Monday, March 19, 2012

Hiking an Island

Our backs are baked but we're determined to see more of the island. We decided to go on a hike that takes us from our side to the other side (considering the island is one mountain that you have to go up and over it's more difficult than it sounds).

The above map is kind of big but I want to be able to describe where we hiked. We were at CoCo Cottage Resort. We walked down the beach about 3/4 of a mile past Fantasy Resort where we turned off and started going through the jungle. We came out at Koh Ngai Resort and Spa then went around the little point at the middle, bottom of the island to the larger point on the left. 

We were nervous for a little while because of the isolation and knowing that if something were to happen medical assistance would be hours, if not a day, away. We were uneasy with the unfamiliar flora but comforted ourselves with the fact that there wouldn't be any large predators (besides the dogs) on an island. After hiking for half an hour we came out to this beautiful yet hot plain of grasses, with towering palms and piles of coconuts. 

By this time we were rather hot and miserable, unsure of which trail to take. We decided to go near the sea and see if there was an area we could swim at. And there was. I wore my swimsuit under my clothes and Casey hiked in swim trunks so we stripped off and dove in. Even that water was warm so we went further to try to cool off.

There was a rather dilapidated resort where we got some more water and asked for directions to the viewpoint we had heard about. A lady told us it would be about 15 minutes. We started off and kept getting distracted by beautiful scenes.

After an hour of steep climbs, beach combing (we love all the sea glass), avoiding fallen ants nests (terrified me!) we arrived at a beautiful viewpoint. I had quickly overheated even with the liter of water I'd had and sat down, deciding I'd risk the tree ants. The view was worth it. 

The picture above shows the last part of my irritated face while Casey was trying to take a picture. I just had to sit for a while.

Like I said, it was beautiful and worth the work. I can honestly say, however, that I have never sweated more in my life.

On our way back this guy...

and one of his friends decided to make the hike with us. We quickly realized these dogs go all over the island and use these trails probably more than people. The two dogs would dart off into the jungle and come up behind us so suddenly. One time I almost jumped up a tree and probably would have if I didn't suspect the tree to be more dangerous.

There was a reunion of dogs at that point, where Batdog wanted to tell the other three dogs that he had adopted us and the two hiking with us didn't like that, so we quickly got out of the way and let them discuss with growls and whines.

That evening we were seriously worn out. We took it easy, just sitting on the beach and having a leisurely dinner.

Above is the lounge/lobby/restaurant we spent plenty of time in relaxing. Below is our bungalow we loved, despite the scary poisonous millipede bug I had to dance around one night in the bathroom.

We left early the next morning and spent a tiring day traveling. 45 minutes by boat to the pier, another 45 in a van to Trang Airport, a little over an hour flight to Bangkok, a short layover where we had to recheck bags, another hour flight to Chiang Mai, and then a 20 minute drive to our hotel. We sat down for a while and then went out where I fell in love with Chiang Mai.

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