I was dropped off from the bus at 4am. Not at a bus stop just in front of some shops. No idea where to go or what direction to head. Luckily not long after I was dropped a bike driver (like a taxi driver) came by and asked if I wanted a ride. To where? I asked. He pointed me in the direction of city center. Told me it was 5km. Of course it was raining so I opted for the ride.
Once there nothing was open. Nothing.
I ended up setting down my pack under an overhang on the boat dock and laying down. It was lit and I saw cameras (not sure if they worked) but I needed a few more zzz. I pretty much have learned when you are exhausted enough you can fall asleep just about anywhere.
I got up around 6:30am and still nothing was open. I walked around and the only things I saw were monks and monkeys. A shop opened about 7 so I stopped and asked how I get a boat to Railay. It has some of the best rock climbing in the world. That is the rumor at least. Well the waves were too high and there was no transport for the day.
I ended up booking a trip to Tiger Cave Shrine and an elephant trek through the forest. At the shrine I climbed 1260 stairs. When I saw the sign, I thought nothing of it. It was about 85 degrees with 90% humidity. That weather alone you sweat period. Climbing was rough. I almost gave up a few times. I stopped a number of times to rest. I say that but it was mostly to give myself a pep talk that I was strong and I could do it.
One after one I climbed up the stairs. By about 900 I knew that I could finish. I was passing many people that I don’t think ever did make it all the way as I never saw them at the top. I was passed by one younger guy that made it look incredibly easy. To ease my pain I kept imagining him tripping. Of course it didn’t take long and he was out of my site. There were monkeys on the way that kept me entertained at time.
Eventually I made it to the top and the view was absolutely worth it. I think it is in that moment it wasn’t just the view but I felt amazing. Like I had won some big prize that I had worked so hard. It is during that triumph I realize the struggle made the victory. That is the journey of life right? It was an incredible feeling.
Didn’t last long as I had to get back down to meet my tour guide for the elephant trekking. I had to move pretty fast going down. I did stop to take a few more pics of the monkeys and one I got a little too close to as it reached out and grabbed my camera which startled me and made the British guy behind me chuckle.
The elephant trek was peaceful. This huge animal just so calm and slow. We walked through the jungle for about 30 mins and even went into a pond. I think normally they have the elephants spray but I didn’t get that treatment and I am guessing because of my camera.
Once back into town, I walked along the bay before heading to the night market. The night market was art and food. My favorite part is when I discovered homemade coconut ice cream. I could have made myself sick eating that stuff but fortunately for me my appetite still hasn’t returned.