Golden sand, clear blue water and lunch under the palms. We are taking a few days out from travelling, for a relaxing few days away from motorcycle travel and blogs, aaaaah here I am writing a blog entry, oh well let’s continue…
The warm ocean breeze wafts across our faces as we walk from our bungalow down towards the sea. We have spent so long encased in riding gear that the rare chance to just wear swimmers and swim in the ocean have seen us stay an extra day here. Where is here you ask? A small place we found yesterday after leaving the tourist town of Hua Hin. We are now some 160km south near the town of Bang Saphan. Following smaller roads and then tracks has us just off the beach. This is an undeveloped area with small hotels and guest houses. A wonderful find and the type of place that we look for as we travel, friendly people, small places and good food. The pleasure of staying here and the rampant tourism of Hua Hin has made us realise that Phuket is not for us and we will bypass the place, it holds no interest of us in its current form. The facilities that those places provide are not what we generally seek as we travel, great for others but not our scene except in small doses as the stay at the Hilton at Hua Hin provided. I still feel that I do not belong in such luxurious places and am there under false pretences.
We have found it difficult over the last week to focus on this portion of the trip as we try to work out the logistics of 2015. Part of the problem is that our return to Australia is focused on medical tests, and therefore any follow on treatments in the event of an adverse result. This coupled with the lack of quotes for the shipment of the bikes leaves us a little in limbo. Still just another challenge for us to tackle that is part of the journey.
A bar on the edge of the beach provides a convenient meeting place for many of the ‘locals’ of European or American origin. Many are retired but some have jobs that allow them to work from any location provided they have internet access, judging by the number of communication cables that festoon the power poles in every towns Main Street that is a given here, although not always that quick. It is interesting to hear the individual stories of those who have moved here. Most have not been back home for many years and have no desire to do so. One of our hosts at Bang Saphan, Larry, moved to Thailand some 30 years ago. He and his wife run a relaxed and friendly guest house with pool just a minute from the beach. They have lived in different parts of Southern Thailand and now settled on this wonderful place that is still reasonably undeveloped.
As part of Rest and Relaxation (R&R) plan, Anne found a nice hotel, adults only which we found out from fellow guests once there and a first for us, on the west coast at Khao Lak, about 50 or so kilometres north of Phuket. This area was one of many on the west coast of Thailand affected by the Tsunami in December 2009 and the rebuilding of hotels and other facilities will have restored the tourist employment to the area. Having seen pictures of the destruction at the time, it was surprising to find large trees intact up to the beach. I can only assume that the impact of the 2009 tsunami was less here than in other places closer to the epicentre . We enjoyed three days of relaxation and exposure to sun sea and sand. What a wonderful change: a relaxed pace, swimming twice a day, playing with the frisbee we always carry with us and seeing the beautiful and ever changing sunsets that Anne diligently recorded each evening. What struck us both as we first walked to the beach was how wonderful it was to feel the air and gentle breeze on our skin. Usually, only our face gets this feeling.
It was interesting to contrast living in this secluded tranquil environment for a few days compared with the usual routines of finding accommodation, food and negotiating traffic that is our daily work environment. We both enjoyed it immensely, but when we loaded up the bikes and opened up the throttle, it was great to be back on the road again, transmission restored.