Sunshine one minute, monsoon the next

We were awoken by the sound of what can only be described as a culmination of rapid gunfire, explosions and rampaging animals. There are some serious issues with Thai electricity pylons, I can tell you that for nothin’. Having heard rave reviews of Greasy Spoon, a breakfast cafe just down our road, we simply had to try it to cure our Chang-induced hangovers. Popeye’s eggs came highly recommended by one of the instructors, a total foodie called Matt who has passed on so many great places to try. We split the dish, as he assured us we couldn’t finish one on our own. It was beyond tasty and just what we needed – poached eggs with creamy spinach, bacon and hollandaise sauce on toast.

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The sun was shining while we walked past Maya Beach Club, where the DJ was pumping out music and people lay around on massive three person sunbeds. Obviously, we had to have one of our own. A few of the people from the dive shop walked past and stopped for a chat, and we were sat next to a group of Americans who had simply the cutest puppy in the world. She was a pitbull terrier with the gentlest nature and was just loving frolicking around in the surf. Her owner even let me take a picture of her on a moped – I die!

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After a generous number of layers of spf15 and a couple hours spent soaking up the UV, the heavens opened and it positively chucked it down. This didn’t stop for a good while so we conveniently found cover in the form of a beauty salon, and proceeded to get pedicures to wait out the storm. Spangly nailed and ever so slightly soaked, we headed back to the dive centre, picking up tom yum chicken soup with rice along the way, fitting in a game of pool while we waited.

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My diving couldn’t properly begin before having a Scuba Review, because it’s been a whopping three years since my last dive, and I was calling my regulator a respirator (a cardinal sin!). Jason, a seasoned instructor, took me out with a Canadian woman and about 15 other divers on the afternoon boat. It was an utterly horrendous start in every which way. The conditions were dire – choppy waves with a strong current, and too many boats moored at the site. After a strenuous 15 minute swim to the beach, we were about to descend to go over our skills when the woman burst into panicked tears and refused to go underwater. Jason plonked her on the beach and took me down to practice regulator removal, goggle removal and clearing. The waves were so strong that when he took off his BCD to demonstrate it to me, it got swept away and his regulator popped right out! So that was the end of that. The rest of the afternoon was spent shivering on the top deck (never forgetting a jumper again) clutching a mug of hot water and dreaming of a warm shower. As you can see I was ever so cold and feeling sorry for myself.

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After a delicious Italian dinner of bruschetta and homemade gnocchi for Charlie’s last night (restaurant chosen by him, a 65 year old Texan retiree spending his golden years training to be a DM – how inspiring!) we had a great night ending up at Sunset, a club in Sairee on the beach. We hitched a ride on a couple of quad bikes ridden by very gallant fellows, who were willing to drive at a snails pace to appease our fears of falling off! Needless to say, we were the slowest and most stable folks on four wheels on all the island.
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