Thursday, 6 March 2014

New Friendships

Back on the Thai mainland we were collected from the jetty by our new friend Lilly and her daughter Ai. We'd met them in the swimming pool at our hotel in Ranong where we stopped overnight after exiting Burma. Sarah had helped Lilly to improve her swimming and shown her how to do the breast stroke and to thank us Lilly had taken us for some breakfast Roti (pancakes) and given us a lift to the jetty to catch the morning ferry to Koh Phyayam. She insisted that we call her on our return to Ranong and we duly did so. 

Lilly lived in the hills above Ranong were she manages a rubber tree plantation. She very kindly offered to put us up for the night in her charming wooden stilted house situated amongst the rubber trees. It was a beautiful setting and very peaceful. 

We all shared a fantastic Thai meal at a place in town. Lilly wanted to make sure we were very well fed! That night from our bed we watched the workers tap the rubber trees, using a torch to guide them in the darkness. They worked from about 10pm to 6am. Each tree was cut diagonally across the trunk and the rubber oozed out to be collected in a small half coconut cup. Later in the night the harvested rubber was collected from each tree. 

After a hearty large breakfast of ham and cheese roti Lilly and Ai dropped us at the airport and waved us off as we departed. It was sad to say goodbye as although our friendship had been short the kindness and warmth we were shown was very touching. 

Sarah and Lilly in her front room

Us with Ai, Lilly's daughter

Lilly's beautiful stilted house amongst her rubber plantation that was set up by her grandmother

Chris and Ai play with the puppies that are only a few weeks old and live underneath the house

Our farewell to a wonderful hostess