Allow me to guide you through a day here on Koh Lao Liang.. waking up pre dawn in my tent near the shore line, taking a stroll along the beach watching the sunrise, feeling the damp sand under foot, breathing in the warm tropical air, checking what the hermit crabs have been up to, any sight of the monitor lizards, cloudy? Thoughts drifting, ambling …
After breakfast, more thoughts on the day… what will it be? Kayaking, snorkelling or climbing? Or nothing…..
First off it was kayaking. My new friends Marianne, Chris, their daughter Anya and I kayaked around the island, which didn’t take long to be honest I felt a teensy bit nervous at first due to the small swell and didn’t relish an unladylike scrabble to get back on board in deeper water. All went well though and we paddled on to the next Island to a beautiful deserted beach, the real tropical fantasy set up where we swam in turquoise water listening to bird song echoing against the towering limestone cliffs. That is until a couple of other kayaks turned up 20 mins later but hey, it was good while it lasted. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a camera with us so you’ll have to take my word for it.
Here’s the major bit – I was talked into trying out rock climbing by the very engaging and lovely Erin our climbing guide from Boulder, Colorado after telling her about my vertigo experience in Burma. She was right, it was the best thing I could have done. I spent the week tentatively showing my fear of heights who was BOSS. To start with I couldn’t complete a climb, my arms would feel like jelly when I looked down, but after a couple more rounds I found my confidence and I started to really enjoy the experience. By the time I left and had been handed over to Kelly, another Colorado climbing guide and his climbing partner Kerry a wilderness expert (that sometimes trains US army soldiers, her boyfriend is a rope access technician who recently repainted the outside of the guggenheim museum in New York) I was in good hands. Having said that, approaching the climbing classroom always felt somewhat overwhelming.
Afternoon creative pursuits, included sipping some birthday Patron tequila with Marriane and Chris, American teachers who were taking a year off to home school their kids in Thailand. Sounds like they weren’t too interested in going back home after teaching in Yemen, Georgia and heading off this year to Karachi, Pakistan to teach in an international school. Take a look at Marianne’s wonderful high octane stringworks blog. I met some fantastic people on Lao Liang this week, a recently retired Alaskan firefighter, engineer, copywriter, art teacher (running a program for homeless people in Amsterdam) landscape designers, and so on.. all here for climbing, with amazing stories to tell.
Admiring my beautiful pieces of woven silk both old and new I bought along the way in Myanmar/Burma.
Meanwhile back in my tent I’d be checking my emails from Sara in the UK with updates of Myhibi’s latest stock arrivals. Let me at those boxes! I’d email descriptions of each piece then send them back to Sara who put them on the site… it’s not live yet, they will be in March, believe me you’ll know when that is. Remote office work – it can be done 🙂
I have to say I was pleased to see there was a tsunami warning tower here plus an evacuation route, up a steep rocky path. The sign below (now a handy swimwear hook) says it reached 2.5 meters high here in the 2004 tsunami.
The night sky here is was nothing short of spectacular, shooting stars on tap, we would lie out on a wooden deck and attempt to piece the constellations together, I had no idea how much the sky changed every evening. Throw in night time phosphorescence in the sea and bam.. you have the total package.
What a gratifying week, I loved my time here, goes to show it pays to stay in one place and drop a gear, who knows who you’ll meet or what you’ll learn? Now it’s time to take my newly recharged self off to Delhi then onto Jaipur to get to work on the next round of Hibiscus samples.
Feeling GOOD 🙂 X