Someone was smiling down on us. We had tried everything to get to Bali and Lombok, but our plans were futile and it didn’t work out. On arriving in Thailand we heard the terrible news of the earthquake in Bali; there was a reason our path was blocked to go there…
Finally we could just ‘be’. Our little villa ticked all the boxes: an air conditioned villa by the pool, ample space, 2 bedrooms, WiFi and cooking facilities. The owners and staff couldn’t have been more friendly and accommodating and they loved having our kids around. It was the school holidays so there were lots of families around the area, and thankfully Rico and Tiana managed to make some temporary friends in our complex.
During the ensuing 10 days we didn’t really do much in the way of exploring the area. It was easy to get torn between: having this one off opportunity trip of a lifetime and seeing and doing as much as possible, versus the need to stick to our budget. There were always so many experiences and sights to see, it was a tough call.
Ever since the Philipines, where Rico witnessed his friend Zac have a motorbike accident (http://straightouttasuburbia.net/19-philippines-the-accident/) , he was scared of getting on a motorbike or scooter. Despite us telling him that Zac’s was a freak accident, it didn’t stop his fear. We needed to get to Krabi in order to extend our visas and the easiest and cheapest way to get there was by scooter. Trying to get Rico on one wasn’t happening-complete meltdown saying he had flashbacks from the accident. We had to be sympathetic, but additionally explained that this was a fear he’d need to overcome as there would be plenty more places we would need scooters out of necessity; this was also another lesson in life regarding facing fears and overcoming them.
Rico’s trust had to be earned regarding scooter safety, and the following day we managed to convince him to sit on one and then literally ride 50 meters. He still wasn’t happy, and I consequently had to bribe him into coming for a ride around the block. He hung on for dear life and cried the whole way round, despite me going at a snail’s pace…still no joy.
Out of the blue the next day, Rico said he was prepared to go for a short journey if we absolutely had to hire scooters….within 10 minutes he was egging Becky to speed up!
One fear conquered and within a couple of days another fear was born, still in the transport area, but this time in the form of a boat. We did a tour of nearby islands in a longboat in reasonably choppy seas, but to be honest I also thought we might capsize. The driver of the boat clearly knew what he was doing and I peered out of one eye to watch him move the boat in anticipation of the the waves. It wasn’t a pleasant experience, and Rico swore he’d never get on a boat again..back to the drawing board!
From Ao Nang we bused to the Khao Sok national park. We had a pretty basic room amidst some stunning flora by a fast flowing river and some over inquisitive macaques who stole Becky’s sarong from the balcony and proudly hung it on the roof inaccessible to us. There was no point going to Khao Sok without a visit to the infamous lakes, and we weren’t disappointed.
I sat mesmerised as our long boat glided along the vast glass like lakes flanked by beautiful jagged rock formations drapped in rich green foliage; simply breathtaking. Our guide teased a tarantula our of it’s abode, much to my horror, and tried something similar to the door of a trap door spider’s residence but thankfully the latter stayed put. Despite my pep talk with Rico about overcoming fears, I was hypocritical when it came to mine and I was yet to find peace with our 8 legged brethren. Little did I know what awaited us at our next destination..