Dover: A Hike Along The Shore

One day I want to experience a mist thick enough to conceal my outstretched hand. It will be the grandfather of all the foggy nights described in the fairytales of my youth. Nothing will entertain my sight except my vivid imagination. I almost experienced that sensation recently. The fog settling in to greet me at the Cliffs of Dover was a youngster aiming to please, but not quite legendary. Still, as it swallowed up my sister and gluttonously gobbled down my partner too I found myself left in an impressively tiny sphere of existence. Soon my only company was the squelch of mud under my boots and the soft smell of wild grass bathing in dew.

Until the shadows began to emerge from the misty curtains.

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Bangkok to Vientiane, Laos

If it’d been a western movie a tumbleweed would have bounced through the scene. The sun was trying its best to beat the heat into the ground. The difference between light and shade was so strong we two foes seemed to be enclosed in a hallway of dark tones. I eyed the border control officer through the small window. He looked up from his seated position, his gaze unmoving and unfazed. I twitched.

Then I clawed for my wallet and slapped 1,800 baht on the counter. A hand slipped out, swept up the money and the small window quietly, unhurriedly rolled close.

I started grumbling at the sky.

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Nan, Nan, Thailand

Where were we? We weren’t sure, but something about a waterfall.

“The sign says the temple is this way,” shouted my Japanese friend pointing up a paved, steep winding road.

“Let’s go then,” was my response as I twisted the throttle and tapped the motorbike into gear.

We pulled ourselves to the top, but no peaked roof peaked through the trees, no paths lead to a temple entrance. We continued down the road and found ourselves looping right back to the entrance.

So we changed our objective.

“The sign says the market is this way,” my Japanese friend once more pointed the way.

“The sign says the waterfall is down that way.”

“The woman said we should go that way to find the waterfall.”

Before we knew it the road had faded into a dirt track.

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Khao Sok in Surat Thani, Thailand

The stone was warm. Not hot, just pleasantly warm. My left leg was propped over my right, topping the bent knee like the trees and brush blanketing the valley walls. Before my rocky podium, which stood taller than my height with fingers stretched, a green world rose. A great wall of trees hid the horizon.

Behind me a couple splashed and laughed as they dipped their toes in the river sidling past. Unfamiliar birds belted out their cries from the stillness of the trees. Elephants sauntered through this forest. Somehow. It looked impenetrable to me. My confusion tugged at my sleeve for attention so I played with it. Continue reading “Khao Sok in Surat Thani, Thailand”

Travelling to Siem Reap, Cambodia

So after giving you an introduction to Cambodia’s circus skills I figured I should back-track and let you know about the trip from Bangkok to Siem Reap in case I have anything helpful to share.

I was travelling solo. Yep one of the things I learned was that I am in fact capable of travelling solo. I even managed to slow my sprinting heart rate down and relax for most of the trip.

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Death Railway: Kanchanaburi

To recap, a group of 14 and I left Bangkok on a bus aiming for Kanchanaburi on a Saturday at 7 a.m. When we arrived two hours later we immediately boarded a bus headed for Erawan National Park and its famous seven falls. After hours of fun there we found ourselves without transport back to town—with no seats left the last bus was obviously full. We were forced to squeeze onto that bus and stand in the aisle all the way back.

Learning our lesson and following the advice of fellow students met at the falls we aimed for a set of guest houses called Sugar Cane and Jelly Frog as soon as we disembarked from the bus in Kanchanaburi. Our party swept into a two-bench taxi called a songthaew and we haggled for a ten baht per person price.

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