Monday, 20 December 2010

I am Leonardo Dicaprio!

Monday 20th December 2010

MP3 track of the day: Pure Shores - All Saints

Weather: Dry but cloudy

Last night I did indeed play a card game; in fact it was a great card game, which originated in Israel, called yaniv. It's well worth giving it ago, so much so that if you click here you can find the rules. After the game I went to my dorm to set my alarm for tomorrow. It was then that I spoke to one of my room mates – a Dutch girl – who inquired into my trip. I told her all about the tour, which she seemed very interested in part-taking. She decided to sleep on it and see in the morning.

I didn't have a very good nights sleep last night; for some reason I awoke every quarter to half an hour checking the time. The only reason I can think of was the fact that it was quite hot. I got up early for my tour, which was a blessing as it gave me additional time to gab a quick breakfast before the shuttle bus arrived to the ferry. The Dutch girl and I were the first to be picked up on the shuttle bus; we stopped at other locations until the bus was full. At one location four French guys got on including one that looked terrible. He sat down near to us and started blowing into a plastic bad. All I could think of was that I hope he wasn't on my tour.

Once at the ferry jetty we were put into groups; the Dutch girl and I had a red sticker and I was pleased to see that the French all had blue. We then boarded our vessel (a speed boat) and headed to our first of eight locations, Bamboo Island.

Now I couldn't see any bamboo, however the beach was quite nice. We had thirty-five minutes here in which time I managed to walk the length of the beach taking photos, it was okay but it wasn't what I had come to see. Next up were some caves that were flooded so we couldn't enter; we took a few shots, from the boat, and left. The caves weren't that great however the sheer cliff faces of the rock were; it was like having huge pebbles sticking out of a puddle of water.

Five minutes around the corner we stopped again for the opportunity to snorkel. Free snorkeling gear was provided but I wasn't that bothered ... not yet anyway. I decided to take some photos of the cliffs, and boats, that surrounded us and I got first dips on the cake that was about to be circulated around the tour group.

Finally we made it to Maya Beach, the location of where 'The Beach' was filmed. The entrance area was the only bit that didn't seem right. The beach, water, plants everything was just how I remembered in the film, it was just the entrance to the beach that seemed wider. As I stepped off the boat I was Leonardo Dicaprio (okay I may not have the looks or money, however I am taller and not American) looking for that beautiful French girl from the film. It's a shame that this beach wasn't as secretive as in the film as there were hundreds of tourists around. Again I walked up and down the beach taking photos before sitting on the perfect white sand that, once picked up and let run through your fingers, the sand felt like silk.

I was now getting hungry, however there was one more quick stop before lunch … Monkey Beach. It was called Monkey Beach because it was a beach with monkeys on it (clever that). We weren't allowed off the boat as a monkey, two days ago, attacked a tourist who was pregnant at the time. I was glad as I had seen a lot of monkeys so far and I was hungry.

Finally we made it to 'Phi Phi Don', the resort area of the islands. We had an hour to locate the free buffet upstairs, stuff ourselves and have a look around. I'm a little bit weary of buffet food as you never know how long the food has been out; however with no other choice I delved in … and went back for seconds as it was good and I was hungry. The Dutch girl and I then ventured into the narrow streets of 'Phi Phi Don' where there were shops, stalls and bars as far as the eye could see on each side of the street. The strange thing was that white people outnumbered the locals and I didn't like it at all. We soon got bored of the 'tourist trap' areas and decided to wonder off the main street before getting back on our boat. As we sailed away I was glad that I hadn't stayed on the island as it's a place where you sunbathe and shop in the day and get drunk at night, not my cup of tea.

After a twenty minute boat ride we arrived in the middle of the ocean where there were other boats treading water. We had an hour to do some snorkeling; I looked over the side of the boat to see hundreds of tropical fish swimming around. With an hour here I decided to get my swimming trunks on and do a bit of snorkeling myself (the sun had been hidden behind the clouds all day and so getting burnt wasn't going to be a problem). It was amazing; if you stayed still hundreds of tropical fish would swim past you, almost touching your face mask … I've never been so close to tropical fish before, in the wild, in my life and all the different colours … it was very beautiful indeed. It was also brilliant when the boat crew through in food for the fish as you saw hundreds of fish change direction instantly to the direction of where the food is ... sometimes swimming right at you. Only once, when I had my back to the boat and a crew member had thrown a whole slice of bread in the water next to me, did I feel a little uncomfortable as thousands of fish headed straight for me … I swam away.

After thirty minutes I got out, totally loving the experience. Once out a plate of watermelon and pineapple greeted me which I ate thankfully. The Dutch girl came out soon after and we chatted about the excellent experience we just had. As we returned to the jetty I, like every journey on this boat, almost feel asleep (I'm not sure if it's my seasick tablets or the bad nights sleep, but I have been really tired today). The difference this time was that most of the other passengers did the same. A violent boat-slam into the water woke us up and informed us that we were back at the jetty. We climbed off the boat and into a bus which took us back to the hostel. A shower was the first port of call before chilling and then tea.

I have two days left here and I have no idea what to do … seriously no idea at all. I think a late start tomorrow is in order as I am pretty tired.

Toodle Pip!

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