Monday 30 Apr
Climbing at Raleigh
Janine and I spent the last three days in Krabi (actually Tonsai Beach in Raleigh - which is on the main land but is mostly without power, and has no roads, ATMs, internet or phone).
We climbed there for three days and had an absolute blast! Janine said it was her favorite part of the trip so far. We met some really fantastic people - hugs to Zoe, Chris (Serge), Kevin, Seth, Jo, and Daniel.
To get to Raleigh from Krabi, we had to catch a taxi to Ao Nang (which is where I am right now), and then a long-tail boat around the cove to Tonsai Beach.
In Ao Nang, Janine and I got on to a long-tail boat along with about six others and were waiting in the boat while the driver headed off to find more passengers. In the mean time, the boat drifted a bit to the side while a big wave came in to shore and almost knocked the entire boat over. Everyone in the boat had to stand up and lean hard to keep the boat afloat (closest to sinking I've ever been, even including white water rafting trips)...this happened a second time and everyone did the same thing again. Meanwhile, the driver was either laughing at us or yelling at us to stop it (I couldn't tell which)...which made us all laugh (I've got a really great picture of us laughing right after the boat almost went over). Anyways...the British couple behind us commented to Janine and I on how sad a picture it would be if we all actually sank right on the beach (which was a distinct possibility)...and that's how we met Chris and his girlfriend Zoe. The next day, I ran in to this guy I had met in the Bangkok airport and asked him if he'd be climbing. He said no but introduced us to this American guy Kevin who had the gear but needed a partner...so that day, Janine, Zoe, Chris, Kevin and I all went out climbing. It was a really great day and we had a lot of fun.
The second day, it was just Janine, Kevin and I and we got rained out - ended up in a bar a few beaches over where we met a Brit who wanted to learn to climb with us, and (oddly enough) ran in to Kevin's friend Seth and his girlfriend Jo (who Janine and I already knew from Koh Phi Phi - its a small world) we had to trek through the jungle over cliffs in the rain at night to make it back to our beach - a bit of an adventure but still a lot of fun.
Today, Janine, Daniel (British dude), Kevin, Seth, Jo and I all headed out to go climbing. We ended up climbing up through this awsome cave (full of bats) that took us from the beach on one side of a mountain to a hole high up (about 25 meters) on the other side. From there, we rappelled down and started climbing from there. We got rained out again - so another wet and very slippery trek through the jungle ensued as we made our way back to the bar.
Janine and I left the bar about an hour ago, and took a longtail back to Ao Nang to catch the bus to the Gulf Coast - which we missed so we'll catch the morning bus in the morning...almost ended up in a huge storm on the boat but made it just in time (had to anchor in a different cove though and walk cause the waves near the pier were too big for the boat).
Overall, we had a really fantastic few days - the people were great!