So Krabi didn’t really go as planned. The last place I left off, we had made our way to Ao Nang beach to take in the sunset, explore, and find some seafood to eat. All of this went pretty according to plan. Ao Nang is basically like Playa Del Carmen. Tons of bars, over priced beach resorts, and expensive food. We made the most of it and walked along the beach and back, and decided that we had better get seated ASAP to enjoy the sunset.
After a 15 minute search, we settled on a little place overlooking the ocean that has something of a Hamptons feel to it. Dinner was excellent: A tom yum seafood soup and a seafood glass noodle salad. I ordered both meals off the “spicy Thai” section of the menu, but both lacked any sort of heat whatsoever. I even asked them to make it “Thai people spicy.” No such luck. I gotta figure out a better plan to get some heat here.
After finishing our meals and settling up, the two of us meandered through the local stores all setting up for the Thai New Year, Songkran, the next day. As we walked, we discussed the game plan for the next two nights. I had only picked out one thing on the trip that I wanted to do: climb to the top of the Tiger Cave Temple, about 25 min North of Ao Nang. I suggested, based of price, that we rent motorbikes, considering they were only 8 dollars a day each. We picked them up and drove them around for a couple hours, until it was late. We scooted back to the hotel, as I had warned Josh: it was a steep vertical climb, and It’d be wise to get it done in the morning.
Morning came and we were up and out of the house the earliest all week. We hopped on our bikes and made our way back to our local (hey, 2 days in row counts, ok?) haunt and ordered from rice and curry for the trip. It was the best meal I’d had the entire trip. I told Josh then we needed to go back on our last day, before the bus came.
We settled up our tab and hopped on our respective bikes and headed out. I had never driven or been on anything with two wheels before other than one time when I was 12 and my Aunt Gina’s Husband took me on a motorcycle ride from Airdrie to Calgary, and back. Surprisingly, these things were simple to drive. Driving through these massive rock formations, with trees, and vines drooping down from the sky was breathtaking. I looked over to Josh at a red light and said “This is the most amazing day of my life and it’s only 10:00.” I never wanted this day to end.
15 minutes later it did. As I was navigating around a corner my front tire must have hit something on the road and the bike slammed down on the side and we started to slide. I don’t know how I managed, I assume by instinct: I crossed my ankles and arms over my chest and tucked my head in. I allowed my body to go limp, which threw me in to a roll, as opposed to sliding down the road. The bike, my back pack and my sandals rolled in to a small ravine, and I, in a daze sat up on the side of the road.
As luck would have it, I crashed right beside a family getting ready for Songkran, and hey rushed over. They, along with Josh led me to their home and sat me down to wash me up and make sure I was OK. One of them called EMS, who was on scene in 5 minutes. They asked if I wanted to go to the hospital. I hummed and hawed… I was okay. Was I? Is it just adrenaline? Wait I have travel insurance. Fuck it, “Lets go.”
The hospital was nothing like I expected. It was immaculate. Spotless, brand new, and very technically advanced. I refused the wheelchair and walked in to ER where I had not one, but two doctors standing and waiting for me, along with a team of nurses. There was no wait. They started working on before I filled out any paperwork. Josh showed up and I gave him my blue cross info while i had my bandages applied. Less than 30 minutes later I was being ushered out, cleaned up and better off than before. I was led to the cashier, and I looked over to ask if I needed to pay now or let Blue Cross pay for it. Josh informed me that Blue Cross would prefer me to pay and then have it reimbursed, as it cuts through a lot of red tape. Well shit. I cant afford to pay medical bills. This is how people go bankrupt. They get out a calculator and they start adding up the cost of the visit: ER, Gauze, Bandages, Supplies, Antibiotics, T3’s, and a couple other meds. 98 dollars CAD. I eagerly paid cash and then… “Hey my arm is kinda sore… wanna score me a ‘just in case’ X-ray?” I paid the extra 20 dollars and was in an out in 10 minutes with the piece of mind knowing that my wrist wasn’t cracked.
The only way back to my bike was to ride on the back of Josh’s. Not fun. It’s a 115 CC bike and our combined weight is 455 lbs. Needless to say the bike struggled.We arrived to find my bike in working condition, minus a mirror, and some superficial damage. Could be worse.
Wait… It was worse. The family had left, and they had locked the bike inside their gate. What to do… We had no idea. Josh scooted off to get water and food while I sweltered under the shade of the lone shrub on the side of the road. No one came for hours. By this time i was about to have mental break down. I asked Josh if he would take me to the Temple. This was the only opportunity to do this, and I didn’t want to come home regretting not even trying.
After a few wrong turns, we finally made it to the base out the mountain. Josh took one look and proclaimed “Have fun buddy, I’ll be here for you.” And I started to make my ascent. I picked up a huge 1.5 liter bottle of water. The vertical is nearly 300 meters straight up, with 1237 steps, some as high as 2.5 feet. I made it to 250 steps before I needed to stop. I had a huge swig of water and looked around. There was monkeys EVERYWHERE. I was delirious, yet excited, because I was doing something on my bucket list. I quickly reached in to my bag to get my camera out. Since one of my hands was throbbing in pain, I had to place my water bottle down to take off the lens cap. And just like that, even though DOZENS of friends had warned me: A fucking monkey stole my water. I’ve included pictures of the monkey I wanted to shoot, as well as the one that stole my water. Sigh.
Being the idiot that I was, I kept going. I was not going to give up. I made it another 200 steps, before I asked a man coming down if there was water at the top. He confirmed, looked at my bandaged covering my arms, legs and feet, and asked if I was OK. I told him about the accident, and then the monkey theft. Wide eyed, he handed me his water bottle and told me he no longer needed it and that I would. I thanked him profusely and carried on my journey upwards.
Along the way I amassed what I can only describe as a following of disciples. A half dozen people would stop with me at each landing, hydrate and make sure I was OK. Pushing forward, an hour total later, I reached the top. It was the most exhilarating 15 minutes of my life. I drank well over 3 liters of water and laid down in front of a giant golden Buddha who just looked down at me, as if saying “See, I told you you could do it.” I has someone take my picture for me, and I made my way back to josh. By the time I made it down, I was in tears. This was my Everest today. I now understand why my dad wants to hike Kilimanjaro so bad. And I know, this summer, he’s going to.
We recovered my bike, and made our way back to the beach. After assessing the damage, we paid off the rental company and started home. I was SO hungry and for one thing only, when I am sad: Nuggets. Yes. I am 12,500 KM from home, and I opted to get McDonalds. We went home and I passed out.
We awoke this morning and packed up. A big travel day for us. After a final amazing meal at our local spot, we hopped our shuttle to the other side of the province, and hopped on a Jet Boat to Koh Phi Phi, an Island 47 Km out in the sea. The trip was beautiful and I enjoyed the rest. We’ve now gotten comfortable in our hut and I think it’s time to step out and take in the sights, and find somewhere to eat for my birthday. I said I wasn’t gonna updated my 100 active days, but considering I climbed a fucking mountain 2 hours after a motorbike accident: I’m giving my self two.