Th4 - Family reunion in Koh Lanta
The car made it, and we arrived by ferry on the island of Koh Lanta Noi just as the sun was setting over the sea. We crossed the bridge onto Koh Lanta Yai and found our beach resort a day early. We slept in Landy and did a reconnoitre until we could check in.
We then had a few lazy days Christmas holiday days in Long Beach chalet enjoying the fancy towels, the food, beach and air conditionning whilst Landy was resting happily under a tree.
Christmas came and went quite quickly and we found a turkey meal with some of the trimmings on the 25th December in Patty’s Secret Garden which had the most amazing orchids lining the entrance way.
A day trip to the Old Town pier took us inland across the island along a Tsunami evacuation route and it reminded us how vulnerable this coastline was to extraordinary events.
Many of the little restaurants and homes on the shoreline of this little fishing village had been washed away when disaster struck some 10 years earlier. Now peacefully, we enjoyed sitting, looking out at the calm sea.
We moved on to the resort chosen by the family and waited for them to arrive from London.
But where were the children?
Ben and Kristjan were diverted to Krabi hospital to investigate Bens’ swollen knee, all the way from Boxing Day footie in South East London. But arrived only a bit later than expected.
But my daughters Jessica, Grace and their two boyfriends were massively delayed by poor connections in Stockholm and would not arrive for another 24 hours!
So the big reunion on Koh Lanta Yai was delayed and we expected tired travellers. We steeled ourselves for the repercussions and hoped all would be well.
When everyone was assembled we were quickly introduced to their favorite haunts, as they had been here only a few months earlier and we added a few of our own. Locals were busy fishing to keep us fed in the beachside restaurants.
One day we decided to hire a Long Tail boat to visit islands beyond Koh Lanta. On one island formed by an extinct volcano the idea was to snorkle and swim through an emerald cave to the crater of the volcano, an inland beach. We stuffed towels and phones into a waterproof sack and I popped my phone into a waterproof pouch around my neck and we dropped off the edge of the boat into the warm calm sea.
Somehow, whilst swimming through the cave, I noticed that the iphone that we use for navigation, books, bridge, emails and phone calls, not to mention photos had slipped off into the sea with its pouch. It was nowhere to be found and was feared lost. We searched fruitlessly in the water. But feared that the waves had dragged it out to sea.
I put the loss to the back of my mind until some hours later, when we returned by boat to Koh Lanta and our beach chalet with wifi, I dug out my laptop and signed into ‘Find My iphone’ to see if I could locate it bobbing in the sea.
To my amazement the phone was located on the tracker, but not in the sea. It tracked back to mainland Thailand, to a place we had never visited. Someone had therefore found it and had sailed back to the mainland with it. We called it but had no response. So we drove 150kms to see if we could find the spot and the phone. On New Years Eve, it involved Landy taking a ferry off the island, us missing the New year’s eve meal. Crazy mission.
A few hours later, we found the pier where the phone was supposed to be located and went into a travel company which was open late at night and and asked if a phone had been found - for a reward.
The answer was yes!
However, the diver had gone home with it and we needed to drive a further 45 kilometres in the dark on unknown roads, to find him. We eventually met him outside Trang railway station. It had to be the most extrordinary phone rescue ever. The finder said he had found it diving in the vicinity of the Emerald Cave.
It was both his lucky day and ours, and we exchanged the phone for the reward. Unbelievably it was still working and still had some power left for me to report the happy news! We then tore back to the ferry port, just missing the last scheduled ferry to the island of Koh Lanta Noi.
Landy alone on a large ferry.
However, the staff and ferry were still there and we paid for a ‘private ferry’ trip for Landy to get us back on Koh Lanta. So we made it back to be with our family to celebrate the New Year!