|When it rains what better than an umbrella |
even on a motorbike
Satun is locked between a steep mountain range and the coast in the bottom southwest corner of Thailand. It is a rural mostly flat area with one major eponymous town. Our early evening drive north from Hat Yai airport to reach the only road through the mountain range was pleasant, the roads mostly well made and the scenery amazing as the mountains rise almost vertically like huge cliffs from the low lying plain, in fact once much of this area was under the sea. It had been raining across the whole peninsula for weeks and we knew from the news reports and from the scene below us as we flew north across Malaysia from Singapore that most of the area was covered in flood water but we encountered no problems.
|Satun's main crop is latex from the rubber tree|
Pat and Tony had rented a small apartment from the boatyard whilst work is being carried out on Full Flight as living with the galley in pieces and most of the rest of the interior upside down whilst one heads (bathroom) is remodelled into storage and the other refaced in melamine sheet was not possible. The "hovel" is one of several a single bedroom spaces created out of a row of workshops owned by the boatyard and rented out either to their workers or to yachties with boats in the yard. At the back the kitchen consists of a tiled concrete worksurface with a sink and a fridge is provided, everything else including a cooking ring the yachties provide themselves. Next door to the kitchen is a bathroom, twice the size of the kitchen space with a toilet, a sink and along one wall, an electric shower; no tray or curtain though so when showering everything had to be draped on the loo or sink to remain dry! The centrally located double bedroom has AC and a window opening into the "lounge" for air and light. The front door opens on to a bit of concrete and sand that floods when it rains but is a nice sun trap where the various local stray dogs like to doze during the day. Not exactly luxurious but it had everything needed plus plenty of space to pile up all the stuff removed from the boat for safe keeping whilst the work was ongoing. We were comfy enough - Pat and Tony graciously gave up the bedroom and slept on their boat mattress on the floor of the lounge. Having sailed together for many years on each other's boats the four of us are used to rubbing along together in confined spaces.
|Tony sharing photos with the little girls from the boatyard|
|Almost everyone has a songbird in a cage|
|One of the many waterfalls in the area|
|Pat and Kevin|
|Tony venturing as far up as he could get|
|Spot the toad|
|Lunch at the beach|
|No kayaking for us|
|The fella' was snoozing on a gate just by Pat's shoulder - |
don't know who was more surprised!
|The yard manager's birthday is Christmas Day!|
|Mulling over rebuilding a rudder|
|Our gorgeous room at The Gleam|
|The dragon fountain, Songhla - |
the only point the rain eased off all day!
|Lunch outside Hat Yai|
|The Thai' calendar starts from some 243 years |
before the Gregorian one
|Love these Thai gnomes|
|The celebrations were all too much for some|
We saw the New Year "in" outside the "hovel" having spent the earlier part of the evening exploring the market in Satun town and taking in the lights and noisy celebrations. For Kevin and I it was all a bit muted as news had reached us of the sudden death of Erica, my son Will's long time partner and daughter Maddy's best friend from college. To say she will leave a gap in all our lives is to understate what a bubbly, lovely person Erica was - her enthusiasm for life was infectious and the memories we have are of fun and laughter.
The seasonal demand for airline seats meant we could not alter our existing travel plans despite desperately wanting to be in London with Will. Eventually Singapore Airlines found me a seat on January 6 and I headed for Tooting. London was cold and dismal and our sombre mood not much better. 2014 was a year of many upheavals and one that I think both Kevin and I are heartily glad to see the back of despite the wonderful months in the Caribbean.
|The river at Thung Wa, N Satun|
|Roundabout in Trang |
- the main town in the next region north
|Beach facilities - the east coast is mostly muddy river estuaries, |
not inviting for swimming
|Longtails waiting to go fishing|
|Camping cabin in the National Park, Satun|
|Bird hide or verandah, National Park, Satun|
|PSS Boatyard, Satun|