Tuesday, April 11, 2006

bbq, long necks and penis beach

Another day another badly typed missive. Yes I know my tyuping sucks but don't have time to proofread at these prices!

And now that I have the word penis writ large on the blog, I guess it's time for the google masses to come out to play, eh?

OK where did I leave off.

Chiang Mai. Me likey.

From Chiang Mai we caught a puddle jumper plane to Mae Hong Son. Very small town near the Burmeses border. You can drive there over the mountains from Chiang Mai in about 8 hours, but it's one of those drives where they give you barf bags at the beginning and a certificate when you reach the end, as it is 8 hours and 1300 curves, twists and turns. Guaranteed barf-o-rama, apparently. We chose the less barfy route.

Half hour flight later got to Mae Hong Son and found a tour to take us up to the Karen Hilltribe village, home of the long necked women. They are refugees from Burma (sorry, Myanmar.) They are all very beautiful and gracious ladies, very patient for photos, and obviously also wanting to sell stuff to us in exchange for the photo ops. Those neck rings are HEAVY. I tried them on.....

To get to the village we took a fast boat on the river Pai. Just a guy, a wood boat and an outboard motor, pushing that boat up the rapids. Exhilarating. The water was low but he was a great driver.

Then we went to a cave with fish. Sounds cheesy it was beautiful. Large blue carp in these holes in the rock, leading into streams and ponds, flashing blue everywhere. Lovely gardens as well.

Colleen was uncomfortable, she has a pinched nerve and it is making walking difficult, so we went backt o the hotle so she could rest and Rich and I could cool off with a swim. Then Rich and I went into town where we had The Best Meal Ever. Mae Hong Son has a little restaurant called the Lake Side Inn. It was full of locals doing Thai Table top barbecues. It was 65 baht each for all we could eat. We were a little nervous as we weret he only farangs there and we had no idea what to do, but hey, we're in it for the cultural experience, so we dove on ine to the nightlife.

So for Thai BBQ, You take little bits of marinated meat (beef chicken pork) and you cook them on this curved surface under which are very hot coals.. The curved surface goes down into a lip, like a little reservoir, and into this reservoir the waitress, helping us clueless farangs, put water and some herbs. The fat from the meat and the herbs steam in the water to make the most delicious broth. So we grilled and had broth and rice and hot hot sauces and stuffed ourselves silly. Oh my God it was good. Grand total for that including two very large Chang beers and two bottles of water, and enough food to feed one very large man and one increasingly larger woman? 8 USD. Gottal ove Thailand.

Yesterday was a bit crappy, we flew all day on three flights Ryan Air style, which meant we could not check our luggage thru but had to collect at each place and re check. SUCKED! And Colleen was not comfortable, and you don't realize how big airports are until you have to walk them with someone who is not at her best. I was very worried. She'll be ok, it's just a big holiday here and her doctor is not available...so she has to soldier thru until after the holiday.

Anyhow, finally got to Krabi, a car picked us up and took us to the boat that took us to the island we are on, Railay. Well, not an island, a peninsula..... Is it any surprise I fell out of the boat and into the water upon arrival? No I thought not. Talk about making a splash.

Today was just lazy beach day. Gorgeous. You have seen this beach before, I know. It's world famous. If not from pictures of its beauty, then from tsunami footage.....it all happened right here, folks. There's still bits of roof tile and stuff all over.

The water is brilliant blue, the cliffs and rocks are stunningly huge, and the sand is white and soft.

And the penis cave is right by the beach. I thought it would be a trek, but it's not. I guess it got hurt in the wave, as the penises (penii?) are not stuck in the sand as I had read, but piled up in a corner. I guess they got knocked over. Still it's a crazy place. Penises everywhere......right at the mouth of the cave. Rich was all about the genital symbolism of it all. He was discoursing intellectually and I was all, "huh huh...dicks. Cool. huh huh." I got some good, ahem, big head pics. And lots of other pics as well.

All for now.

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