No Country for Old Men. Snorkel-a-Rama.
Another huge breakfast buffet and I let the kids go wild. Stuffing themselves, pancakes, bring it. I am almost wanting them to gain some weight as the next few weeks who knows? Megan does a beach walk. I realize that all the euro travelers our age here are covered in tats/ink. What does this mean? I am so inkless. We continue to draw a ton of attention. So few Americans, let alone families of 4 w/ smaller kids. It’s cool. Except when I’m done being stared at.
MIchael and I (the Finnish TV producer/director — “Finish Reality TV/world travel zone” roll out about 10am on a rented ATV for the snorkel spot he knows on the island. It is just an adventure tour. I am on the back w/ snorkel gear stuffed in a bag and the road is basically the most blown out track you’ve seen, like maybe rubicon road in the sierra’s or something, just rutted and loose to high heaven. Staying on the ATV is no joke, it is its own core/shoulder work out. I am laughing at myself that it’s come to this — riding on the back of an ATV is HARD. And it’s hitting me that adventure travel is not for OLD MEN. Not that Thai is not country for old men as it were — just that the developing world on a day to day basis is so much more physical and crazy dyanmic ways than the developed world. The living is the workout. Primal thingy / caveman thingy?
There is a reason why old people just hit resorts and whatever. But it’s all good, Michael and I share a vibe for getting out there and away we go. We see wrecked scooters on the side of the road — it would actually be a rad mountain bike to snorkel thing but there are no mountain bikes on this island (there should be!!). There are full on dirt bikes on the island — those and the quads are the only things that go deep. The resorts at far reaches are boat access only (or ATV/quad, I guess). The scooters have real tread tires and suspension trick outs, love it.
Anyway we hit a very cool deserted bay — I didn’t bring a camera on purpose but am bummed and knew I would be. This is the end of the road, one of those spots. A quiet bay, we wade in
The best part of this morning outing is just another cool rap with another traveller. Backpacker style — remember those cool peeps you met and what you learned backpacking around the world? Just fastforward 20 years. It is still out there. Michael produces TV (“Finnish Survivor”) is one example, her and his wife have a 10 year old daughter (left at home for this trip). We share observations and information and conversation and compare and contrast on Thailand, Indo, Europe, U.S, etc. . . . weave it together.
Well, snorkeling is cool, not as awesome as some we’ve had but fun and getting in/out dodging urchins is adventure. Lands end again.
We are back by noon, we dump ourselves on the beach. Michael to his wife and me to the crew, the beach is on. The kids continue to work it — this beach is “their pool” and I love this transition. The water is so hot at times it is nuts. I sweat snorkeling. I have to get out to get breeze. I beach whale it and the kids bury me in sand at the same time. They are going deep in the ocean out and back and swimming so well. Lunch is a beach score of mango and grilled chicken from local stands and sellers.
We are not stormed out this time on the boat trip and roll at 2pm. Touron zone but not big. Fun to pile on a boat with Thai, Russian, Chinese, Norwegians . . . And just motor! Out we go to some little islands and reefs. The snorkeling is not great unf with too many waves and what not on the real good reef spot but the kids continue to progress on all fronts — not just snorkeling but engaging what is different and scary and what not — heck just climbing into the boat if I was little would be big deal out of the crazy waves.
We end up for an hour in a protected cove and super cool island spot, deserted island style. Soaking it in. Touron zone hits again when the boat feeds the fish and creates a kind of frenzy and we are not stoked on this but not surprised, and good discussions w/ the kids on this.
The trip back is kind of nuts with waves and swell crossing a small straight but it’s fun to be out and about. Last night in Ko Samet, hope we find the fire spinners :)