Although our budget was tight, we decided we just couldn’t leave Queensland without swimming amongst the only living organism seen from space: the Great Barrier Reef. We went door to door along the numerous tour companies in Airlie Beach negotiating our hardest – and my yells of ‘just book us on any boat’ mixed with Charlotte’s cries of, ‘I just want to see Nemo!’ were fairly successful: we bagged a full day trip out to a snorkelling pontoon for $140 each (cheap by Australia’s standards).
The voyage out to the pontoon was traumatic. The sea was incredibly choppy, and the boat persistently rocked for the best part of two hours. The waves lapping at the side of boat were nothing to the waves we felt internally. It was a scene of total devastation. Crew members were called back and forth to clean up various messes and the sick bags were passed out in towering bundles. We sipped our cups of tea quietly and tried to avoid looking at the poor blue-tinged children behind us. Continue reading →
With a friend flying into Phuket airport to visit us, we found ourselves back on The Andaman coast and visiting the previously missed town of Khao Lak. Following in Roger Moore’s footsteps, I spent a morning travelling through Phang Nga bay to visit Ko Tapu, more commonly known as the ‘James Bond Island’ after its appearance in the film The Man with the Golden Gun.
James Bond Island
The nearby Koh Panyee village was an intriguing place to stop for a seafood lunch. The 1600 residents, mostly fisherman, have created an entire community built on stilts above the sea. The crisscrossed roads of the village are lined with stalls selling trinkets and fresh noodles, as well as beautiful sounding small birds in cages that are priced according to their singing ability.