|I woke up this morning around 7:30 to find that we were already docked and had been for over an hour! Man was I ever out cold. I clamoured off the boat onto the pier at Ko Tao and get myself oriented a bit. I had no real plan as to where to stay, but my inclination was to go somewhere other than Hat Sai Ri, the beach that's most developed and crowded with diving outfits. Roland told me the beach where he stays is really nice and pretty quiet, but still has diving, so when he offered me a lift there on his little motorbike I thought, "Why not?" We walked a little bit away from the main beach area here at Chalok Baan Kao, and then he let me leave my bag at his place while I ventured further on around the coast of the bay to explore the various resorts. Each resort is actually a group of simple bungalows, some right on the beach, others further up the cliff side looking down on the water. I checked out four altogether, and eventually opted for Moondance Resort, the one furthest along. For 200 baht/night I got my own bungalow with a king size bed and bathroom a stone's throw away from the beach. The resort also has its own private beach, good snorkelling, multiple hammocks, and a chilled out restaurant with low tables and cushions on the floor....it was perfect.
I hiked back to get my bag and settled in at Moondance with a nice breakfast about 20 feet from the shore. My next order of business was to lay out and get some sun since apparently I was really lucky to have a sunny day today. A British guy at the resort told me it's rained 10 of the past 12 days! I had some lunch and then rented a mask and some fins to check out the snorkelling off of our beach. While the coral is all but dead due the harsh squid fishing done just offshore, the fish were actually quite good and I amused myself with that for a few hours. It sounds like a pretty stressful day so far, eh? Well throw in a few more hours lounging in a hammock right outside my bungalow while reading and listening to music and you'll understand why I'm pretty much in love with this place already!
That same British guy Mark told me that there's a path that continues along the coast from our resort for about an hour or so and it takes you right back into the town where the pier is, so I decided to check that out in the afternoon. It's too bad that in my zealousness I forgot fly dope because I literally got eaten alive as I made my way through the jungle path! After a few wrong turns I eventually made it into the town and walked around to check it out a bit. I checked my email and had some noodle soup for dinner before realizing that it was quickly getting dark and I probably wouldn't be able to make it back through that path without some light. I inquired about a taxi boat back but there were none running after dark, and a taxi back along the road was way more than I was willing to pay, so I set out on foot to try and find my way back along the road. Since I had only gone this route once on the back of the bike with Roland, I was still pretty unfamiliar with it all, but I just kept going as long as I still saw things that looked familiar. I knew there was a little dirt road that we turned up and at on point I thought I had found it and started to walk up. In the dark I ended up getting bogged down in mud up to ankles and when I went to pull my feet out my sandals got left behind, so I had to dig my hands down there to fish them out! It was pretty disgusting but I also had to laugh at my stupidity at the same time. I knew we hadn't gone down anything that muddy earlier today, so I really should have known better! Back on the main road I continued on and eventually found my way back, although I got some pretty strange looks with my muddy appearance, haha. I had a pretty chill night reading in the hammock before turning in early.