|Our Really Big Adventure|
Rest Day on Ton Sai
| “This hurts so bad,
I can’t hold it any longer, when is she going stop, ow ow ow. Why on earth
did I get out of bed at 6.45 to go through this torture?” I wonder to myself
- every time. And yet I keep coming back for more.
Lucinda’s beach yoga attracts a loyal following, perhaps too loyal say those who find that their climbing partners are organising their climbing around the yoga schedule. Beach yoga has its pros and cons – on the plus side, the sound of the waves, the clouds overhead and the gentle sea breezes combine to create a wonderful environment for relaxation and introspection. Get too absorbed, though, and your stretch can come to a sudden and watery end as the tide comes in around you.
Beach resorts are famed for their ability to lull even the most stressed out into a state of lethargy. So quite why we felt we needed to relax further is beyond me. We were sure we did, though, and headed off for a massage. This was not the gentle, soothing experience we had anticipated. If you don’t think that lying there being pampered can be tough on the body, then you’ve never had a southern style Thai massage. At times it’s like doing yoga with a partner – just when you think you’ve stretched as far as you possibly can, your masseuse uses all her body weight to push you six inches further. I often found my body fighting, resisting the position, and when she started walking on my back I was seized with panic. “How much training has she had? Is this actually good for me? She’s walking on my back goddammit!!” Afterwards, though, I felt like a million dollars.
Revitalised, we scrambled around the rocks back to Ton Sai beach. We were full of energy, ready for anything Ton Sai had to offer. Sitting in deckchairs nursing cold beer and watching the sun go down was what Ton Sai had to offer, maybe some firedancing on a really good night. Kicking nightlife is not the normal run of things on this beach. After a hard day on the rock, people are ready for a beer or two come sunset, but by ten or eleven o’clock it’s time to slink off home for a good night’s sleep before tomorrow’s early start.
Every couple of weeks, the good people of the Freedom Bar decide to liven things up a little. Krabi’s answer to Koh Phang-an’s infamous Full Moon Party, the Ton Sai Beach Party is on a much, much smaller scale. Partygoers are ferried round from the much busier (and more party-oriented) Rai Leh, and the locals, both Thai and farang, come out in force. The DJs ensure a strong local attendance, turning the sound up so high that no-one on Ton Sai can sleep even if they want to. Being old farts, we’d invested in earplugs. After dancing my heart out for an hour or two, and drinking more beers than I should, I flaked out earlier than most.
I woke again about five hours later. It was bright outside, my earplugs had stopped working their magic and I was perhaps a touch dehydrated. The music was still going strong, and I could no longer ignore it. Bowing to the inevitable, I got dressed and returned to the party.
A few hardened souls with specially enhanced stamina were still going strong, and a few more with specially reduced stamina were flaked out on the beach. Boatmen ferried stragglers home, some so broken by the abuses of the night they needed to be carried out to the boat. And a few accidental spectators like me bemoaned our lost youth and the days that we too could stay up all night and get so wrecked we had to be carried home.
Fifteen minutes later I was sitting in a deck chair, toes wriggling in dry sand sipping a beer.