So after a really chilled out day for me (Stef had been ill AGAIN and was cooped up in bed with food poisoning which was lucky as my scuba diving had been cancelled.) it was time to leave our cabin on the beach. I left Stef in the cabin and went to check out. Having paid 500 baht deposit for our key on our arrival, I was handed a receipt. Obviously I had thrown this away. I ran back to the cabin and trawled through the bin. I found it. Wow. How lucky am I… or so I thought. So with my 500 baht in hand, we made our way to the ferry pier. We were told by the small little woman who I booked the return with, that the ferry would be at 1100am. We arrived at 1030am. Perfect.
We got to the little counter and presented our little ferry ticket only to be told that the next ferry wouldn’t be leaving until 1230! Not too sure about our arranged taxi transfer from the other end, I wanted to check to see if we had any sort of contact details. I searched my bag but then realized that I had thrown the ticket away! We had NO details what so ever. Bloody great. My luck had run out already and it wasn’t even lunchtime! Well, it didn’t matter, I’d try and blag it when we got there. It was only an hour and a bit and there were seats and shade. Ferries arrived and partygoers got off. It was New Years Eve the next day and only the oldies were leaving the party central of Thailand!
1230 came and went. By this time we were now sitting at the end of the pier waiting for the ferry, along with about a hundred others. It was also getting cloudy which was a good job as there was now no shade! 1pm came. Then 130pm. You could tell everyone was getting annoyed as one by one, people were going up to the little help that there was and returning shaking their heads and with a pissed off face. 2pm came and a massive ferry started to rock up. Which was a good job as I was going to start acting the typical Brit and kick off. It took another 30 minutes for the passengers to get off. The people that were waiting to get on left a nice little path for them to get off, but the odd few (not English I might add, but don’t get me started on that) thought it would be a good idea to try and get through the crowd. I loved it as it meant I could relieve my stress and shoulder barge any twat that tried to get passed me.
Finally on board, we took our seats and prepared for the long ass journey. All I can remember is that it was calmer and very boring. No TV and no WIFI.
Our ticket was to Surat Thani Pier, so, as a result of our good luck, the ferry pulled into Don Sak and was it’s final stop, which meant we now had to get ourselves to Surat Thani. Off the ferry, we were presented with several coaches. No one had a clue what to do, where to go or what to say but it seemed to work and we managed to get on a coach heading to Surat Thani. It was organized chaos at it’s finest.
Already running massively late, the coach poodled along. I was checking on Google Maps the whole time and all of a sudden, about a mile from the town centre, where we should get our final taxi from, it pulled onto some dirt track that was definitely not designed for a double decker coach! It got to the end where there was a bus station – and again with the organized chaos. There were a few Thai men walking around asking where people were going and directing them to tuk tuks. As muggings here threw away our ticket, we did not know the details and we were told we had to go to the town centre and buy another ticket. Whilst waiting, we spoke to another English couple who were also going back to Patong but they had tickets. We all couldn’t believe the madness and the bloke looked more stressed than me. I didn’t even know that was possible. He looked like he could have hit someone.
We went our separate ways and the tuk tuk took us to buy another ticket. Another £20. The taxi would drop us off in Phuket then we’d have to get another taxi to Patong for another £20! I was furious. It doesn’t seem a lot but out here, it’s a lot. My luck is really pissing me off. I told Stef to not speak to me for a few minutes. I wasn’t angry with her, more myself, but I knew I could explode at any point and I didn’t want her to be the victim.
The small taxi van pulled up and we got in. The only seats were at the back. I sat in the middle of three seats. I couldn’t see out of any of the windows and it was dark outside and even darker in. We were on this thing for 3+ hours. I knew then it wasn’t going to be a pleasant journey.
A few minutes in, we both realised that this driver was a lunatic. The van was full, about 12-15 people. He couldn’t care less. He was throwing the van around like a cheap whore. He was hitting speeds of 70+mph and we weren’t even on a motorway. He was over taking 3-4 cars at a time whilst going up hills giving him no visibility of any on coming cars! A good few times, he’d have to pull in sharply as a car would appear. We were getting thrown all over the place – it didn’t feel good.
About half way, I started to feel sick. I’ve never suffered from travel sickness but this was hitting me hard. My head was spinning, I was sweating and there was something in my stomach that wanted to say hello. He soon stopped for dinner and I was so grateful. The driver approached us and he said that he had arranged for the taxi to Patong to meet us along the way. He didn’t have to arrange it. A nice man but a terrible driver! After about 30 minutes we were back on the road. My sickness soon picked up again. I perched forward on my seat and was prepared to shout at the driver to pull over when the contents of my stomach started to come up. The van started to stop to let people off which was bloody lucky as I was about to be sick. The door slid open and I leapt out of my seat through the door and to the nearest lamp post . Out came the sick. I had a mango shake for breakfast and the colour of my sick was a pleasant yellowy orange. All of a sudden, a frog jumped on my foot. It scared me and I kicked it off – I’m trying to be sick here! I looked around the grass – there were loads of the buggers. They were all attracted to my sick and all started jumping towards it. Well freaky. I stopped being sick and turned around. We had stopped because we had arrived at our next taxi. He was a nice old bloke. He gave me some stuff to sniff, which would make me feel better. It did. He even rubbed some of it on the sides of my forehead. He drove like an old lady but I was very happy about that. He was very chatty. We spoke about Xmas and he was puzzled as to why Boxing Day is called Boxing Day. I explained that every one gets drunk on Xmas day, which turns into violence the next day – it was the western way. I don’t know if he believed me.
I was up all night being sick. I guess it was food poisoning and not travel sickness.
Luckily, unlike the ill Stef from the previous day, stuff was only exploding out of the one orifice. It sure was MY journey from hell!