The Blue Moon, gigantic bugs, rubber trees and pineapple, and urban riding.
We decided that loafing on the beach was too darn lazy for us but we weren’t quite finished with the island experience. We loaded the bikes and went just 3.6km down the road to Ko Samet Village right at the Port where we checked into the Blue Moon resort. Apparently all the action happens there on that beach and in that village. It was busy, rowdy, a little seedy, and had a Clifton Hill feel to it. Except that you can get a Thai massage for about $8, (no, we didn’t). Somehow pedestrians, motorcycles, dogs, food carts, and Canadian cycle tourists share the busy street that’s barely wide enough for anything but foot traffic. We weren’t sure what to expect at the Blue Moon….nice and clean, tucked away behind all the action. Fortunately it was quiet enough. (Nevermind that one of the two beds seemed collapsible when sat upon….) Randy made friends with the Russian gamblers staying in the room beside ours. In the morning we looked at each other and we knew we were finished with the Island and ready to move on.
We hopped on the old rickety-looking ferry with just 4 other people and made the hour long trip across the water toward the mainland and what would be the continuation of our journey to somewhere. Primarily empty, we wondered how long these tourism driven businesses can sustain the current tourist shortage.
Generally speaking, we actually see very few insects here. At night when the lights are on we expect to see spiders and other creepy crawlers but they remain hidden. Nothing noticeably flying or crawling or slithering….until yesterday morning when we found a beetle in the steps to our room. We’re not talking about a cute little round thingy….it was a big giant menacing looking black thingy that I’m sure was planning to scare the pants off me, till he fell on his backside and couldn’t right himself. Randy happily re-located him, upright in the garden. With the sun & the warmth here making all things tropical grow like crazy I suppose it’s reasonable to assume the bugs are big too.
We checked into the Ban Chang Palace last night, mostly because there was a pool and pool is just as exciting to us as ice water, strawberry smoothies, and shade. From what we could see, there were about 5 floors of rooms. We could only see lights on in about 6 of them. Nobody at the pool, and nobody in the restaurant. Ad usual, we felt like we had the whole place to ourselves (again).
Today we found ourselves on some beautiful agricultural roads that were lined with mango trees, rubber trees (we think….based on the taps that were visible) and a variety of other orchards. It occurred to us that we have seen pineapples at local markets but hadn’t actually seen any crops growing them. Really, neither of us could even describe how a pineapple even grows. Suddenly we pass fields of a new crop we hadn’t noticed previously and it’s pineapple! Intrigued and surprised, we somehow anticipated them growing on trees.
Each day brings us closer to Bangkok. Orchards began to give way to a more urban feel and we cycled by massive industrial developments. Big trucks hauling goods dominated the roads but we still had our little place on the road next to them, despite the highway where we counted 4-6 lanes in each direction. Despite all the traffic, we are not the only users who need road space and all the bigger vehicles know it. Scooters with Mom, Child and Baby need space, as does the Old Man on the slow moving bicycle, and the Family of 5 making their way on a motorcycle/sidecar arrangement. It’s the presence of all these other road users that makes it safer for us. We are entitled to road space. Thai people know it and respect it. Will this congeniality continue as we cycle deep into Bangkok? It remains to be seen….