Thursday, 26 December 2013

Our first guest arrives

We arrived in Koh Mook island on the 17th and stayed in the Sawaddee resort, right next to the beach on the west side of the island. Sarah had been there a few times before and swore that the stilted bungalows had not been updated in seven years, and even back then they were falling apart! One night Chris answered the call of nature and was surprised to see a mouse run under the bathroom door between his feet and out of a hole in the wall! The positive aspects are that the staff there are very helpful, the food is fantastic and authentic and the location is the best on the island. 

We were keenly awaiting the arrival of our first guest and when the sun had set we started to worry something had happened to cause a delay. We called Fraser, "Where are you?" we asked "Sorry can't talk I'm on a motorbike crossing the island" he replied - typical Fraser! Apparently his connection in India had been delayed, which meant his other travel plans had to be shifted back but, reliable to the end, he chartered the last long tail of the day to reach Koh Mook and then persuaded a local to drive him across the island by motorcycle and side car! It was really great to see Fraser. 

Over the next three days we caught up with Fraser's news and recieved a good briefing on general UK and global events. Chris was annoyed to realise that he had left his laptop charger in Ko Lipe. However, after our friendly Thai hosts contacted the pension in Ko Lipe on our behalf at 8.30am, it was found and put on the next ferry boat and arrived (with no cost to us) by 2pm. We were amazed, but this a typical example of the generosity, kindness and helpfulness shown by Thai people everywhere we have been.

One evening we met Barbara and Corina who are based in Hamburg. They were lovely people who studied Karate and traditional Chinese medicine, running their own practice in Germany. Over the next few days we were educated in the basics of this fascinating approach to health and wellbeing. The following day we took a trip with them to the Emerald Cave. We took a long tail along the coast and moored just outside a small cave at the base of the cliff. We all popped into the water and swam towards this opening. Following it into a tunnel towards the back of the cliff we swam for 80m in pitch blackness. This meant we often swam into each other and the walls! The tunnel opened up into a secret cave, which was missing its roof, so technically is a blow hole with an enlarged vertical shaft, but that doesn't sound as attractive as the emerald cave!! It was a beautiful place, used for hundreds of years by pirates to hide their loot and by locals who hunted for birds nests for the chinese market.  Then the five of us went snorkelling at a secluded bay which was teeming with large soft corals, sea fans and anemones. 

On 20 December we chartered a long tail boat to take Fraser and us to our next island destination - Ko Lao Liang.

Fraser joins us at Koh Mook and we head off to find the Emerald Cave

The cliffs that hide the Emerald Cave

The cave's entrance, just a dark patch at the base of a 200m high cliff

The inside of the roofless cave, looking back at the 80m long, pitch black, twisting tunnel we have just swam through and its opening onto a calm sandy beach

Look, no roof!

Our reference material for this post!!

 Sunset from Koh Mook looking across to Koh Kradan

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