Sunday, 23 November 2008

Exploring Tao

The island's not very big at all, and only has one concrete road...the rest are a network of dirt tracks leading up through the hills to almost inaccessible bays. We managed a few of these on our scooters, despite them not being made for such rough terrain. Mango Bay (on the Northern-most tip) was attempted, and Jocky fell behind as he lost momentum...he got too close to me as I was preparing to take a treacherous bit on. I shouted that I'd be back in a while, and revved the bike as hard as possible to climb this steep track. I got about a mile further on, and was struggling up another hill when a couple of locals came downhill. "Oooh no, no, noooo..." one of them cackled toothily, pointing to the scooter "...very dangerous...crazy" as he pointed back uphill. Mission aborted, then. With almost superhuman effort, I managed to turn the bike around without dropping it down the slope. That would have cost me a fortune, I wasn't worried about knocks and scrapes to my person.

So a more accessible bay was chosen for a rest before we headed back. To Easy Bar, of course.

On the way back to Chalok from Sairee, there's a left hand turning opposite Climax Bar (The Colonel went in here for a pint, and wondered why it was empty save for him and local girls. He soon realised why, drank up and beat a hasty retreat) which leads uphill...like all the bloody roads here...to a swanky hotel. Opposite this hotel is a small wooden sign, "Eagle View", leading you up some steps to a humble fisherman's abode. A very stoned fisherman's abode, in fact. His wife cooks the food, and he sorts out the smokes "You wan' bong, mista?" I should say so, dear boy. The food isn't great, but the weed's sweet...and the view to imbibe it to is amazing.

Incidentally, one Colonel anecdote which made me howl with laughter. On arriving at Tao, he'd just asked a taxi driver to take him somewhere nice. Not doing his sums, he was quite pleased when the chap dropped him here . Three nights later, not as pleased when he realised it was costing him 42 quid a night. Bit different from the fiver a night bungalow he found himself on the beach the next day. You live and learn, mate. Besides, a bit of luxury was probably required after Vietnam.

So, after settling in for a few days...we had weed, diving booked, and football on the box. Not bad at all...

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