The boat ride from Koh Phayam to Ranong was quite nice yesterday, other than the fact that I wound up with the only seat on the boat that wasn’t in the shade. After 30 minutes I couldn’t handle the feeling of the sun creeping up to barbeque first my hand, then my arm, then my shoulder, then my neck…! So I sat on the floor with the bugs and ants and read my book for two hours. I was happy to be in the shade & happy I remembered to get my book out for the ride, so it wasn’t too bad. View from the pier, before getting on the boat at Koh Phayam:
Another pretty fishing boat:
I spent a very productive morning studying Thai. I am trying to learn the characters so I can recognize some common words. I can count to ten now, too! Here’s my study sheet:
We ate lunch near the pier in Koh Phayam, and Jamie sneakily took this picture of a Thai family taking a break in the restaurant’s back room. They were playing a card game and having a grand old time:
Upon arrival at the pier in Ranong we hopped on the bikes to ride into town and back to the same hotel we stayed in last time. It started to rain, which created a strange feeling. Our upper bodies were wet from the rain and so felt nice and cool in the breeze created by riding. But as the rain hit the hot pavement it created a steamy heat wave swirling up around our legs. When we rode through deep puddles, the water splashes were actually hot.
At bedtime we realized that the screens in our windows didn’t close all the way and one of them had a giant hole, offering a myriad of ways for the mosquito population of Ranong to pay us a visit. I went on a mosquito killing spree and then turned off the lights hoping they wouldn’t be smart enough to find their way in. No such luck. After an hour we gave up trying to sleep and got out of bed to kill more mosquitos and duct tape the edges of the windows to block further attacks. This is exactly why we brought duct tape, and we felt like geniuses for having it!
At this point I thought I felt an eyelash in my eye, so went in the bathroom to get it out before continuing with the killing spree. I looked in the mirror and realized that my entire eye was bright red and very swollen – so much so that the clear membrane of my eye was actually wrinkling up when I blinked. Yikes! Nurse Jamie held my eye open and vigorously sprayed it with saline solution in case there was something in there. Naturally, my pajamas got soaked with saline, too. It is so hot here I didn’t care, though, and just went to sleep and hoped it would be better by morning (it is – just red, not too swollen anymore). I also decided to shut off the alarm for 6am…lack of sleep from mosquito attacks, inflamed eye, and the fact that Jamie needs to go to a bike shop to get new rim tape in his back wheel mean we will take a rest day in Ranong. (Since New Zealand, Jamie’s rear tire has been going mysteriously flat. He has had six flat tires already, most of them are on the inner side of the tube and we can never find anything that looks like it is causing the flat. A mechanic in New Zealand thought our tubes were faulty, but replacing those and the tire itself hasn’t helped so now we are going to try re-taping the rim to see if that fixes the problem. The rear tire we swapped was trashed anyway. It developed a large double-humped bulge after 2500 kilometers of cycling. That’s two Panaracer tires that have failed on us so far, so we are in the market for new tires. We are hoping we can get the Schwalbe Marathon tires in Bangkok.)
Last time we were in Ranong we discovered a restaurant that has the BEST iced coffee – D.D. Coffee. It is like a melted coffee milkshake and tastes like real, strong espresso because they actually have an espresso machine at the restaurant! This is a majorly exciting discovery because every other time we’ve had “coffee” in Thailand it has been that nasty instant Nescafe crap. Needless to say, we made a beeline back to D.D’s today!
Fun fact: we’ve spent the past five days going into every drug store and pharmacy we pass, looking for dental floss. No one sells it anywhere! Today we finally found it in Ranong…thank goodness!