Rest Day

OK so we have been climbing for 3 days straight. We need a rest day. Also, Geoff tweaked his wrist coming off a route yesterday. He couldn’t do the move and dropped onto the rope but didn’t let go. He held the feature to long and now may have damaged something in his wrist. Time for a break, before a break.

Rest days are great. Resting is a legitimate activity when you are a climber. You need them to let your body and hands recuperate. You look like you are just being a slob, not getting out of bed, having a late breakfast, eating lots, sleeping on the beach. But all that time you are very busy, resting for your next climbing adventure. It’s hard work, not doing anything. And I’m rubbish at it.

We took a walk over to Railay, because the beach is much nicer. Meeting up with Ted, who had nabbed a great spot for his hammock. It was blisteringly hot so I jumped straight into the water with my snorkel and went for a paddle. There wasn’t much to see. A few fish and occasionally a bit of coral but nothing exciting. I suspect this area gets thousands of people wading through, destroying anything that tries to grow.

After that, I had cooled off sufficiently to think.  I needed to arrange my travel plans for the next portion of the trip. I’m heading over to Phi Phi Island briefly, to do a spot more diving, and then up to Chiang Mai. It works out £25 cheaper to fly than take the train. I really want to take the train in Thailand at some point so I’ll probably get it back from Chiang Mai to Bangkok before flying home. I sat in the hammock and made all the arrangements, staring out over the white sand and blue sea for minutes at a time. It was nice to have a legitimate reason to just stop and do nothing. It’s hard for me to do, but I enjoyed just sitting there today.

We started to get hungry, so headed to my favourite, cheaper and cleaner than most, restaurant called “Yummy Place”. I had sweet and sour chicken and Ted ordered something with seafood, but got chicken also. I’ve had great trouble getting what I ordered in this trip. I don’t know if it’s a translation problem or if they just don’t record your orders correctly, but we were not surprised. Oh well, it was tasty.

While here we got trapped by an intense rain storm. So we spent the time discussing our (ex)jobs and playing connect 4. The combination of, cocktails, food, rain and connect 4 must have gotten our creative juices flowing. We may have solved an interesting engineering problem by combining our respective fields. Watch this space…

After getting our assess kicked by these strong cocktails, we wobbled back to Ton Sai over the rocky path. It took us a while in our inebriated condition but eventually we returned. I bumped into Geoff again and together we bumped into the people we met yesterday going to the same crag as us by boat. It was a great bit of luck because they climbed a little harder than us and are here till Geoff plans to leave.

We made a plan to climb together over the next few days, just not tomorrow. Tomorrow we are going DWS (Deep Water Soloing). This is where you get a boat and paddle out to a rockface adjacent to some deep water. You then step out of the boat, onto the climb and scale the rock. There is no gear, or harness or rope. It’s just you, and the rock, a very pure form of climbing. If you find you cant do a move or get to the top, you just jump off into the water. Sometimes this is quite high and a little scary but should be great fun. Tomorrow is also Teds birthday so Kari suggested getting it as a surprise for him. It should be a really cool way to spend a birthday.

A few beers later and we find ourselves at a bar with a slackline. Turns out I get a lot more brave with my attempted moves when I’m a little tipsy. The English climbers we met were all new to slacklining and immediately took the piss out of my wavey, zen relaxed hand movements. Until they tried it, and now are making the same movements and getting really good at walking the webbing. It’s a shame I won’t get to climb with them, as after DWS I’ll be leaving.