koh Lanta.

Late afternoon arrival

Old Town, Koh Lanta is basically a one street town with a faintly frontier feel - very charming and laid back. Our hotel 'Fresh Hotel' is small, on stilts, jutting out into the sea. On our arrival however, the tide is out and the rather gravelly, grey sea bed is exposed. High tide is around midnight and mid-day.

A few steps from our room
.... and later when the tide is in

It is lovely to be able to walk in the middle of Main Street and not worry about the traffic.

Peace and quiet

We dine at Fresh House Restaurant, basically because it is owned by our Hotel (but not attached) and we are entitled to 10% discount.

Sunday 5th March

Sunrise - 6.30am

We both woke up really early this morning and walked the few steps from our room to the end of the 'walkway' just as the sun rose.

Took rather a lot of this

Back to bed for another hour then breakfast at the Fresh restaurant. Muesli, fresh fruit and yoghurt.

A walk around the Old Town Town and the surrounding area; very relaxed and laid back. There is a Sunday market in full swing and much construction work going on. It seems to be in preparation for a festival of some sort but it could be a celebration of the past King's life - not sure. We will miss it - that is for sure.

Festival art work

The very long pier

Laundry next door

More views from the pier .....

And back along the road .....

They were smiling before!

Tomorrow- Koh Lipe ..........

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