We're still in Koh Tao today. Checked out of Haad Tien Bungalows bright and early this morning, with the goal of finding a cool, little beach and snorkeling before checking into our new resort - Jamahkiri. Still having the ATV we rented yesterday, we loaded up our backpacks + Andi's travel bag w/ our computer, iPods and books and set out onto the bumpy, dirt road. I swore it would work; Andi wasn't so sure and he was right. We about killed ourselves gunning up the steep gravel hill with all of our bags and a not-so-powerful ATV. As luck would have it, a shuttle for Jamahkiri Resort was passing by about 100 yards into our trek. Andi yelled out for the driver, he stopped and took our bags to the new resort. Good thing too, that could have been ugly.
Having freed ourselves of our backpacks, we headed up the island coast to Mango Bay. We arrived and had breakfast at a little family restaurant. Andi had French toast; I had scrambled eggs and toast. I've decided that breakfast is the best meal of the day here; the food always delivers. They offer Western dishes wherever we go and I'm always disappointed. Yesterday, I had a BLT - which only had the "T" but included salami, fried egg, ham and onion. Ick.
Back to this morning's restaurant - this is me reading my book while I waited for breakfast.
Andi at breakfast ..."Take off your shoes" sign at our restaurant entrance. That's the one Thai cultural thing I've seen over and over ... you have to take off your shoes before you enter any establishment.
After breakfast, we rented snorkeling gear from the restaurant (one-stop shop, I guess). 150 Baht (or about $5 US dollars) got us masks and fins. As we were loading up, we overheard some Euros talking about jellyfish in the water. Upon further investigation, it appeared there was about a million and a half jelly fish swimming all around the shore. We asked a dive instructor nearby if he thought we could still snorkel. He picked up the jellyfish and put it on his foot. It didn't sting him so he said they must be harmless. I was taken back by this - who would put them on their foot and try to get stung? This guy was bad ass, I guess. Naturally I wasn't convinced by this scientific diagnosis but Andi said we should give it a try. We got into the water amongst what I now estimate to be a gazillion jellyfish. As I'm wading out into them, I've started to hyperventilate - waiting for the sting any second. We put on our snorkeling gear and swim away from shore, hoping it would get better as we went out. Not the case. They were EVERYWHERE. As I swam, I could see the jellyfish hitting my mask, feel them in my hands and on my back. After about 20 minutes, Andi (who always puts on a brave face in these adventures) said this is f*ing crazy; let's get out of here. I've never seen two people scramble out the water faster! While we didn't get stung - and they may have in fact been harmless jellyfish - we weren't taking any chances.It's about 10:30am now. Too early to check into our hotel, so we drove the ATV back into town and dropped it off. Andi paid a lady at a nearby business 200 Baht (or about $5 US dollars) to take us to our new resort. It was too early to check in so we lounged by the pool, read our books and drank smoothies. Ah yes, the good life.
Our room at Jamahkiri Resort
Our new resort is great. We went to the spa this afternoon. It's awesome to go the spa and actually try new things (this is after all, the 3rd time we've been to one this week) instead of being cracked from work with aching back and shoulders. For today's spa adventure, we decided to treat ourselves to an aloe vera body wrap, facial and Swedish massage. All this for 1,900 Baht (or $60 US dollar) each. I love this place.
One funny thing about the spa - it must be customary for the massuese to brush your hair at the end. It happened again today - except this time, she also braided my hair. I couldn't quite figure out what she was doing, and I didn't want to be rude and ask, but sure enough ... braided hair. That's weird if you ask me...
Tonight, we're going to lay low. We have a big day of travel tomorrow - departing via ferry at 9:30AM, followed by a flight to Bangkok. Something to look forward to - we're flying first class again ... I see awesome treatment and tuna fish sandwiches in my future...