Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ton Sai

 It took us about a half day to travel from Ko Samoi to Ton Sai on various buses, songthaews (open air trucks), and boats.  As soon as we were there though I was really happy because it found like we had finally found a place that was really our style.  We got a bungalow set back from the beach for about 200 baht (about $6) and saw a game of beach volleyball happening on the beach so immediately joined.  It was nice to be around younger active people with nice climbing bodies (felt like home :).  There was even this one restaurant that had a batch of kittens running around - so cute!!  Everything on the island was a little bit cheaper than where we had been in Thailand and the town we were at you could walk everywhere.  That being said the town and our accommodation was pretty primitive.  It is the slow season now so there were a lot less people than would normally be there.  That night we scheduled a deep water soloing tour for the next day.  So the next day we loaded on a boat with 5 other people and we went to an area of deep water soloing.  I am sorry to say I don't have any pictures of Caitlin and I climbing - one was because we were too busy climbing and the other was the boat was incredibly rocky because the water was not calm that day.  I liked free water soloing - it was fun but really hard.  Actually I found one of the hardest parts was getting from the ladder to the rock.  Since the water was so rocky you had to time it so when you were climbing a giant wave wouldn't come and throw you against the rock and spray water into your face.  There was a fun traverse that we all worked on and I got to the top of one of the easier routes.  The jump from the top was probably the highest jump into water I have done since I was a child it was around 25 or 30 feet.  It was scary but nothing really hurt when I hit the water.  The other routes were pretty hard so I didn't get that far but traversing was fun.  We took off to go visit a beach for some lunch and some snorkeling.  They said we would go to another climbing spot but never ended up going (we think because of tides/weather) but other groups we talked to went.  That was a little bit disappointing but the beach we went to was really nice with really great snorkeling.  There were many kinds of fish and they weren't scared of you so at a couple of times I had whole schools of fish swimming around me.  It was fun.  When we got back I had started to feel a bit sick.  Now getting sick in Thailand isn't like getting sick at home - you are immediately afraid that you have some crazy tropical illness like malaria or dengue.  I chugged water, orange, juice, and tea hoping to feel better.  By the night my ears hurt and I thought I was going to have an ear infection.  But by the morning it had cleared up and my theory is some water got in my ears when I jumped down into the water earlier in the day.  I hadn't wanted to book any climbing for the next day not knowing how I would feel but since I felt good we decided to see if we could do a half day climbing trip.  Caitlin has had a shoulder injury and I am sort of at a low point as far as being interested in climbing but just looking at the walls in Ton Sai you can't be there and not want to climb.  So we booked an afternoon climbing trip and a guide took us to a wall that had several rountes that were around the 5.9 to 5.10b range.  We got about 5 routes in each - it felt really good.  We were out of the sun thankfully but climbing in that heat makes you covered in sweat by the time you are done with a route.  We were having a lot of fun in Ton Sai but as far as scheduling goes it was time for us to head north.  We wanted to spend some time in North Thailand and also Laos.  So that evening we booked a flight from Krabi to Chiang Mai that left the next evening.  We had plans the next day to rent some kayaks but soon learned in the morning that getting out of Ton Sai (only accessible by boat) was going to be a lot harder than we thought.  You have to wait for eight people to fill a boat or pay the full price.  So in order for a low stress trip we decided to miss kayaking and start our journey.  Currently I am in Chiang Mai and loving it.  Caitlin and I took a Thai cooking class today and had a lot of fun.  Need a nap before the night market tonight.  Cheers!!
View from Ton Sai beach - the tide was out

One of the walls at Ton Sai

One of the cutest kittens I could find

Our deep water solo spot

Our deep water solo boat

Lunch and snorkeling beach

Dragon fruit, very delicious and colorful in smoothies, which I have every day!

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