Saturday, December 30, 2006

Thailand & Australia 2006

Last year in a hotel I was faced with the breath taking view of the Las Vegas strip from the 20th floor of the M.G.M Grand.
This year it was the Grand China Princess in the heart of China town in Bangkok. Wow!

6 am and I hit the ground running after no sleep on the plane,
Off to the Grand Palace when the revered king and Queen live. Took Tok Tok to see the largest collection of Budders in the world and then monks at yet another 'Wot'.
Spotted novel way off carrying B1 sized paper on back off a moped,

Starting to feel really tired now so back to hotel for rest.
Tok Tok driver takes you to suit shop whether you like it or not if you spend 10 minutes in the shop then they get free petrol.

A bit of street food is always nice except in this case, the eggs were near on impossible to peal.
lots of people want to rip you off in Bangkok and it takes you a couple of days to get used to this. I payed near £30 for one meal - Bugger! I only spent two day here so I got the suss then had to leave. But there were a lot of really nice people only too willing to give you a tour of the Wats.

Off to krabi by plane met a great Canadian guy called 'Will' he was going to a small resort called 'Ton Sai' same as me,
and after a little non successful haggling trying to get to 'Ao Nang' from Krabi airport we hitched a lift with a muslim family to krabi town and then got a truck to Ao Nang then a long tail boat to Ton Sai - perfect!

The first day on Phrang Nang beach and I did the typical brit thing and get myself burnt. OUCH!

Then one of the Highlights of the holiday came in the guise of an elephant trek.
A Swedish couple and I went off with our guides for at least 2 hours and I even got the chance to ride the elephant for a while.

We also fed them and had a tour of the grounds and gum trees and then watched the elephants take a well earned bath.

The following day went to Koh Phi Phi for the day to see the memorial and to pay my respects, it's a very nice place and the rebuilding looks like it is going well.
The boat took around 2 hours each way from Ton Sai. . . . bit of a sobering day to say the least.

Back on Ton Sai, and a usual nights entertainment was to watch the rock climbers (who are on this resort in abundance) try to walk the tight rope in one of the bars and also sink a few beers of course.
And met few a good people here such as steve the south African who was a good laugh, though we did go out kaiaking into the middle of the sea when we got caught up in a storm and it became an hour and a half battle to get to the other side. What a nightmare!
But every cloud has a sliver lining and and when my sun burn started to ease off i could then treat myself to one hour thai massage followed by one hour foot massage. Absolutely BLISS
and after a stressful day became more relaxed than ever.

I Watched the sunset for the last time then on my merry way the next morning with first bangkok for a night then onto Perth.
But first took long tail to Ao Nang and jumped into a taxi to share with another guy when he said "I noticed from your luggage that you are from Cheltenham, I'm from bishops cleeve'
His name was Tim Green and has a brother Anthony. So I asked him do you know Tom Underhill, Martin Toms, Matt upton, Rebecca and Vicky Dobson? to which he reply yes I think so to all. Small world Eh! Tim now works and lives in Islamabad in Pakistan.

A meal and a beer in a shady bangkok hotel full of Mozzys which bite me at every opportunity and was later in Australia my fist was to swell up light a giant baby fist - if that makes sense?

Touch down to Perth after a six hour flight, Auntie Val, cousin Linda, Ciara, Teagan and cousin Gary met me at the airport and gary did tricks on his bike as we left.

We went to the four shore (Swan River) for a picnic & sunset and some great home made stout that Gary made also met Gary's girlfriend Aileen (sorry if name spelt wrong)

With a walk around the park with Val the next day we then went off to Linda's for Ciara's birthday cake and to meet uncle Terry and Diana for the very first time.

Stuart back from work we got stuck into some great food beer and wine on the patio, temperature earlier that day hit 35 degrees, met more people and felt very welcome.
Next few days were spent with Terry & Diana on a cruise up the swan river to Fremantle and with Gary taking me to Fremantle and and sorted it out for me to hold a Joey in the morning, so of course the challenge was on to eat Kangaroo in the afternoon . . . . mmmm very tasty!!

Of course no trip to WA is complete without a trip to the Cousin Gary's crazy garage . . . sadly the photo just does not do it justice.

Stuart and i now head off south for a couple of days it takes us around 3 hours by car to the surfing and wine mecca of 'Margret river' Touring the best beaches in the area & visiting a winery at the Leeuwin Estate, where surprisingly we preferred the white wine. We also saw stingray and had great weather to boot.

Check into hotel, watch cricket in bar, Monty doing well in his first test back in Perth. (Monty 5 wickets Aus all out for 244 is this the Kick start of our tour, UM No!) A Scotch Steak that I thought would be salmon and not beef.
More beer then bed early for very cold swim then caves & Olive grove with 'sour' Aussie woman, Before making tracks back to Perth and the Cricket.
Friday night walked to ground from casino while Linda, Stuart and the girls are in a show. I sneaked into the WACA for the last hours play and join the Barmy Army, then meet up with an old work colleague Harry at Gloucester Park horse racing track before going on into town for a great steak.

Met up with Stuart's mate Dave at the 4th days play, Great day 'A, Cook' nearly carried his bat with all but 3 overs to play that day. Plenty of 'Mid Beer' i.e. very weak and you might as-well drink it in the toilet.

On the 4th Day England predictably collapse and the Dam Aussies get the Ashes back . . . . . bugger . . . . but they really deserved to win. 'Well Done'

Beers back in town and listen to the Aussies singing but still not as much as the Barmy Army, met up with Linda, Ciara & Teagan for a spot of Guinness.

Back to Marmion and went for a run with Linda and girls in the buggy, I took the girls and 'faster faster' they cried as we ran along the coast line to yet another spectacular sunset. Stuart joined us and more Guinness was drank at the Angling club, Note in journal read that "i'll really miss this place."

The last day started with the with the usual amazing breakfast which I had every day, weetabix, yogurt, fruit, seeds, and milk.
Off to Rottness a little island of the west coast of Perth where you can see a 'Quokka' (yeah I've never heard of them too)
No motors are allowed on the island so everyone gets around by bike, (good a bit of exercise) I also saw lizards & Snakes, and I think one was the very venous 'Brown Snake'

I also lost my t-shirt and had to buy a checked Billabong one, but I think it was a good buy and timely, as my Aussie family were to turn out on mass to spend my last evening in Western Australia with me. THANKS GUYS!

We had a great night and one to remember as we eat fish and chips, drank Gary's home made stout, Uncle Terry's home made Larger and Diana's organic red wine. After discussing the attributes of vinegar (where has my e-book got to Uncle Terry & Diana?)
We walked with a great sunset and swung the girls until our arms ached.

Then onwards to the Angling club to polish off some more Guinness. I've had a great time in both Thailand and Western Australia and it was nice to be reacquainted with my family again in Oz, but now it was time to fly to Sydney in the morning for 5 days before going onto the test match in Melbourne.

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