Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The send train is here!!!


Shikandang! Things are mighty sweet (with a touch of sour) here in 'ole Tonsai. There has been a bit of change recently, namely a dwindling of the climbing population coincided by an increase in general travellers and backpackers. We seem to be losing members of our little family on a disturbingly regular basis. First the Ryan and Ryan show, now Welsh Dave has left for the Australian shoreline... look after him Oz! In a few days we lose Rachelle and soon after that Elin as well as Sam... Soon it will be just me, Chris, Jess and Hampus left... sad to see people go but the show must go on!
I have had a ball climbing the last few days, feeling good(ish) again on the rock. Climbed a nice little multi pitch at Monkey World with Rachelle the other day then had a couple of good days at Melting Wall, the first of which was spent doing the moderates there that I hadn't been on and the second time sending the amazing 'Cross Eyed' 7b, one of the best routes I have ever done... 30 metres of sustained overhanging endurance climbing at its best, and one of my proudest ascents in ages, and only on my 4th shot so I am well happy and extremely psyched at the moment!
Today was a rest day and I slept in then read my book laying in Pyramid Bar again... funny thing happened, a cheeky Macaque monkey jumped over us all on the deck, jumped into the kitchen, stole a bananna and ran off again... scared the crap out of us all haha, so funny. They are so cheeky and aggressive, they are a bit intimidating when they get boisterous and to close for comfort.
Other than climbing, reading, dodging monkeys and drinking Chang I have been slacklining heaps and getting alot better which is wicked... got my jumping onto the line, turns, 360's, juggling and yoga poses on the line going on alot better, now I am trying to learn to jump whilst on the line and a few other tricks... so much fun haha :-)
Tomorrow is going to be a misson up to Generator Wall to try 'Rolling Thunder', a fantastic 7b+ that comes highly recommended by my friends here so I will let you all know how it goes!

Friday, February 20, 2009

A loooong overdue update - Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and Koh Phi Phi!


So more than a few days have passed since my last entry and what a time it has been!
The 10th of Feb saw a crew of 8 of us head off from Tonsai and ventured across Thailand by bus and boat to Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party. Dave, Chris, Steph, The Ryan & Ryan Show, Hampus, Adam and I left Tonsai in the morning by longtail boat to Ao Nang, bus to Krabi, bus to Surrathani, bus to the port then a ferry to Koh Phangan. We arrived at Thong Sala port and had some dinner then jumped in the back of a truck and headed to Haad Rin, the beach that the party is held on. The truck ride was an eye opener... streets of hookers and lady boys yelling and whistling at us from the bars as we tore past hanging on to the back of the truck with one hand, beer in the other. We passed the police checks then into Haad Rin itself... paid an english guy who owns a tattoo parlour 6 longneck beers to put our bags in his shop overnight then headed onto the beach and into the most maniacal party I have ever seen.
Picture the most mayhem you have ever seen, times that by 100 and you might be close to what Full Moon parties on Haad Rin Beach, Koh Phangan are like... about 700 metres of beach, about 20000 people, about 10 to 15 music stages, about 100 buckets stalls, massive amounts of fireworks (the Thai's love their fireworks haha), massive amounts of fire shows (the Thais looooove their fire shows!), balance poles with boxing gloves, booze, drugs, naked people, police, people passed out EVERYWHERE, people swimming in the sea, people pissing in the sea, people having sex in the sea, people drinking buckets in the sea, people throwing up EVERYWHERE, people falling over each other in massive convulsing mosh pits... absolute CARNAGE hahahaha... soooo fun!
We made it through the night, watched the beautiful sunrise and then headed off for a cup of tea at a back street cafe then picked our bags up from the tattoo parlour at 10am and made our way back by truck from Haad Rin beach to Thong Sala port. We sat and had breakfast and waited for our ferrys at 12.30pm.
Welsh Ryan was sooo drunk he passed out, drooled on himself then on the way to the ferry he pissed on himself... we had to babysit him all the way, what a hero haha! Half the crew went back to Tonsai but myself and the Ryan & Ryan show headed to Koh Tao to sample the amazing granite bouldering that is there. We arrived about 2pm, found a bungalow on Sairee Beach (the main beach on Koh Tao) then relaxed and had dinner. After dinner we went out for drinks with our new neighbors and were all out till the small hours of the morning... so I was awake and partying across a whole country, its mainland and 2 different islands for about 48 hours haha... I was well keen for a nap by the time I went to bed that night!
The next day we went and hire motorbikes and man are they fun! We rode all over Koh Tao exploring the place for most of the day. Koh Tao is only about 5kms long and 3kms wide so its not a big island. We went and found the High Bar, a treehouse bar on top of a mountain... such a wicked place! Wee chilled there then went for a boulder in the evening.
First let me say that Koh Tao is beautiful and the boulderfields are amazing... granite boulders littered through coconut plantations, so nice! But then let me say that it is sooooo sharp that it is like climbing on broken glass! I did a few easy problems at The Backyard then called it an evening. I bouldered a bit the next morning but after that I didn't climb for the rest of the week I was there. I have a torn hamstring at the moment so that combined with the sharp rock made me call it a rest / sun tanning week haha.
The other factor that kept me on the beach was the veritable plethora of Swedish women! There was a Swedish hiphop artist called Timbucktu playing at Bans Dive Resort on the 15th so every Swede and his dog turned up in Koh Tao... I swear, you couldn't drop a Baht for hitting a Swede!
We met some great Aussie girls the next day, Sophie and Zoe who combined with myself, Ryan and Ryan made the 'Awesome Five-some' for the next few days! We had a blast, partying all night, sun baking on the beach all day... sooo fun, props go out to you two girls for making it such a fun week :-)
The night of Friday the 13th, an ominous date for some, was the beginning of of my brithday madness! As the clock struck midnight the shots of Sambuca flowed and the carnage began! We were at the Lotus Bar and it was a Retro-Disco night so we danced on the beach all night and partied hard... such a blast. The next morning, the day of my bday, the five of us had breakfast then rode our motorbikes to the north of the island and had lunch then walked down to Shark Bay and had a swim and beers on the beach. Then we headed again to High Bar and had cocktails, then we rode back to Sairee Beach and had dinner at Ban's again, then headed out to Lotus Bar for shenanigans. Welsh Ryan and Zoe had initiated a secret plan to keep me swamped in gorgeous women for the entirity of my birthday, so without delay Ryan set to work, what a hero haha.
All of a sudden I was ambushed by about 20 or 30 beautiful young Swedish women who sang me happy birthday and then proceeded to all kiss me haha, I was in heaven haha! Ryan is a bloody champion! He kept the flow of hot girls up to me all night, I have lost count of how many photo's of hot girls kissing me we have haha... what a fun night :-) We headed to Ban's later on, more Sambuca, more cocktails, fire limbo, jumping through fire hoops, more hot women, more shenanigans... such a great night!
Mr Brennan, Mr Bandy, Sophie & Zoe - you guys are all hero's, thank you all for making my birthday and my whole Koh Tao experience such a great and memorable time :-)
A few more days of partying and riding motorbikes around the island and suntanning on the beach passed then the Ryan & Ryan show headed off for Cambodia and beyond - I will miss you boys, look after each other and I'll see you both again one day (In june maybe for you Mr Brennan!) :-)
I stayed on in Koh Tao with Sophie & Zoe for 2 more days after the boys left. More riding around, more High Bar, more beach time... awesome! Thanks girls for making my week so awesome... "you complete me" haha
The 18th Feb saw me head back to Tonsai, an all day boat/bus/boat trip. The 19th I rested and read my book all day as my hamstringm still wasn't 100%, then today I headed out on a snorkelling trip to Koh Phi Phi with Dave and Ellen.
We jumped aboard a speed boat at about 9am and powered out to Koh Phi Phi Don first, did some snorkelling on a cool reef, checked out the Viking Cave (where the locals collect swallows nests from), checked out a cool lagoon, went to Maya Bay which is where the movie 'The Beach' was filmed, had lunch on Koh Phi Phi Don, then went snorkelling again at another reef near Koh Phi Phi Ley (there were sooo many fish.. I held a peice of watermelon in my teeth and hundreds of fish swarm you to eat it so you have fish going crazy inches from you face haha!), then we snorkelled and chilled on Bamboo Island then headed home. A really fun day all in all, well worth it :-)
Tomorrow I am hoping to be back into the climbing at full throttle, my leg is close to fine again, I am no longer sick and its time to crank!
Well thats my last week or two in a nutshell, now that I am back on Tonsai the updates should be regular again. Lets hope I dont get sick or hurt myself again and I should have some climbing news soon!
Peace all.

The chaotic ride from Thong Sala to Haad Rin

Full Moon, we have landed! (Ps: Richo, show Gordie this one, note CIRC the singlet haha)

Sunrise at Haad Rin, Koh Phangan after the party

Sunset on Sairee Beach, Koh Tao that afternoon

Ryan Bandy on one of our motorbikes

Ryan Brennan, hero of the year, doing what he does best

Me and a few old flames ;-)

Sophie, Zoe and I at Lotus Bar - "You Complete Me" haha

Dave and Ellen off on our snorkelling trip

Me and Ellen at Maya Bay where the movie "The Beach" was filmed

Monday, February 16, 2009

Soon, soon!

I am chilling in Koh Tao at the moment and have been for nearly a week... I don't have my laptop to load pics so I will update the blog with a big story about my last week or so when I get back to Tonsai in a few days... basically it was Full Moon Party at Koh Phangan, head to Koh Tao, boulder twice then sacked off the bouldering to party with pretty girls and work on my tan haha
More soon! (Including photo's from the mayhem that was my birthday haha)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Would you beleive it?

Yesterday arvo I went up to Fire Wall and sent 'Burnt Offerings' 7a+ on my 2nd shot! On my first go I felt so ill that I actually threw up while I was climbing, a new experience for me haha. But I feel 100% again today! But I pulled a muscle in my hamstring on the send so more enforced rest today then off to the full moon party tomorrow!

Me sending 'Burnt offerings' 7a+ at Fire Wall

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Still sick... ARGHHHH!!!!


So I ended up sick for nearly 5 whole days and didn't keep any food down for a total of 96 hours! I lost a fair bit of weight in a short period and other than one climb this morning I have done bugger all for 5 whole days... which is frustrating as all hell but now that I feel on the mend and I am keeping food down I am psyched to get out and tear it up tomorrow! Finally I can climb again!
Yesterday I risked soiling myself (fuck it, you can swim in the ocean if you have an accident, just wear dark shorts haha) and went to Phra Nang beach with a big crew of aussie girls and our usual lot as well. We walked the long way through the jungle and past Railay East so I could get some antibiotics which was a nice, albeit long, walk and then we lay in the sun and worked on our tans, snorkelled on the little reef there, checked out the penis cave (a cave full of wooded penis's - a tribute to the Princess of Thailand apparently?), kayaked around happy island and relaxed some more. By the time I walked back to Tonsai again I was exhausted as I had no energy from being unable to eat for so long but I was on the mend and a fun day in the sun helped alot!
Now I am on the mend, psyched for tomorrow and ready to have a blast!


So my excitement was premature. I was still shitting circles around myself last night. But today I actually feel like I am better. I have taken more antibiotics and various other drugs and my food is staying down so hopefully it is at an end. I will be resting for the rest of today and going up to (hopefully) do a super photogenic 7a+ called 'Burnt Offerings' at Fire Wall this evening if I feel energetic enough for it.
I sooooo hope I feel properly well soon as we are off to Koh Phangan in 2 days and I want to be fighting fit for the full moon party and the bouldering at Koh Tao!

A junk off Phra Nang beach

A sculpture in the Penis Cave at Phra Nang

Steph outside the Penis Cave

Me all sweaty, sick and delerious after being sick and not eating for over 4 whole days

Thursday, February 5, 2009

More Tonsai and more illness... bah!


Another lazy morning... Was up for breakfast at 8am and to see my friend Lucie off as she is off to Koh Phi Phi today. Going to climb in the afternoon but will be lazing about this morning which seems to be the best routine for me I think... the early morning starts aren't that fun, and stuff it, I'm on holiday haha.
Yesterday Dave, Agnes, the two Ryans and I headed off to The Keep at Railay East. I had a cracker of a day, didn't get on anything too hard but had a no fall day onsighting 6 routes from 6b to 6c, all 20 to 30 metre long enduro face climbs... was great fun and such a great position perched up on a ledge overlooking the sea with white faced monkeys playing in the tree's below us... fantastic!
I am feeling really solid onsighting up to 6c+ consistently and having fun keeping my head together on onsights, haven't been projecting anything really though so I might have to go get back on 'Cross Eyed' soon.
This afternoon Dave, Agnes and I headed to The Nest here in Tonsai and did a few moderate routes, was good to do some more easy onsights again, good fun!


Another rest day. Lazing around, reading, listening to tunes, slacklining (my juggling skills on the slackline are definitely improving!), talking trash and watching pretty girls on the beach - heaven.


So, my rest day bliss didn't last for long... I didn't keep my breakfast down, or my lunch and I didn't even try dinner. I didn't feel ill but I couldn't keep food down... weird. Then I woke up during the night with sharp pains in my stomach and started shitting liquid... ghey. I didn't feel sick as such, just sharp stomach cramps... so I couldn't eat at all yesterday, I just lay in bed watching films and running to the loo every half hour.
So this morning I ate a small breakfast making it the first food I have kept down in 60 hours. I call it the Tonsai Weight Loss Program as I am wasting away to nothing faster than you can say Jenny Craig.
I am hoping now that I feel better I can eat some food and restore my glycogen levels enough that tomorrow I can climb as today marks 3 days in a row off climbing...grrrr.
Here's hoping for a miracle recovery!

Tonsai by night

Dave, Lucie and I off to Ao Nang, Ao Nang!

Dave at The Keep

Drunken slacklining, beer in hand haha

Dave showing how ghetto he really is on a 6a at The Nest

Dave finishing the same 6a at The Nest

Agnes on the same 6a at The Nest

Me onsighting a nice easy 6a+ at The Nest

Agnes and I with the Pyramid Bar kitten

Me holding the pet baby squirrel one of the girls working at Dream Valley keeps in her pocket