Friday, 21 August 2009

This is a Tsunami warning, please leave the beach!

Okay before you all start to panic - it was a drill. Still very eerie and kind of moving to be hiking up to find the elusive view point on top of a hill in Phi Phi. A hill we were promised would give views over the spit of land where the beach bums would have been enjoying their sunny boxing day that day when the Tsunami hit and devastated this island along with many other areas in the Indian Ocean. We are about half way up when the alarm sounded all over the island followed by a voice in Thai, then English, German, French and Chinese warning that this is a Tsunami warning please leave the beach and make for high land as quickly as possible...repeat... Fortunately we had stopped for water in a little shop on the way up the hill and the lady there asked whether we'd heard there was to be a Tsunami drill in half and hour. If she hadn't done this you can be sure we would have been panicking.

The walk to the view point was knackering (scuse the french) Simon was literally wringing out his shirt. The sun was relentlessly beating down on our heads as we plodded up the steep lane. On the way we met a couple of S. Africans who gave us directions (follow a jungle path left and left and left) Well it was confusing as the paved lane looked most likely the way, then the first and then the second lefts which were dirt paths but looked fairly well trodden... but we took the path less follwed and that made all the difference (as the poem goes) It was nothing more than a narrow trodden down piece of jungle and was scary as we were in flip flops and shorts and had the fear over snakes. Eventually it brought us out into a little opening with a rock and a view.. (Still not sure it was THE view but it was the only one we could find)

Last night we sat on the verandha and drank some beers and some Thai rum which tastes like diluted whiskey. It was very chilled but I could sense my small boy's restlessness and suggested we wander to the beach to see the lightning flashing across the sea (no thunder sounds so probably a storm half way across to India) Of course being an over sized toddler he jumped at the opportunity and the next thing I know... I'm standing on the beach (this is midnight) holding all his clothes -(yes undies too) whilst he goes for a nudey swim in the dark. Couldn't see him in there except when the lightening flashed. He was very excited especially when he discovered phospherents (sp!) milling around as he essayed the breast stroke. They were amazingly pretty tiny glowing blue blobs which you could pick up in a handful of sand and look at.

Staying another two nights here now as it is so cool. Tomorrow we've chartered a long tail boat for three hours trip out to the island where they filmed the Beach. Our boat man is a real hippy high sea gypsy with a great laugh. Hope he can drive the boat!!

Anyway on Sunday we're off to Rai Lay which is on the main land and apparently incredibly lovely.

For now though we'll end by posting a few snaps of our journey thus far. (no beach pix yet sorry)

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