Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tonsai

Me on the boat where we went scuba diving
Yes, I think these are eyeballs. A drink that old man suddenly handed to me so I gave him some chocolate. He gave me an enormous thumbs up while immensely enjoying the chocolate.

On the long-tail to Tonsai

Noah's home
Not a bad view. Tonsai

Noah crushing the route

Tonsai in the sun

Tonsai from a small cave we hid in when this rainstorm moved in while we were climbing.

Tonsai sunset

Railey and Tonsai from an early morning run viewpoint

The past few days I have been in climber's paradise. If any of you rock nuts in the States ever find the need to go to a beach surrounded by massive overhanging limestone cliffs peppered with stalactites and dangling climbers, head to Tonsai and Railey near Krabi in Thailand.

This place is incrededible. Besides the overwhelming beauty of the place, it has become the prime place for those of us fortunate enough to be able to travel to come and "bum". There are cheap bungalows everywhere in the jungle just behind the beach, restaurants, minimarts, and lots and lots of bars for the climbers and beach bums who flock here.

My reason for visiting Tonsai was not climbing, but to visit a friend from CSU, Noah. He told me to look for the yellow tent on the beach near the slackline. Ok.

The only way to get to Tonsai is by long-tail boat, so after a bouncy ride over 3-4 foot waves, me and 7 other climbers arrived to stare slack-jawed up at the cliffs surrounding the beach. I found Noah's tent with no problem but no Noah, so his tent neighbor Anton showed me around until we were forced to take cover from a torrential downpour in Anton's tent. When the rain finally let up several hours later, Noah had returned and it was great to see him.

The next 2 days I spent getting up early to run, attempting to climb, realizing how much strength I've lost while traveling, getting rained out by monsoon-like rainstorms and enjoying good rice and chicken and banana pancakes. I met lots of very cool people at Tonsai and ended up bailing from Noah's tent when everything got pretty damp during one rainstorm and running to a bungalow to hang up everything I own to dry, including me!

It was a strange place to me though. All these people who claimed to be living such a simple lifestyle here on this gorgeous stretch of sand and sea, spending all day climbing and eating and all night drinking and eating, sometimes for several months at a time. It just had a strange vibe for me, I don't know how to explain it, but it was fun to see and I am glad to have moved on to Krabi.

I have met some really really cool people here already; Martin and Frank from Argentina, Joe from Britain and Bill from Chicago. There is a night market down by the water where all the food carts go at night and you can sit at tables nearby and get really cheap, really really good food! I had noodles with seafood and a Thai iced tea, followed by a banana roti (pancake) with Nutella on top. Mmmm.

My plan is to head up near Bangkok in the next day to work on an organic farm run by a friend of a man my Da plays music with. I'm really looking forward to getting my hands dirty and meeting some cool people also volunteering there. It's my understanding that for the work I do, I get a place to sleep and food! Nice! I will stay there until I need to cross the border to Cambodia before my visa expires, where I will hopefully also be able to volunteer and meet up with my friend Will from CSU. I'm so stoked to head to the farm!

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