Driving, diving, raining and dining

Freitag, 23 Dezember, 2005 0 Von Katja&Stephan

The last nearly two weeks we wanted to spend out time on the beach. First of all for the Open Water Licence on Koh Tao and then some relaxing beachdays on Koh Phangan. We got a really good deal for the diving package directly booked from Bangkok including transfer with a Airconditioned bus and the High Speed Express Ferry from the mainland to the Island. The busride was during the night and because they calculate some extra time to make sure that we won’t miss the Ferry we has about 3 stops during the night to make sure we don’t arrive to early because on this day there was no traffic. Therefore we couldn’t sleep very well and the busdriver tried to make a refrigerator out of the bus, Katja was nearly freezing. At 5 o’clock in the morning we arrived at the ferry terminal still two hours to early for the Ferry departure. So we spent some time with our heads on stone tables and tried to sleep a little bit more…
At 7 o’clock we could board the Catamaran High Speed Ferry. Half an hour everything was fine, but then, Katja had forgotten to take the travel medicine (because the last rides in the bus she was always fine) and this was a big mistake with this High Speed Catamaran Ferries, because the Captain does normally not care from which side the waves are coming, he just drives through or bumps over them. When we arrived finally in Koh Tao there was no more color in her face and she just decided to walk to the resort instead of taking the offered car transfer. After this very long and taff journey the only thing we wanted was a bed. But there was no more airconditioned bungalow left, and we were asked to wait for a transfer to another resort with aircon-bungalows.
Another 80 minutes of waiting until we got a transfer to the resort, which was far away. And because we had all our lessons for the PADI at the first resort we decided to take a fan bungalow back in the other resort to avoid every day four transfers for the diving . Finally we had our accomodation and the course started on the same day in the afternoon.

Chrystal dive resort

Four hours of video and answering questions about the video. Glad there was a person which invented Coke 😉
After this day our lights were turned off really early.
For the next day there was another video session in the morning and the afternoon we spent in the pool to train the required skills for the Open Water. More than 6 hours in a cold pool with two short breaks in between and Katja got a new nickname (Miss Blue, Fraeulein Blau), because she had already blue lips after an hour in the pool. At the end all of us couldn’t stop shaking. This was really hard work during our „beachholidays“ but we could manage every single task in the pool and didn’t have to repeat the poolsession the other day!
The next day we had the final theoretical test before we started on the boat to the sea for the first two dives.

Our dive-instructor Johan, we couldn’t take him always serious


Buddycheck with Buddy Denis

everything ok

Unfortunately the weather during the last 3 days was always bad and this had also consequences on the visibility conditions in the sea. Katja had to give up her first attempt to dive because of her claustrophobie 🙁 , Stephan and Denis (a german guy from Munich) went down for their first dive with Johan (our instructor from Denmark). They completed two dives in this afternoon and did a really good job although the visibility was bad.

surroundings of the dive spot

The next morning we had to be on the boat at 7.15 am (and we thought, we go on holiday 😉 ). Katja decided to come as well to be able to take some photos. There was as well a professional cameraman on the boat. He made a video from all Open Water students. He did a really good job even though the visibilty was worse than the day before. At noon Denis and Stephan had passed their Open Water and where now certified divers :-).

after the first dive of the day

after the completed course, only one big smile 🙂

Thanks very much Johan, you are the best!

Holidays could start.

In the afternoon we only lay at the pool and the sun was once shining!

pool life can be so nice, when the weather is fine

our dive group including instructor with his favourite RDP table

In the evening they should show the movie from the morning, but there was a technical problem and after more than 2 hours of waiting we decided to go for dinner. We had a really nice little party with Denis, Giovanni (friend of Denis) and Johan. I stopped to count how many buckets we drank but it was really fun. After the restaurant closed a free air Pick up Taxi brought us to a Beachside Bar with music.

already one over the thirst? 😉

The next day we went once again on the Catamaran to Koh Phangan. But this time with the tablets Katja was ok. Our accomodation on Koh Phangan was only a little box, but directly at the beachside. We could lay on the bed and watch the waves on the beach.

our beach box

the view from the beach box

But as well in Koh Phangan the monsun was not over and the beachvolley camp, which was the reason why we have choosen this resort was flooded :-(. We really miss it, but now we have to wait until Australia.
The next 5 days we relaxed on the beach or in the cabin (because of the rain) with reading, SuDoku and writing. Nearly every evening we walked along the beachside to different Restaurants which organised barbecues directly on the beach and Stephan tried different kind of fresh fish (Red Snapper is his favourite).

Barbecue, that’s not only looking very good, it was excellent!

Only one evening there was a really bad surprise in our cabin waiting. It was raining really hard in the evening and as we arrived from dinner, the room was full of cockroaches! ! ! First of all we saw only one (a big one). Stephan catched it and brought it outside. Because we know, you should not smash them. But when we saw the others, there was no other possibility than to kill them and it took more than an hour. Stephan was soaked with sweat after this session and Katja called him a „mass murderer“, although she was really glad, she had only to block the entrance holes for other cockroaches to come in with toiletpaper.
For the next nights we were cockroachfree! Good job 🙂

before a thunderstorm, and it was not the only one… 🙁

After this relaxing days we had planned to go back to bangkok during the day (not another night bus trip). But the sea was really rough, the waves were 6 meters high and as you know the ruddertecnic of the captains on this boats, we smashed over the waves and we had to hold us on the seat to prevent from flying out of our seats! That was too much for Katja. As well with the tablets she went paler and paler, was soaked with sweat (now it was her turn 😉 ) and the rest of the details we keep in secret. There was no sense to go further on because after the boattrip there was waiting a six hour busride back to Bangkok. We decided to disembark in Koh Tao and stop overnight. We didn’t regret this stop at all. We had another afternoon at the pool with some sunshine, met Johan (our really nice instructor, actually the best you can have) once again for dinner and we had the possibility to watch the movie of Stephans Open Water dive finally this evening. In the endeffect we were really happy to have made this decision for another day in Koh Tao. Katja took a higher dose of Stugeron for preparing for the next day. And the next day although she took 6 times as much as on the sailingboat trips last year she was afraid of the boat and busjourney. But everything was good the next day, even though the waves were the same or actually sometimes higher but she just closed her eyes, put earplugs in (to prevent from hearing the other pale faces) and lived in her own world for 2 hours until the catamaran trip was over.

Katja’s beloved Catamaran High Speed Ferry

On this day we finished our trip back to Bangkok and enjoyed our last days in Asia. Now we will fly further on to Australia 🙂