Phuket – Day 11 – (Qu)Easy Rider rides again – 29/Jan

Day 2 of my moped riding and today I felt like a different man, my ‘hog’ had managed to stick by me on day one of our tour and I was looking forward (Lie!) to day two. In my head I was singing ‘Born to be Wild’ as I showed Liz my prowess at ‘leaning’ into the bends and putting my knee down. Also I could hear what I thought to be admiring tones from her as I gave other ‘Knights of the Road’ the nod. Anyway five minutes in and ‘Quivering-Wreck-of-Jelly-Man’ had returned to save the day – Taaa Daaa!

Well we started the second road trip by getting lost once more around Phuket Town this time, now the pressure was on, I just had to get used to the infamous U-turn especially as most of the places worth seeing appeared to be on the other side of the road – curses! However before my chance came we actually struck lucky as someone had also decided to build a temple on ‘our side of the road’! Wat Chalong is a big temple and quite impressive as there is a lot of gold going on there – statues and the like, however just to heighten the tension of our plight someone kept letting off bloody firecrackers – what are those buddhists up to?

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After the Wat we rode on for a short while before we saw ‘it’ in the distance – ‘The Big Buddha’, I could not let Liz down here we simply had to see (Dum, dum, dum dummmmm) “The Big Buddha’ – Andrew had spoken of its lovely views, the Lonely Planet had it down as a top thing to do and it was not as if I could keep my head down and pretend to Liz I had not seen it – but where was it? On the other side of the bloody road and being so popular there was plenty of traffic about for me to negotiate – maybe I could do this after all – what keep my head down so Liz would not know but I would know to my everlasting shame. However, during the time I had thought this through Liz had also seen ‘The Big Buddha’ so there was no backing out, it was ‘The Big Buddha’ after all! As I approached the right turn the Big Buddha seemed to be smiling on me and traffic seemed to be subsiding so I gunned my engine and it roared into life, I closed my eyes and the infamous right turn was completed – jumping busses is next on my list.

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The Big Buddha was a complete let down …… no, not really, the Big Buddha is what is says on the tin – a very big buddha in white and the views are excellent. There was a young buddhist monk inside handing out charms that he was blessing – for a donation – so me and Liz were next in line, we needed all the help we could get and he was the man for the job. As well as the stunning views there were also really excellent carvings as well, like 3D stuff, the kind of thing that would have needed a most steady hand – something I did not possess at that moment in time. There was a drawback to the stunning views and that was the trip down – all I remember was laughing manically, my brakes smoking as we negotiated the tricky twists and turns.

Now I had negotiated the right turn, the U-turn was only a matter of time and also there was a whole new side of Phuket that could be explored now that we had the right turn under our belts. Armed with this we headed off for the Cape – Cape Promthep. This is a very nice area with a little lighthouse and a shrine to elephants – perhaps the gods of the sea? But a great place to have a break and a quick explore before heading off for our final stop of the day – Kata Beach.

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Kata Beach is where the rich people stay – so a mile off our budget – but it a very nice beach and there was the odd fish about as well for a spot of snorkelling. However, we both relaxed a little too much in the sun and dropped off for a short while but it was nice to recharge our batteries as the journey home would be another one of those ‘Journeys from Hell!’

The journey home can only be described as one cock up after the other during this time I not only right turned, I U-turned, did a couple of triple Salcoes and a Pirouette as well but could I hell as like get back onto the right road to Kamala and we thought there was only one road! When we got back the first job was to return the bike and I must admit to a sense of loss that my old friend had gone – that I would no longer be part of the brethren that is ‘The Knights of the Road’ and as I ran my hand one last time over the handlebars I could feel it felt the same way!

Upon reaching ‘home’ we found that Tik had cooked another meal but this was Laab – now this meal can only be described as ‘fire on the tongue’ and whereas both Andrew and Tik were lapping it up no problem, me and Liz were breaking out in a sweat simply looking at the molten larva that was to be our tea. Our only hope was that the toilet roll would be kept in the fridge overnight!

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