Chillin’ With The Grillin’

After qualifying as SCUBA divers we still had a few days left until we had to return to Bangkok to pick up Zoltan so we decided to spend it with our good friends Patrick and Heleen, all that was needed was a little island hoping from Koh Tao over to Ko Phangan and boy did we pick the wrong day!!  The weather didn’t seem that bad but when you see staff wandering around the boat (ours was a highspeed catamaran) handing out sick bags you know you are in for a rough crossing but what made it even worse was that the bags themselves were see through, so if you weren’t feeling sick to begin with you would be shortly after the guy next door was, and sure enough, ten minutes in and after leaving the lee of the island the ride started to become a bit like a bucking bronco and the vomit-fest began!

What was so nice though was that when we reached Ko Phangan and got off the boat Heleen and Patrick had come in to town to meet us.  The guys had obviously had a good time since we had last seen them in Iran, they were both looking so relaxed and tanned.  After meeting them we sorted ourselves out with a ride back to where Patrick and Heleen were currently staying (Thong Nai Pan Yai) on the other side of the island.  The journey itself was pretty cool with what struck me as pretty thick jungle lining both sides of the track.  Once we got to our destination we immediately got the idea that you weren’t in the main hubbub.

Patrick and Heleen had found us all a cute little place at the end of a beach where we rented out two little cabins right next door to one another.  It was really nice being in their company again and we were soon back in the old routine, Patrick and I trying to beat each other at whatever board game we could find whilst Heleen and Kadri looked on completely bemused! 🙂

The next day after settling in we decided it might be a good idea to wander round to another beach, mainly to see what the sand was like on the other side of the bay but also as a quick reccee to see if we could spot any other accommodation bargains.  Unfortunately by the time we got there the lovely Thai weather had decided it had had enough of being nice and decided to throw in a few storm clouds, not just the tiny wee ones that you think ‘oh well, that could miss us and even if it doesn’t it won’t rain for that long’ these ones were storm clouds all the way to the horizon, but did this put us off?  Not a chance!  After a couple of minutes of sitting on the beach Patrick and I had had enough and were both making a run for the water, by this time the rain was starting to come in and the girls made the sensible choice of making a run for the bar!! 😀

Another a couple of days of island life and Patrick and I decided it might be fun to hire a couple of mopeds so that we could see a bit more of the island and seeing as there hadn’t been much success in finding any other places to stay on our return scope out a couple of new sites to stop over at after we had returned from picking up Zoltan.  We hadn’t had the mopeds for that long when things started to go a bit Pete Tong, on our first day it decided to rain turning our ‘road’ into a quagmire good enough to beat the best enduro rider.

During one of these trips into the big city we spotted a sign advertising a Ye Olde English Pub serving proper draught beers and hopefully the odd draught ale!  I was pretty sure Patrick would be up for checking it out but I wasn’t quite so sure about Kadri and Heleen and in the end Heleen did opt out choosing a relaxing day at the beach over a trip into town for lunch at the pub which left the three of us and two badly ridden mopeds weaving our way across the island to see what the Olde Pub really had to offer.  It was quite surreal turning up outside, they certainly had the right idea about what the pub should look like even down to an authentic looking beer garden.  Inside the relationship continued all the way from the pub smell to the pool table and darts board to the proper English grub which all led to a couple of hours of escapism eating pretty reasonable bangers and mash, drinking a nice cool Carlsberg (there were no ales in the end) and being convincingly beaten at darts by both Patrick and Kadri 😕

Yep, there is no hiding it, life on Ko Phangan was pretty good, good friends, good weather (generally) and a good time was had by all.  For the rest of our visit this time our days life continued as usual, trips to the beach for a swim or to just chill out, a bit of backgammon then off to look for a nice looking cheap restaurant with worthwhile entertainment (see below) and a wander back down the beach to set off a few fireworks 😀

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