What a day! After eating yesterday’s leftovers for brekkie it was time to really take the island by storm. Tarutao is a national reserve with quite the history, now peaceful with a population of only 80 it hasn’t always been such a haven. Historically known as the island of Hell it has long been infamous among the locals as a cursed island. Considered the perfect location for a prison due to it’s shark infested waters and dangerous terrain it became home for many many convicts, who suffered and died here – before, due to its location near the malaysian border becoming a pirates playground, many of whom also died here. You may have guessed what was to the left side of the island by now. To read more about the history of the island check out this http://www.dnp.go.th/parkreserve/asp/style2/default.asp?npid=7&lg=2
Anyway we all cheerfully set off to meet Aegs (many) friends who had a open air pick up truck with benches either side waiting for us. Charlotte found love with the charming Pom who was clearly smitten from first sight. Careering through the jungle at a terrific pace avoiding low hanging branches whilst many photos were being taken was all very exciting and we soon arrived at the museum on the island, where we looked at some mummified turtles, the skull of the last crocodile, and read about the history of the convicts.
Aeg had arranged a longtail to take us to a cave and we had abit of a wait in which me and Charlotte combined sunbathing with sit-ups and Caz fell asleep. Soon enough the boat arrived and the journey to the cave was truly beautiful, we could of been in the Amazon with it’s thick turquoise waters and myriad of roots growing up into towering trees either side of the water way. We arrived at a mint little lagoon at the entrance of the cave, where we had to wait for the ‘raft’ to take us through, and passed the time by singing football songs in honour of the World Cup and having whistling competitions much the the bemusement/amusement of our Malaysian audience.
Eventually our raft turned up which was essentially a lot of square floating blocks attached together and one person pulls you through the cave by a rope attached to the other end floating in the water. There was some awesome stalagmites and the roof came down so low sometimes you had to lie flat down to fit under. Loads of bats too, and they were the most adorable little dudes, even though most of them were too busy shagging to notice us. The cave was pretty cool to explore, me and Charlotte had to do an emergency cave pee (dignity at all times), Dennis broke a flip flop, Charlotte put in a stonking effort pulling us back and everyone emerged looking like we’d just played rugby in the mud so decided to wash it all of by throwing ourselves into the lagoon.
We got back to the little shop, all quickly bought cuppa noodles which was a terrible idea as we were straight back on our wagon bouncing along to the beach with noodles and the accompanying juice flying freely everywhere. Aeg was snatching leaves off trees as we zoomed along the way so in the end we all ended up having a munch on them, some of which were really quite tasty. The beach was rocky and your not even allowed to take so much as a pebble with you because they’re cursed too, in the museum we’d seen big packages from people who had taken them off the island and for one reason or another ended up sending them back… So we did what normal people do in those situations, had photos with Asians and set up a wooden board to throw knives into – which with the exceptions of Charlotte and Nate we all managed quite well.
After that it was back onto the wagon and off to look for pythons in the jungle. I had my Lara Croft knife again, the boys were obviously more into it then Rambo would of been, I was feeling good and everything was going swimmingly until I managed to pathetically flop of a makeshift raft thing that we found to get us over a river which kind of killed the effect lol. As intrepid as it all was I wasn’t expecting much to be honest….and then we found him. Curled up having what was probably a perfectly peaceful afternoon snooze in the sun, a big python curled up on a branch high in a tree. Testosterone levels soared, and the boys went from normal to native in about .2 of a second. Slingshots came out, sticks and stones were thrown and shouts rent the air, but he remained unmoved. Until Caz decided to try and climb up the tree which seemed to be the final straw and without a warning about 2 metres of pissed off python launched itself off the tree, through the air and into the river below. Shouts turned to screams and there was much a to do, as Caz was still stranded on the other side of the river with the snake somewhere under water. All human and reptiles survived the incident without harm in the end, and thinking that would be quite enough excitement for the day we headed home to get an early night. Or so we thought…..