Valentine’s Day: sometimes impromptu is best

Being in Thailand didn’t leave much opportunity for either Norman or I to plan anything special for Valentine’s Day. The one thing we did plan to do was book our complimentary Thai massage on the 14th, so that we could feel like we had done something relatively romantic. In hindsight (it is now the 15th), that Thai massage can be described as many things, but romantic is not one of them! We were first told to dress in these loose-fitting Thai clothes, and then informed that this massage is done over the clothing without any oil or anything. It started out rather relaxing, but turned out to closely resemble a stretch class. We were pulled and prodded into various positions, all painful. This is not to say it was a bad massage! It was unlike any I’ve had before, but it was not bad, it was just not relaxing or romantic.

The massage bed

The massage bed

The Thai lady called Norman her son, and played with his hair throughout most of his massage.

The Thai lady called Norman her son, and played with his hair throughout most of his massage.

Anyway, we didn’t have any grand plans for the day, and we certainly weren’t going to book the hotels ‘romantic’ Valentine’s dinner at the poolside for the price of about 10 massages. The night before we stopped by a 7 eleven on the way home and I managed to sneakily buy a Toblerone chocolate with hearts on without him seeing. That was my grand Valentine’s Day gesture.

So anyway, we woke up to yet another beautiful day in Thailand, and followed our standard procedure of washing our faces and heading straight towards the breakfast buffet like hungry piglets. After stuffing our faces, we had about 30 minutes to let our food settle before our massage. As can be gathered from my above description of it, I limped out of the spa and collapsed on my bed.

Norman needed to drop his surfboards off at a family friends’ dive shop by Kata beach to avoid the burden of carrying them around the Thai islands we want to visit. We decided the cheapest mode of transport would be renting a scooter, so after some bargaining (done by me, I’m more ruthless) we got a cute little bike and 2 helmets. We hadn’t yet solved the rather obvious problem of how we were actually going to transport the both of us and 2 surfboards on it. This is becoming a rather common occurrence for us – solving problems as they present themselves, and not a moment sooner. We eventually lay them on one of the foot rests for the passenger (me) so I had to dangle my leg precariously over the boards. And then we were off, looking more local than ever due to our overloaded scooter.

The roads are pretty hazardous, due to the lack of tar in some places and the dangerous driving of other people. Nevertheless, we arrived at the dive shop unscathed, and were more than relieved to finally be rid of the surfboards. The dive shop owner, Kevin, gave us advice on nice beaches in the area and sent us on a mission to find a secret beach that he said he would “deny ever telling us about” if questioned. So with me clutching onto Norman, we went South in search of this elusive beach. The drive was so beautiful, and having not previously ventured out of Patong, we were pleasantly surprised at what we found. Green vegetation framed the undulating hills, and sometimes we would get a glimpse of the glittering blue ocean.

From the viewpoint: Kata and Kata Noi beach

From the viewpoint: Kata and Kata Noi beach

Unbelievably, we managed to find the beach. We had a look at the bungalows, because as of today we have no accommodation. They were very basic, and the sand was visible through the wooden slatted floors. It was a nice location though, we just weren’t sure that we wanted to stay on Phuket, as our feet were itching to go to some new islands.

We decided against swimming there, and hopped back onto our scooter to continue our exploring. Norman saw a dirt road going off the main road, and decided we should go see where it led. It was fine at first, bar a few potholes, but it then became a very steep downhill. We decided to carry on anyway, and spent the next 20 minutes negotiating soft sand and very steep hills, all the while on a scooter with so little power it would struggle to tow a 4 year old child. It was a relief when we finally saw an idyllic little beach, and we cheerfully parked our scooter and walked down. As we got nearer we saw an entrance, and soon found out you had to pay to enter. It was so disappointing and we didn’t want to waste money, so we walked back up to our scooter. Getting back up the hill was scarier than going down, but we survived!

When we got back to Kata beach, we were dying for a swim, so we parked off and walked down the sand into the ocean. It was so refreshing at first, but then I started to feel little stings. It soon became unbearable so I got out. I think there must have been tiny jellyfish in the water or something because Norman felt it too.

We then continued to ride North, back through Patong and on to the next beach, Kamala, where we had dinner. The restaurant was located right on the sand, and the sun was setting so everything was picturesque.

photo 5-5

The restaurant

The restaurant

Our February the 14th turned about to be such a fun, and oddly romantic day, and it will definitely be a tough one to beat.

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