Sunday, June 3, 2012

Alive and Itching: Ride to Koh Phangan

Raja ferry to Koh Phangan
To end the suspense, I did wake the next morning. Without feeling nauseous! The itch on my hands and feet, however, spread everywhere else overnight, and I had a rosy, flat rash from my neck (but not my face) to my feet. My palms were as red as those of an adolescent boy in the midst of “self-discovery.” It was truly awesome. I managed to eat the remaining package of crackers and drink the second "fauxterade" Colin brought me last night for breakfast, showered, and felt pretty okay (except for my need to scratch). Colin loaded the bikes once again under a clear, blue sky, and we hit the road at 8:40 am to catch the 10:00 ferry to Koh Phangan. Aaaagghh we were late

view from the ferry
Typically, if we get a late start, it really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. But this morning, we had a 35 mile ride to get to the ferry, and with our cruising speed reduced by Colin's failing clutch, we were hard-pressed to make it in time. Traffic was relatively light, and the weather cooperated, so we made decent enough time, but about 20 miles into the trip, the crackers and syrupy sweet electrolyte drink I ate for breakfast wanted to make a second appearance. I signaled for Colin to slow down to ask how much farther (because I really wasn't concentrating on my odometer at that moment). Since we were over halfway there and really didn't want to miss the ferry, I said I was alright to keep going t0 the ferry (C0lin did remind me that if I felt the need to hurl, to open my face shield beforehand (good advice)). So we did, arriving at the ticket booth for the car ferry with about ten minutes to spare. I used the time wisely and ran to the restroom to barf. Feeling much improved afterward, I stopped in the convenience store and bought some water and potato chips (they're good queasy food to me for some reason) and then rushed back to get on the bike, since Colin said they'd sounded the horn to GO! while I was inside. As soon as we rode down the ramp onto the boat, they raised the ramp and got underway. Fortunately for Re, the ferry was huge, so the ride was smooth. Re was able to eat some food on board and generally felt better before we arrived at Koh Phangan. 

The ferry docked at around noon, and we rode off into a scorching hot day. We didn't know where we were going to stay but had written down the names of some promising beaches to scout. The beaches we were interested in were on the northwestern coast, so we headed in that direction, through the center of the island. Once we reached the north shore, we turned left onto a smaller road that was extremely hilly. As we made our way south down the west coast, my hill climbing ability continued to diminish. Just before we got to Had Yao (Long Beach) I found myself in first gear, only at about a quarter throttle, and actually duck-walking my bike over the top of a hill. Afraid to go any further, we decided to stay in Had Yao. Re started scouting bungalows, and soon returned with great news- she found us a beachfront bungalow, with A/C, a fridge, and a hot shower for only 600 baht. 

The beach here is beautiful, Re is feeling better, so maybe things are looking up. We spent the afternoon relaxing and walking on the beach before turning our attention to dinner. In one of the little tourist guides in our bungalow, there was a review of a restaurant here in Had Yao called, Crave. The reviewer said they serve excellent burgers, and since the owner/chef is French Canadian, they also make some great poutine. Both of us have been craving a really good burger for a long time, so we decided to try it for dinner. Today actually is our 23rd wedding anniversary, which gave us all the more reason to skip a cheap Thai meal and splurge on something different. Crave lived up to the review, with great food and friendly owners. I had a thick, juicy, most excellent burger with real blue cheese, sauteed mushrooms, and onions, while Re had the “Monster Meatloaf,” which was a one-inch thick slab of meatloaf on a bun, with bbq sauce and homemade dill pickle rings. Their fries were excellent as well, and we really enjoyed our meal. I was definitely on the mend, but I couldn't finish my dinner. Colin didn't mind though, he reaped the benefits and cleaned my plate.


  1. I am glad that you were recovering from whatever hit you. I had to snicker at the advice to open the face shield before... you know what. Men are such helpful creatures, aren't they?

  2. I was actually being serious when I recommended raising the face shield. When I was younger, I used to race in WERA and CCS and have seen the aftermath of another racer's inability to raise his shield before he barfed. He came into the pits with puke dripping out of his helmet. Not pretty...