Editorial note : The next two blogs were written whilst on a road trip from central Perth up the west side of WA to Exmouth. Please also note that the reason the blog has been somewhat neglected is due to the new and very expensive hobby we have now found – Diving!!!!
Leaving Koh Tao was one of the hardest things to do. We both love the place and the people we were diving with – it felt like home. I had a serious discussion with myself (it’s nothing new!!), as much as I wanted to stay I also wanted to continue the trip. The trip won out. Saying that, to ease the withdrawals of the diving the next day we went to Koh Phagnan and had 2 dives at Sail Rock which is about an hour boat ride off the island. Then we popped over to Koh Samui to catch up with an old London Legion team-mate Ian Holman who moved out there 5 years ago, (it’s a fab little island, but even Ian said there wasn’t that much to do there).
One thing I forgot to say was that before we let Koh Tao we booked ourselves on a live-abord diving boat for 7 days, starting in Patong Beach, Phuket then travelling to the Similan & Surin Islands – spending 5 of the 7 days doing nothing but diving – 19 dives to be precise. Did we mention that we were slightly addicted to diving!! The boat, called The Junk holds 18 guests although there were only 13 of us on this trip. The basic principal is Dive, Eat, Sleep, Repeat because that is all that you do. We had 4 of us in our little diving group, the additions were Ian (formerly from Poland, now living in Innsbruck) and Dimitri from Switzerland. Ian and I got on famously and his partner Klaus was so much fun. On day 2 of the diving, it was the 2nd dive of the day when BJ our diving instructor spotted a Manta Ray – and a large one at that. Gethin has got some great video footage of the ray coming within 2ft of Dimitri then swimming up and over us. It was truly amazing. We also saw some turtles on two of the afternoons whilst we were on the boat. They loved coming and swimming around the boat.
I haven’t mentioned much about Patong Beach itself, because to be honest it was worse than being in Blackpool, cheap and tacky. The only good thing was a little restaurant we found called Ella’s, nothing fancy but the food was fabulous. Whilst not sorry to see the back of Phuket we were sad to say goodbye to Thailand but excited to move on to Malaysia, about 3 weeks later than originally planned.