Monday, September 10, 2007
A day in the life at Railay
I have to say that you have to try pretty hard to have a bad day out here on Railay beach. This tiny peninsula is only accessible by boat. Which means the only means of transportation on the land is via golf cart or the more conventional: flip-flop. Railay is primarily broken into 2 beaches. East & West. On the West beach, you will find very well-to-do farangs with deep pockets, and absolutely gorgeous sunsets perfectly framed by amazing limestone cliffs. On the east, you will find the grittier side of Railay. A mangrove swamp with a a bit more of a bohemian feel. The east side has lively music, cheap food, and countless gallons of Singha for the drinking. There I have found a great little bungalow for a mere 300 baht per night (approx $9.00 US). Yeah, I dig this place.
So I know it's been a few days since I wrote last. Nothing of any real consequence has taken place; however, I must tell you of 'the perfect day'. It began like every other day thus far...sweaty and hungover. I thought that I needed to go get a little exercise in to work off last night's consequence of revelry. (Man those Australian chicks are trouble...I just can't keep up!) So I decide to hike to the top of these limestone cliffs which offer a full view of the West Beach. Perched 200 meters up from the sea, upon my limestone ledge, I survey the entire peninsula and all it's splendor. But getting there isn't very easy. You must scramble up slick, muddy limestone while clamping with your best king-fu grip on a knotted rope which was anchored down most likely decades go. Once there, navigate a series of dirt trails cris crossing through the jungle. Good thing I have such an awesome sense of direction! (hee, hee).
After soaking up the view and snapping some landscape photos, I decided to look for a cave that some folks told me about last night. The thought of entering a cave in the middle of a jungle, alone and with a tiny 2 l.e.d headlamp sounds very freaking scary. But, curiosity definitely got the best of me. So I turned around and crested the high point then began a descent via more knotted line on the other side of the formation into a limestone canyon. I gazed upon massive stalactites which hung like old crusty chandeliers. Then, I was greeted by thick jungle, cawing birds and rustling monkeys in the palms. At the base of the cliff there was an huge tree, boasting an enormous trunk. It was freaking huge and covered with muddy aboriginal-like hand prints that people have used to make their own mark. It looked incredibly tribal. Exactly the kind of thing you expect to find while on a quest for a hidden jungle cave. Passing the tree after a couple of quick pics, I came across a mangrove swamp teaming with fish and other wildlife. Then there was the cave. I stood before it, staring into it's gaping maw. It's jagged teeth composed of limestone stalactites & mites. I mustered up the courage, removed my headlamp from my pocket and walked right into the sounds of eerie squeaking and flapping leather from above. Against my better judgment I aimed my weak beam of light at the cave's roof. Bats. Big ones. Moving further into the cave, heart pumping (which I swear those furry little bastards could hear every single pump of) I was relieved to find nothing more than a dead end. Guess it's time to turn around and make an exit. Turns out I'm more of a Goonies adventurer and less of an India Jones type.