Today we hired a moped, to most people reading this – hiring a moped is no big deal! However, to me – firstly as it is years since I last rode one (I had one go, ditched it and it fell apart as it was made of wood!) and secondly, Phuket is not the best place to be learning this kind of ‘relatively’ new skill. Let me put it in some kind of perspective – if during the course of our travels another moped had simply dropped out of the skies, landed in front of me and carried on driving I would not have been less surprised as they seemed to be able to appear from every other flipping direction. They were coming at me from everywhere – by the time we finished the day it took Liz 30 minutes and a good crowbar to get my gripping fingers from the handlebars!!
As you can imagine it was a bit difficult getting about Phuket with me having serious tunnel vision and near-death experiences but Liz helped me no end by asking ME directions!!! Well we started off with an easy one – Wat Phra Thong – not too far from us but not greatly interesting either it had a museum with examples or old and relatively new inventions – took a few photos and used the time to good effect – well to stop shaking really and we set our sights on our next target – The Cable Jungle Adventure.
Well the cable place was a bit far out but was excellent. When we got there it was basically an arduous trek up a hill (mountain? … lol) then the easy part was coming down via various lengths of zipwire. It did say that gibbons could sometimes be seen but we stood no chance as Liz was doing her very own Tarzan impression – though her Tarzan suffered from tourettes! We did however see a very small snake though on the way up. The rides down were brilliant but even better because you had to control your actual stop by leaning down on the wire with leather gloves – so no failsafe there then.
We next went to a quieter part of Phuket – as quiet as my nerves could take – to see Ban Pae Falls and the Gibbon sanctuary. This was a good trek up the hill to see the falls – which were okay, not Vic Falls but they were cool as was dipping our toes in the water in the pools made by the falls. At the same place was the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre, which basically takes abused gibbons or ex-pets and tries to get them back into the wild after periods of acclimatisation, first at the centre then in the wild itself. It turns out that gibbons appear to suffer, in that they show the same symptoms, the same as humans would when suffering stress and similar disorders. One of the gibbons there had no hand or foot and this did not help her chances of pulling as although she could sing with male gibbons when the two start to bond and groom each other she could not complete her side of the bargain and so the male would cool off. Not sure how the gibbons actually felt in the place but the staff seemed very committed to making it work for the animals so that must be for the best in the long run. I am not particularly an animal lover or even like them but if we do have our photos taken with such animals they WILL continue to be abused – so do not do it, you know it makes sense.
From the sanctuary we then went on a bit of a ramble – well we got lost! It is very difficult for anyone to get anywhere on Phuket unless they use the U-turn system they have there and as I was loathed to divert from my straight line – u-turns turned my hair white and doubled my grip on the bars. Anyhoo after what seemed like days of driving (mostly in a straight line) we ended up at Patong beach where we had a lovely street meal, however, unbeknown to us Tik also decided to surprise us with a meal which we also ate but it was delicious. It was fish steamed in a hot bouillon with lime and coriander – chef quality and even though we had eaten before I still had seconds and thirds – well done Tik (again).