Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Pirate Waterfall

On our penultimate day in Ko Adang we undertook a short jaunt about 2km towards the west of the island to find the Pirate Waterfall. The faint path led us amongst the dense ancient jungle, contouring around the island we came to large granitic boulders and the river. From the size of the bed load that had been carried down we noted that once the volume of water in the river must have been much greater. It was amongst these giant's marbles that the pirates apparently hid their loot. Try as we might we couldn't find any treasure in this Jurassic Park vista.  We scrambled uphill, following the stream bed to find the waterfall. Whilst not a roaring avalanche of water it was a welcome sight. We decided to strip off and cool down. We sat at the fall's base and let the tattered curtains of water drape over us. 

Refreshed we set off to find a beach we had seen on the snorkelling trip from the long tail boat. This beach intrigued us as from the sea we could see a large hotel had been constructed in the bay. It is illegal to build on national park land, well, unless you can bribe a government official enough. 

We noted on our ascent a thick black pipe, which we presumed took water from the river to the Park HQ. On our way back we saw a second pipe spilt off and we followed this branch. We emerged from the jungle on to a beach opposite our neighbouring island of Ko Lipe, and following it into the sea we surmised that the National Park water must be suppling the tourist trade in Ko Lipe. The mouth of the river was wide and chocked with massive boulders worn smooth with waves, weather and time. it was reminiscent of the spectacular boulder-shores at Anse Source d'Argent, the popular beach in the Seychelles. Some of these, closest to the jungle were covered in epiphytes. the river would have been a good source of fresh water in its prime days for passing ships. 

The hotel was at the far end of this beach, furnished but empty. Three national park rangers lounged in the foyer; presumably on guard. By the standard of the build it was set to be a luxurious retreat (but not for the discerning travelling). Time will tell if the corruption can escalate high enough to build on this protected paradise island.

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