1 March, 2017
Well we are moved into our new home for the next 3 months. Yesterday we travelled from Koh Lanta 2 buses, 2 ferries and a taxi service voila we are here. Koh Phanang not tobe confused with Phang nga. The day started off as a pretty nice looking day, sunny some big white fluffy clouds lulling us into a false sense of security. Everything was gong alright until we disembarked off the bus in Donsak in Surat Thani. Heavy rains (well by my standard at least, the Thais didn’t seem tobe to put off by it) with blowing winds making covered borderline useless as the rains came in sideways. Combine that with 5-6 bus loads of people arriving at the same time and the sheltered areas out of the rain became standing room only and not enough space for everybody. Our bus dropped us off close to the enterance. I was really jealous of the ones who had the driver drive all the way down the pier and dropped them off. The 150 m covered walkway provided very little cover from the downpour. Cole and I with literally everything that we pretty much owned, 2 large backpacks, 2 wheeled carry-on, nap sack, computer bag, large purse and 1 shopping bag. Struggled down the pier to the waiting ferry, struggling with the wind, rain, other travellers who were in a hurry to get to some shelter and our one beach mat that refused to co-operate.
Now that we finally arrived at the end of the pier the small building at the end, where we thought the office might be, was filled with people standing around with their possessions also soaking. Outside twice as many people were trying to find an area that would keep them dry or at least out of the blowing rain. The puddles from the rain made the sidewalks treacherously slippery, we watched one young lady slip and fall hard, twice. Sometimes flipflops and bare feet are not your friends, I was happy tobe wearing shoes that seemed to provide some protection. The area was disorganised with 150-200 tourists now mulling around trying to figure out which ferry to take. At least one couple had missed their ferry and were trying to figure things out. No one around in the office and no signs giving any indication of where to go. Most of the Thais that were there spoke little to no english, note to self must learn Thai, and they were not organised themselves. “Go there” the first one said from inside his blue plastic poncho, “Line up here, we start boarding”, “No boarding now go over there” “Ok boarding now”. As we moved from spot to spot, mostly unsheltered, the only entertainment was the dog and cat. The cat started moving across the pier and the dog started to follow. The cat stopped, looked at the dog, the dog stopped lowered it’s head and then the chase was on. As the dog caught up to the cat the cat jumped up, spun around like a feline Jet-li and all you could hear was the dog yelping. As the dog stood there wondering how the chase went horribly wrong, the cat sauntered off to find some shelter from the rain. The dog tried to start the chase a second time being carefull not to get to close because both the cat and the dog knew who the boss was and with that the dog wandered off in search of something else.
Finally we were allowed to board the ferry, now walking on a narrow gangplank while the boat goes up and down about a meter at a time loaded up with the backpack, computer bag (now thouroughly soaked), carry on and shopping bag. Maintaning our balance was tough to say the least and most crossed over with very little dignity. We all prayed that the gangplank would remain in place as more than once it popped up with people on it. Cole turfed out, I almost crapped my pants when the end of the gangplank came dangerously close to the edge of the boat with only about 5-10cm to spare while I was crossing. Once we were safe and sound with our soaking wet things stored safely in the cabin we each found a seat. Anyone sitting there? You mind moving your things so people can sit, thankyou. For some reason nobody wanted to sit outside where usually people crowd around to view the sceanery. A short ride, a little over two hours, we arrived in Koh Phangna. As we walked off the most amazing sight to behold. A young Thai lady standing there as soon as we got off the boat with my name on a sign. Thankyou Cole for arranging this, no fighting for taxi, shared bus, crowded minivan or scooter taxi trying to convince us that him and a friend can get us and all of our things safely to our final destination.
After a quick check-in to our new digs we were popped out to the 7-11 nearby and grabbed something to eat as it had started to rain again and we were wet, cold and tired. We unpacked most of our things to let them dry and after all that we smiled and a warm feeling came over us for there is no feeling like home and this is our home for the next 3 months. Home sweet home, even if every flat surface, rope, rail, door and hook had something dripping off of it and the second bed had all the electronics laid out in hopes of drying out and still be working. The lady who manages the little complex Plaut, I think is how she pronounces it, jokingly asked if we were setting up a shop to sell our things. Smiles everything survived.