| One of the places I’d not researched but Will had, was Railay beach. From the moment we pulled up on the longtail boat, it was easy to see why Will had chosen to visit here. It was truly amazing! The high cliffs renowned for its climbing were there for the taking and that’s what we were going to do.
So, we rolled up (on the wrong beach) and had to pay for another boat to get where we’re going and proceeded to head right out of town to our Amazon Bungalow resort (more like boggy swamp resort lol) which was surprisingly good despite my sinicism . Ok, so it turns out that Will and I had to get cosy for a couple of days, 1 double bed… no, 1 double mattress on the floor of our bamboo hut with a fan lol but we managed.
We started a tour via kayaking down river towards the caves, the sun was burning but the journey was fantastic, and with a lovely group of people with us it made an interesting day out. I can also say that I have now met some people who can’t kayak. Yes I know, who in the world can’t kayak but I’ll tell you who. A French couple who continued to blame their son for the shocking hand to eye co-ordination. I only know because Will is Swiss and speaks French and kindly translated there abuse they gave their child. But all’s well that ends well and the boy ditched his parents and joined forces with the Thai guy on the other kayak… good lad!!
So the trip continued with trekking through the caves and seeing some of the old cave paintings there with a final trip to the blue lagoon which was freezing. Beautiful but freezing!
I always thought a lagoon was meant to be warm and pleasant but instead I was risking the effect of hypothermia and didn't stay in for long. We stayed around the bungalow that evening and met a guy called Pond who runs the bar. A really nice guy who has definitely had one too many funny fags but enjoyed talking for sure. Without going into too much detail, he told us the story of how he and his family were affected by the tsunami. It was very hard not to cry at such a story, how he lost his entire family. His wife, his children, mother and two brothers and the business that he and his family were running. He only survived after the first wave pushed him high into a coconut tree and he held on until the water levelled out. This is a guy who is barely 37, only 6 years older than me. Just hearing this made me think about my friends and family and how lucky we are sometimes.
Anyway, trying to cheer things up, we did the full day climbing experience the next day which was great. I have to be honest and say that I wasn’t the best and I doubt it will ever be my day job; I gave up on the last climb after I’d lost the feeling in both forearms and couldn’t grip a pen if I’d wanted to.
But still an amazing thing to and a great claim to fame as a found out in the afternoon that I was climbing alongside Daniel Fisher, Australia’s Rock Climbing champion and current No1 in Australia. What a great finish to the trip before we head off to do our diving. Thanks Will, good choice of places to visit.