Hello chaps, I wrote this on the flight home after visiting many airport lounges and whilst sipping champagne in Business Class!
Yes I know I wasn’t going to write again for a while, but I’ve got about 17hrs flying today plus many hours waiting, so I’m doing it, as we had such a good day yesterday –
It started off with major hangovers for me and Josh after what turned into a huge session, unexpectedly. We ended up the night before watching a brilliant covers band in a bar on the sea front and stayed there all night. Lots of beer and mojitos. Bad news when you’re sailing the next day. We met a scouser there who got talking to us. Lives in South Africa with his wife and was in Ao Nang on holiday, called Neal. Anyway, his wife had gone home a few days early “to look after the cats” leaving Neal here roaming the streets. He kept trying to take Josh to a prostitute bar up the road where he goes every night “just to play pool”. Yeah, Neal, sure.
So the next day (yesterday) was 10 hrs on a boat! Great joy when enduring the one and only massive hang over of the year! I blame Josh! But the first hour of snorkelling soon sorted us out, and if anything it was even better than the week before. Just incredible. We saw giant puffer fish (very rare to swim with humans) and an enormous sea snake. One of the guides was pointing underwater at the snake, and I thought he was gesturing “go have a look at that lovely blue and black hooped sea snake”, so I swam closer, but what he was actually meaning was “don’t go any nearer the poisonous nasty blue and black hooped sea snake”!
We snorkelled, visited amazing locations and beaches (including The Beach) and then got caught in a huge tropical storm! We had to shelter on Chicken Island to get out of the thunder and lightening! But these things soon pass, and then we ended up on a beach for the sunset, and also inhabited by gibbons and long tailed monkeys! Magnificent! A superb day, made more so by the guides – there were 9 guests (a maximum of 11 on any one day), 3 guides and two crew. Lunch and evening snack included and beers and drinks. The main guide, Eric, was from France and we got on really well with him as he looked after me, Josh and Cha. One of the other guides, Kris, was famous in Spain for spending 4 months as a contestant in Big Brother Spain 2013, finishing 4th! The company is called Thalassa.com and I’d recommend them to anybody. The owner is a Spanish guy who was a lawyer in Spain until 3 years ago until he realised that there was far more to life than work…… Eric, too, had a business in France, but now spends his life snorkelling, free diving, rock climbing, sailing etc and loving every moment of it. It was so good to be with these massively positive people who show what can be done very easily…..
Anyway, later that night, we had some phone calls, and obviously I made the decision to come straight home. I won’t go into details about it.
But Charlotte once again proved what a brilliant travel agent she is! Within minutes I had a route home and plans were being made. I had about 7hrs to pack, get my head around the whole situation, and say goodbye to my best friends Cha and Josh. To be fair, I was in a bit of a state, and didn’t sleep much at all, and yet here I am 14 hrs after I set off bright and perky! (The bizarre /cheap route means I’m probably actual further away from England at this moment that when I set off this morning!)
So, somehow (and probably down to Charlotte putting me on the BA World traveller program) I’ve been upgraded to Business Class. Which is just brilliant. Even more so considering we booked the cheapest route/flights we could! I’ve never flown Business before, but now I have two dilemmas – A) How am I ever going to work again and B) How am I ever going to fly economy again???? There is something very smug about getting on the plane first and then watching all the other passengers wander past you to the back of the aircraft as you’re sipping champagne! And then, the menu! Bloody hell! I’ve had anti pasti with Serrano ham (and G and T), beautifully cooked Sole (with Pouilly Fumé) and cheese board (with port!). And of course constant champagne refills! Thank goodness Cha wasn’t here – we’d have to do this every time in the future! Needless to say, I was the scruffiest business class passenger by a long way!!
Back home now in Leeds. Mum’s got dementia, and has deteriorated badly, rapidly, and has gone way past the point of being cared for at home by Dad. This was always going to happen at some stage. Anyway, to cut a long story short, mum’s got a place in a nearby care home, starting Friday, and as sad as the situation is, it’s also a huge positive step forward. I’m going to stay here another 10 days or so for the time being, and then we’ll see what the score is. But I’ve left Charlotte in Bangkok at Bruce’s, and she’s got the credit card!!!!! So I’ll have to get back there before she’s bankrupted us! Again!
Thanks to everyone for all your thoughts and offers of help, it’s enormously appreciated!