Yesterday was a travel day. Stocked with tylenol cold (yes, even in the tropics) I emerge from the hotel to see our airport transport with the hood up. Worse - there's smoke beginning to waft - and then billow from the engine. "Grab the packs!" is the call to arms. With your life in a canvas bag you can only grab what's important and stand back. Unfortunately, for the car, it wouldn't be going anywhere today. Left to stand on the street corner amidst Pattaya's endless rush, there's no guarantee we're going anywhere in a hurry.
But fifteen minutes later another car is on the road and the airport is in sight. Koh Samui, the only airport where even the airport bathroom is appealing with a room size aquarium dividing men from women's. Open air terminals with lush foliage spill into the waiting areas. And then it's time to be off again - on to the ferry, across narrow gangplanks and off to Koh Pha Ngan.
After landing it is a grueling run across hot pavement and through anxious hotel peddlers for one of many small pickups where a ride in the back means being jounced across rough roads,and being careful to keep your head bent or crack it on the roof as the truck pitches and rolls at a quick clip down the road. Right now there is nothing to see but iron bars, dust and heat and the occasional glimpse of what might be paradise. An hour later and a few misturns before a final deposit in a place so beautiful it is surreal. An aqua cove shimmers in the heat as it snuggles up against the restaurant and the tiny bungalows melt into the emerald green lushness of Thailand. It is a place where you could stay indefinitely, languishing under the hot sun, lounging by the pool and immersing yourself in a good book. And that's exactly what I'm going to do at least for today and maybe tomorrow.
Stay warm. And hello to my fave girls - T-bit, Mikkray, M&M