Once awake, I began the day by putting in my contacts. While doing so I noticed someone in the reflection that looked quite foreign to me. Over the past couple nights at least, my face must have gotten eaten by mosquitos as my face now appears to have been taken over by chicken pox. The free breakfast was a welcome change filling me up with a bowl of muesli, fruits, and yogurt. I had considered doing an entire day of rock climbing yesterday but I am so glad I chose two half days to give my arms and back a much needed rest. The group of us, including our guides Yao and Max, crossed over from Tonsai to Railay where we would be climbing at Diamond Cave. I had been anticipating the climb since it would involve some sort of cave but it did not turn out the way I had expected, in more ways than not. Max and Yao led us down the same familiar track that I had grown accustomed to during the past couple days to my tent. Sure enough, our climb ended up being positioned not within some cave but rather on the rock wall that stood within 7 meters from my tent (and that estimation is probably too generous). I tried to keep my head down and look in the other direction so as not to alert the people I ditched in the middle of the night for better accommodation. What were the odds that of all the places we could climb in Railay we had to be directly next to my campsite? Irony can be kind of a dick sometimes. Based on the descriptions I had made from yesterday, my friends instantly recognized the campsite and kept asking me whether this was in fact my tent. I told them to keep it hush, hush since I had no desire to open up that whole can of worms. I realized the note that I had left closed with saying I was the American in the yellow tent (so you can thank me for getting bad vibes sent to the U.S. from that Thai guy). Besides the awkwardness of that situation, the climbing was excellent but led to some paths that became too challenging even for me. One route required me to use my entire upper body with no foot holds to speak of and limited hand grip to overcome one rock shelf that protruded from the wall. As many times as I tried, I couldn’t quite reach it as my forearms continued losing all their strength. It didn’t help that my one Thai delayer kept giving me mixed signals as to whether I should go left or right. I danced and shifted like a spastic crab thoroughly confused and growing tired. After that and some lunch, most of us completed the afternoon with some swimming and beach time. Relaxing is great and all but I have difficulty sitting still so I had to venture off and follow the rocks along the coast to explore any minor caves that had been carved into the jagged rock. The Italian and I climbed up a series of bamboo ladders up to a platform overlooking Tonsai to get a stunner of a view of the oncoming sunset. A Railay sunset will be a tough one to beat. Transportation to Khao Lak for the following morning had been booked so with the time I had left at Railay, we got some food (I had some kind of yellow noodle dish that looked sort of like lo chow mien). Sleeping sucked regardless of the mosquito netting as those little buggers still managed to find a way to annoy the bejeezus out of me throughout the night.
Thailand Day 76: Rocks and Relaxation