...and finally, Cyril
10.02.2018 - 20.02.2018 4 °C
When I began this blog some 2 weeks ago in The Maldives, I expected to be writing a couple of paragraphs each day, supplemented with a few photos along the way. Back in the UK and sitting in temperatures some 26 degreed colder than Thailand, this final entry is an opportunity to post a few pictures that didn't make it into the daily entries and to reflect on the holiday as a whole.
What I hadn't planned for was the sense of having to fulfill some kind of unwritten agreement between me and the readers of the blog - as in, I've started, so I must finish. Not that it was a chore, far from it. We had such a tremendous time that it was difficult to know what to include and what to leave out.
So here goes:
There are some weird crisp flavours out there - and as amusing as some of them are, these flavours offer a glimpse into a countries habits. For example, we take prawn cocktail and smokey bacon flavours in our stride, and I remember taking a liking to Tzatziki flavoured crisps in Albania, but what about ham cheese sandwich flavour? Can you really taste the bread here? And, as for seaweed flavoured hoops...no thanks!
As much as I try, I can never get the knack of taking selfies - although these attempts are not strictly selfies, but more like 'usies'. The first one is from the first trip in the canals for the floating market and the second was taken during the boat part of the bike tour - I can only imagine how many holiday albums include the smiling face of Black, the tour guide
Speaking about the floating market reminded of the sighting of this large monitor lizard sitting by the water side. A chance sighting? No - as we left the scene, there was a queue of boats behind us, the pilots of which were eager to point out to their passengers the wonderful photo opportunity. My guess is the lizard was in on the tour tips...
This picture was taken just before the lady in the boat gave a right old mouthful when I told her I didn't want a banana! But I guess they get fed up with tourists just looking for a photo opportunity. Truth was that we had just eaten and there were nicer salespeople around if we did, in fact, fancy something else!
A quick word on the long-tail boats: These things can fly! And, each owner seems to be in competition to see which of them can mount the largest pimped engine on the back. These engines are full-on four stroke car/van engines converted to drive a prop shaft that is several meters long. When the guys open them up for real, the boats move at a tremendous pace and the noise can be deafening! I had the misfortune to be sitting in the front of our boat, and caught the full force of the exhaust from the boat immediately ahead of us, as the pilot opened up a bit of speed. I was high for the next few minutes!!
We saw an elephant whilst visiting the Mon village, the poor thing was chained to a post and had a seat on its back, for the tourists. I was happy to feed bananas (a bunch at a time!), but no way would ride it. I realise this is a source of income for the village and all that, but I would prefer to see such a majestic beast in a more natural environment and at will to wander.
We saw some interesting signs along the way too
It remains for me to say a great big 'thanks' to Martyn and Rachel for being such wonderful hosts, and for making our holiday in Thailand an unforgettable experience. Although we managed to see so much, I get the impression that we have only scratched the surface of what Thailand its people have to offer. The only way to find out will be to return....which we certainly plan to do.
And now its time for me to close...If you have been, thanks for following/reading this blog. If anyone out there has the time to comment, it would be great to hear from you.
All that is left for me to say is...if you have enjoyed this half as much as I have, then I will have enjoyed it twice as much as you.
Until next time.