Okay so where did we leave you? Oh yep Chiang Mai (seems light years ago) We took a flight on MOnday morning to Phuket and arrived mid afternoon. Herded onto a minibus to take us to town for 100 bahts per body (2 quid) Within minutes of setting off they stopped at a travel agency place and made us get out and tell them where we were staying- the idea being to sell us tours and hotels etc. We just said we were meeting friends and to drop us in centre (a good excuse) Phuket town is a ramshackle busy and not very pleasant place and we booked into the first hotel we came across (a big hotel which in typical thai fashion has been left to go off- no maintenance ever done on it and with about 6 people to every job none of whom go out of their way to give any value added whatsoever) Anyway it was clean and safe and we were grateful of the fridge so we could read and sup a few beers instead of trying to find anything to do in the town. Si did wander out and found the town had a certain charm in that it was once a colonial port and had some bits of interesting decayed architecture worthy of a snap. He also decided to nip downstairs to sample the hotel entertainment which turned out to be one rather tragic character singing karioke to an audience of 6 bartenders and no guests (saving our erstwhile reporter Pants in Thailand)
And so early pick up at hotel by minbus to take us to the ferry port and then a super ride of a few hours to Phi Phi passing on the way the stunning vista of the island and beach made famous by Leo di Caprio in the film The Beach. On landing at the ferry port (if a wooden jetty in paradise can be termed a port) we had a welcome cold beer and a bit of fried rice prior to hopping into a long tail boat taxi (2 quid each) and were sped out into the aqua blue once more and taken around to Long Beach - a true paradise. Our bungalow in basic but clean as a whistle (despite cracks in the wall which let in daylight) It has a little covered verandha and a fridge and is all of 10 seconds from the white beach and with views of wonderful jagged limestone islands which jut out from the horizon very dramatically)
So what of the hermit crab? Well our man in Paradise went for a swim and came back to shower off- suddenly a squeak (no not very manly I know but still it was a squak or maybe squeal!) of delight he came into the bedroom saying Hermit Crab in my shorts, I caught a hermit crab. Sure enough in the net pocket of his swim trunks was a shell out of which a little hermit crab was wiggling around thinking the estate agent didn't tell me about this when I moved in. After an impromtu photo shoot on the bed (for the hermit crab - not me!) He was released back into the sea.
I decided to have a lie down in early evening to start reading Robinson Crusoe while Simon (ever the adventurer) went to check out whether there was any other human life on the island. Whilst he was away I was roused from my book by the whole bungalow lightinig up almost at the exact same time as a huge roll of thunder gave out. What followed was the single biggest, loudest, longest storm I personally have ever experienced. After the first half hour I began to have misgivings that Man Friday erm Simon had been zapped into never never land but of course how could I worry. We all know how resourceful our hero is (even with a moniker like Pants) He spent the entire storm shacked up with some sea gypsies quaffing ales and discussing fishing and the differing personalities of the tropical storm!!
Once the storm cleared it was all fine again and wandered down to the restuarant/bar where we ate like kings on fab hot Thai curries and fragrant rice.
All in all an early night and we slept pretty well. This morning Simon has been for several swims and then made me walk back to the main beach through the jungle!! Great! We saw some beautiful butterflies some very large ants, a five inch millipede, long lizard and a massive hairy spider disappearing into a hole which I thought may have belonged to some sort of tropical island rabbit.
Anyway sun is out now and it is hot (oh by the way on the ferry yesterday idiot jo burned the tops of her legs to a raw crisp tender bbq shade...ouchy! Just my bloody luck to be the only person in paradise that looks like a suet pudding with two unsightly red burns on her legs, no teeth, no eyebrows and a sweaty face!!) (Oh and simon just informs me a couple of big mozzy bites on my shoulders!)
Okay we;'re off for lunch now.. may check in again in a couple of days. Expect to be here til maybe Sunday/Monday then possibly off to Rai Lay and thence Krabi and BK and home :-(
Hope all are well