H.I.P #1 and I stayed in Countryside Resort, about a 10 minute walk from the beach. It cost us 100 baht a night, equivalent to $3.30. It was the first time I stayed in a place where mosquito nets were necessary.
The windows didn’t have screens, we never enjoyed a warm shower, the bathroom had grapefruit size holes in the wall and we had little visitors like this gecko. I loved the simplicity of this place and even learned to love the gecko as it ate the mosquitos.
Sounds in the wild.
The climbing on TonSai was fantastic! This route, Tidal Wave (7b+ or 5.12c) was my project. It was above my climbing limit, but felt do-able and I really enjoyed the movement. On the last day my goal was to finish the whole climb on lead as a redpoint was not within reach. After struggling for about an hour and a half, I hit the chains for the first time. Our friend Spencer got the redpoint on Tidal Wave a couple days prior, which was so exciting because it was his hardest redpoint to date.
H.I.P #1 also picked a project above his limit. Here he is pictured working it, Cara Congresso (8b+ or 5.14a). He didn’t get the redpoint on this one, but hit the chains many times. He had completed his hardest redpoint to date on his previous trip to TonSai in February. He sent Asia’s Shadow Play (8a or 5.13b).
Being surrounded by approximately 30 macaques while climbing at The Nest. Prior to the monkeys, H.I.P. #1 had jumped (literally) off a route as he was swarmed by black hornets.
One of our “rest days” was spent kayaking out to PoDa island (an one-way hour and half kayak trip through the Adaman sea), snorkeling for a couple hours and then kayaking back to TonSai. The day was seriously one of the best days of my life because it was the first times I felt comfortable in the water (most likely because I wore a life jacket), but was anything but a “rest day”.
This pic of me is definitely not stunning by any means, but I was so happy at this moment in time that I wanted to post the pic anyway. I went on this trip to clear my mind a bit and to start resolving some issues at home. I was extremely happy on this day and have been completely content with my life situation ever since.
H.I.P #1 taking a nap on the boat ride home from Phi-Phi Island. Our day on Phi-Phi was our third rest day. We snorkeled and though we didn’t see many fish due to the fact that we were most likely snorkeling in the incorrect area, we did find beautiful, fragile sand dollars. We also walked through the main streets, enjoyed delicious pizza (thanks to our fried Asaff) and gelato and I was delighted by the selection of fish that could be seen off the boat.
Not only did we stay well fed, but H.I.P #1 kept getting these humorous shots of me. The left pic was taken while H.I.P. #1 and I enjoyed a meal on Railay and the right pic was taken in the streets of Bangkok. I really enjoyed the Pad Thai and spring rolls that could be bought from the Bangkok street vendors. Pad Thai cost 15 – 20 baht ($.50 -$.75) and the spring rolls were 3 for 30 baht ($1.o0). Both dishes were filling and could be a full meal.
On PoDa Island and on Ao Nang there were signs posted that showed the evacuation route in case of tsunami. One of the last days in Tonsai, an 8.2 magnitude earthquake hit in the Indian ocean off Indonesia’s Sumatra island. H.I.P. #1 and I were at dinner (purposefully eating at a restaurant on Railey that had a television showing the breaking news) and were glued to the screen as the newscaster listed off all the areas with tsunami warnings. Thailand thankfully was not on the list! In 2004, it was a 9.1 magnitude earthquake that hit off Sumatra island that caused the devastating tsunami, killing 160,000.
Our second rest day was spent on Ao Nang. It was a true rest day as we spent the day walking around the town, getting a Thai massage and laying on the beach. While walking around we were approached by many of these school children. They were in an English learning program and would approach the travelers to practice the English phrases that asked our names, where we were from, introducing themselves and asking us to sign a notebook of theirs. It was quite overwhelming, but was a fun experience.
Thailand had a handful of stray animals. Here two cats sleep by empty Coke bottles on the west side of Railay.
H.I.P #1 and I were lucky enough to meet many great new friends. We met this crew who were all going to school in Townsville, Australia. From left to right were Emadtch and Nick (USA), John (Australia) and Spencer (USA). So many good times were experienced with this crew.
All of us pictured above spent a substantial amount of time at the Sea of Love, a little restaurant with a family feel. It was the restaurant owned by B and the place were Sunam worked. This is a video of our last night there, featuring B on the guitar.