Day 3: Roasting myself on the beach

It was a cloudy morning when I stepped out of my room. I noticed that the ground was wet and thought, “Did they wash the floor?”. Then I noticed that the leaves of the trees nearby were dripping wet and realized that it rained last night. But I slept so soundly that I did not notice it.

At breakfast, I saw the Singaporean couple who came on the same flight as me. I smiled and nodded, but did not speak to them until later. While waiting to use the toaster, the female half of the couple struck up a conversation with me. She asked if I would be flying back tomorrow and if so, would I like to share the transport to the airport? We would be on the same flight as Tiger Airways only had one flight to Krabi that day. I agreed since the van is spacious and could easily fit all three of us, plus I would be able to save on the airport transfer fee. The woman smiled, “Great, we will check with the reception and let you know about the timing at tomorrow breakfast.”

When I was walking back to my room after breakfast, I saw them at the reception counter so I joined them. We settled on the time and we would split the transport cost between the two rooms. The woman was feeling happy that the day started off rather cool as she said that it was too hot to do anything yesterday.

Inspired by the productive morning, I went back to my room and spent a bit of time arranging my belongings neatly on the writing table. This really involved pushing things to the side and stacking what could be stacked. After lazing for a while, I left the resort.

The skies were still cloudy and there was a fine drizzle. It was so fine that it felt like mist so I did not bother to take out my umbrella. Perhaps because it was not as hot as yesterday, the journey seemed to be shorter. I was quite disappointed when I saw that Coffee Arthit was closed. I was looking forward to a nice, quiet time drinking coffee and maybe even order some light snacks. Since Coffee Arthit was closed and there did not seem to be another cafe nearby, I continued on to the shooting range.

Apart from the Thai woman and the dog, the shooting range is empty. The instructor was out, but I didn’t mind waiting. I could spend the time reading and besides, the real reason I was early was because I didn’t want to get caught in the rain. It started to pour heavily while I was reading and I mentally gave myself a pat on the back. After a while, the woman handed me a handphone. The instructor was on the other side and said he would be back after 30 mins.

“Please take your time,” I replied. And I meant it. The quiet shooting range was a pretty nice place to catch up on some reading.

After the rain stopped, a car drove up. A Thai couple got out of the car and entered the building. The guy wanted to shoot some rounds and he seemed to have some experience in using a gun. He was able to load the gun without any help and he entered the shooting gallery to fire some shots. I wasn’t wearing any headphones so this time I was able to “appreciate” the full volume of a shot. The sound of a gun going off was pretty deafening.

After the instructor arrived, he suggested that this time I could try the .45 handgun. It looked very much Colt Ace except that it used bigger bullets. The instructor loaded the gun and passed it to me. I tried a shot and the recoil was much greater this time. I could see some smoke and immediately smelled the metallic scent of gunpowder even though only one bullet was fired. I continued shooting, but had to stop for a break because there was so much smoke from the gun that my eyes started to sting. The bullets made bigger holes than yesterday’s guns and I thought it looked like it would hurt a lot. After shooting ten rounds, I left the shooting range. It was fun, but expensive.

I stopped by an eatery on the way back. There were a few locals dining at the eatery, which was always a good sign. I could see some pork stewing in a pot and thought about a lunch I had in Bangkok years again. That was good so I decided to order the dish again. I pointed at a photo of the dish and I also ordered one glass of Thai iced tea. The pork was quite nice. The meat was tender and the skin was springy. The watery sauce was a bit salty and sweet. While the dish was not bad, I thought the one I had in Bangkok tasted nicer.

After lunch, I headed back to the resort to read in the comfort of my air-conditioned room. I really like this white and purple chair. It was my favorite reading spot in the room. Because it was placed in a corner, sometimes the aircon could not reach it and it could get rather warm. Sometimes I moved it so that it was right in front of the aircon vent. It was bulky, but very light (hollow inside) so it was easy to lift up the chair and move it around the room. Needless to say that while reading in the quiet and cool environment, I dozed off again.

I could see the bright sunlight when I woke up an hour later. It seemed that the sun was out again so I decided to head down to Ao Nang Beach. I stopped by the convenience store and bought a bottle of mineral water and an ice-cold can of Coca-Cola. It just felt really nice to have a cold drink on the hot beach.

It was very hot on the beach and the sun was out in full force. The shady areas under the trees were all already taken up so I just laid my towel on a sunny patch of seashells. I was afraid of getting sunburnt so I kept applying sunblock lotion every hour or so. The lotion also helped to briefly cool down my skin. Sometimes I sat up and read; other times I lay on my back, using my backpack as a pillow. I raised my head and watched the clouds from time to time. They were moving quite fast towards the land. Sometimes the clouds covered up the sun, providing brief relief from the heat.

As I sat under the scorching sun, I started to wonder if I am crazy for willingly subjecting myself to the heat. I looked around and there were other people resting under the sun. Looks like all the crazy ones are at the beach today ūüėõ¬†Seated closest to me was a Caucasian man with shaggy red hair and beard. He wore a pair of dark sunglasses, T-shirt and shorts. He remained seated on his towel in the same position all afternoon. He stared out to the sea, and once in a while, he would look at the iPod he held in his hand. Meanwhile, his forehead seemed to grow redder as the afternoon wore on.

Around 4pm, I noticed that there was something strange on the horizon, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was wrong.

Then I realized it was raining far out at sea. The rain was so heavy that it looked as if a wall had formed on the horizon. From the direction the wind was blowing, I knew that the rain clouds were moving towards land. I was too lazy to move though, and hoped that the rain clouds would use up its reservoir before reaching land.

But it kept raining as the clouds moved closer to land. Soon I could see that the rain had reached the outermost parts of Krabi. Part of the land looked like it was shrouded in mist.

I decided it was time to go and quickly gathered up my stuff. I could feel the first drops of rain hitting my back as I bent over to pick up the towel. I quickly crossed the road to The L Resort. The blue-eyed Caucasian man who helped to check me in two days ago, was standing at the entrance of the resort, watching the impending rain. He still looked as hot and wide-eyed as the first time I saw him. He saw me hurrying back and gave me a big grin.

“Made it in time,” he laughed.

“Yes,” I laughed too. Then I hurried on as there was no shelter from the reception building to my room. I passed a local staff hurrying in the opposite direction, and we gave each other knowing smiles as the rain started to pour. I made it to my room before I got too wet.¬†I stayed in my room and watched the rain pour down outside. I decided that if it did not stop raining by dinner time, I would order room service. I had already decided what to order.

Click on the image above to get the wallpaper version (1500 x 2000 px)

But the rain stopped by 6pm so I went out for dinner instead. I joined a group of people standing on the steps that led down the beach and watched the sunset. It was nice, but not as intense as yesterday’s light show.

Rather than venturing far, I decided to eat at Wanna’s Place. I would be flying off tomorrow morning so I wanted to have an early night. Besides, guests at The L Resort were given a 10 % discount. I ordered a curry powder fried rice and a Long Island Iced Tea. It was a strong cocktail, but I figured that since I was practically at the doorstep of the resort, I shouldn’t have any trouble making it back to my room.

The curry powder fried rice was nice and I could choose whether to have prawns or chicken. It had the fragrance of curry powder and the chicken was moist and tender. The vegetables were still crunchy. The fried rice came with a spicy, sweet sauce, which I tried dipping the cucumber slices in.

Now that my first solo trip was nearing its successful conclusion, I decided to celebrate by ordering dessert. I ordered a flambe pineapple with vanilla ice-cream which was not bad.

Towards the end of my meal, a large group of Chinese entered the restaurant. From their accent, they were probably Taiwanese. There were several families in the group and they made a lot of noise as they arranged the seating and discussed what to order for dinner. Not all of them seemed to know English, so their spokesman placed the orders for them. I found the spokesman quite irritating. He spoke so loudly that I could hear him clearly from a few tables away. After he placed the orders, he started to lecture a teenager who was probably his niece. I had quite enough of his speeches so I quickly paid and left the restaurant.

Tomorrow I would be leaving for the airport after breakfast. I was quite pleased with this trip as I felt that it met the goals I had set out, which was to rest and relax. While I wasn’t looking forward to going back to the office, a small part of me was glad to be going home because I was quite tired of reporting to my mother everyday. Hopefully, after I had gone for more solo trips, she would be less panicky about me going overseas alone.

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