The boat journey back over to Koh Phangan was reasonably eventful. It was Stuart's birthday that day and so we ended up drinking quite a few beers on the way over and chatting to various people around us. It was slightly choppy due to a receeding storm and so some people were just sitting huddled together on the upper deck while we were drinking and talking loudly.
On return to Koh Phangan me and Stuart headed off to Paradise Bungalows at the end of sunrise beach, which I had heard was an ok place to stay, and settled in. Later on I met up with Martyn, Steve & Emma at a cafe in the middle of Haad Rin but Stuart was not to be found. After waiting around for a while we headed off to his room but he would not answer his door. Convinced that he was merely asleep Martyn climbed the tree outside of his balcony and opened the door for us - he was fast asleep in bed. We put Emma and Steve's card and prezzy on the bed and tried to wake him.
It was the night of the half moon party and as Emma, Steve and Martyn were staying close to the party venue they left us to head back and get changed, while me and Stuart faffed around Haad Rin for a while. Eventually we got into a shared taxi with a bunch of Irish girls (they just happened to be in the taxi) and got chatting to them.
It was a few miles out to the half moon party and we were not sure what to expect. People had told us that it was in the jungle and so we expected something quite raw and primitive. Well it was anything but. It was certainly in the middle of the jungle but otherwise it was just like a modern outdoor nightclub with impressive visuals, a massive sound system, several bars and decent lighting. Sadly you did have to pay to get in but it was definitely worth it!
Naturally I went up to one one of the bars straightaway and ordered a bucket - and then watched with horror as they put not one or even two red bulls into it, but three! This is bearing in mind of course that the red bull in Thailand contains amphetamines and so one mixed with vodka is enough to energise, so three is really going to get you going! Anyway Martyn, Steve and Emma were not here yet and so me and Stuart chatted to the Irish girls for a while, who turned out to be really nice. Most of them bizarrely were training to be chartered accountants in Dublin and had come to Thailand for a break. Trust me to run into other financial people...
Soon the bucket was drunk the the evening started to blur a little. I remember seperating off from the others and chatting to loads of randoms. About half way through the night there was a heavy tropical rainstorm and as I had a plastic bag covering my camera and money I just carried on dancing. I can honestly say that it was one of the best moments of my life as it felt like pure headonism - totally letting go. I was being drenched with rain but did not care, the music was still playing, the lights were still going and I defintiely was not alone on the dancefloor.
At around 7.30am I decided to head home. Most of the others in the group had already left so I ended up leaving with this Dutch group I had been chatting to. As we were just about to get into the taxi we saw this one English guy standing around outside not wanting to get in and looking scared. It soon became apparent that he had done some mushrooms and had become convinced that the if he got into the taxi the taxi driver would kill him. The taxi driver could hear this and just ignored it as to him it was just another messed up westener. We managed to persuade the guy to get into the taxi, I ended up paying for him as he had no money and then for the duration of the journey the guy just became more and more upset. He was trembling and on the verge of tears, such were his emotions and I remember him looking at us and saying: "but you dont understand; I am worried about you guys. Because you are with me, he now is going to kill all of you as well!" Seriously messed up stuff. Well naturally the taxi driver did not try and kill him or us and we all went our seperate ways to bed.
I was up bright and early at 2pm the next day and the day did not get much more productive. Steve and Emma left for Pipi half way through the day and I bumped into Stuart and Martyn later on but nothing exciting happened. It was an early night while we nursed our hangovers.
The next day we really started to notice how empty Haad Rin was and so our expectations of the pool party in the evening were not high. Certainly at first it was rather quiet but soon we got chatting to some Israelis and then later on to some Venezualan girls and things improved somewhat. At one point though everyone was in the pool and were encouraging me to get in, but I did not want to leave my camera and mobile phone by the side of the pool where they could be knicked. Being slightly drunk I thought that my waterproof bag would be ok and so put my camera and phone into that and jumped into the pool...
Half an hour later I saw Stuart sitting my the side and so decided to give him my stuff just to be on the safe side. There was a hole in the waterproof bag and my camera and mobile had been for a bit of a swim! Both were broken and the mobile phone was actually hot to the touch! I ran to the bathroom and franticly tried to dry them out but naturally it was far too late. Another bucket and some pool fun soon changed my mood around however and soon was back into the waterfights!
I was the last one to leave the pool party, just as the dawn was breaking. I honestly was not expecting for there to be a taxi to take me back to Paradise Bungalows and I was not looking forward to the 20 minute walk, so I was very relieved when a car stopped and asked me where I wanted to go. I got in the back with two English lads and there was also about four Thai guys in the front and back. After some polite converstion when we were on the road the two English guys asked me if I knew anyone called Stuart who stayed at Paradise Bungalows. I told them that I did and then the English guys told me that Stuart had arranged to do a large charlie deal with them and so they had found these Thai guys with charlie and were now trying to find Stuart, who had disappeared!
My heart sank. What the fuck was going on? I just wanted to go to my bed! It was 7am and suddenly the evening had taken a very strange turn. I seriously doubted that Stuart had asked these English guys to do anything like set up a charlie deal but I could almost smell the fear off the English guys and I knew that this had the potential to end messily.
Anyway I gave the Thai guys the taxi fare and then walked down the path to Paradise Bungalows with the two English guys following. The two English guys had tried to wake up Stuart but thankfully he was a heavy sleeper and did not wake up so they did not think he was in. At this point the English guys started seriously stressing out, saying that the Thai guys had shown them a gun and a knife and had told them that the deal had to go down. I then asked the English guys how they knew these dodgy Thai guys and apparently they had just approached someone on the street and asked them! I mean, really. How stupid can you get? First of all they could be undercover police. Second of all they could be some dodgy mafia types ready to seriously hurt people for money and drugs. Telling the English guys they were stupid I walked away from the situation while I still could and headed to bed. I never saw them again.
The following day was spent very hungover again and then as the following day was Martyn and Stuarts last night on the island we rented a quad and a scooter to drive around. I was on the back of Stuarts quad and I was very glad that I had not got gone for a quad or scooter of my own as the road surface was crazily uneven in some places with heavy rains washing out large grooves in the dirt track. Eventually though we reached the north of the island and see a beautiful beach. After a quick drink we headed off to the Amsterdam bar where there was an amazing view and an excellent sunset. After a couple of cocktails we jumped back onto the bikes we headed back into Haad Rin, had some food and then a couple of goodbye beers. It was a sad moment as it was the end of three weeks with the group - now I was to be by myself again.
ps Due to my camera drowning at a pool party and then anti virus software wiping a memory card when I put it into the computer directly I only have a couple of pics for this entry!