Thursday, February 21, 2013

Away From it All: Koh Ra

When we decided to share a taxi with the Danielsen's to Khao Lak, we had no idea that we were going to continue our mutli-family vacation together for the next week. We were equally disenchanted with Khao Lak, which was far too developed for our tastes. Both families were trying to figure out where to go to get away from the crowds, and the answer for both was Koh Ra.

Our beach.
I remembered researching this little island back in October, where there is only one ecolodge and nothing else! We called, there was space, transport was arranged, and we headed away from the crowds and toward natural bliss.

And it turned out to be exactly what we were looking for. The bungalows are tucked away in the cool shade of the jungle, and there's a sandy beach with warm waters just out front. Hammocks are slung about on various trees, various activities are available (kayaking, yoga, snorkeling), and all meals are a buffet at set times - it kind of feels like camp!

Games with the Danielsen's.
I think the days here have been the most relaxing of the whole trip. Maybe it's because we know this is the end, the last stop. But it's also the perfect get away with no Internet, electricity only from 6-10pm, and with set meals there is little for us to plan or worry about. We have snorkeled at the pier where we saw lion fish and barracuda, watched the hornbill fly in and out of its nest on the beach, saw white breasted eagles scouring the seas below for a tasty treat, seen king fisher and bee eater birds flying around, and watched flying lizards with whip out their Superman wings and take flight.

Playing with hermit crabs.
Simon and his girls.
We have also had a few snake encounters. One morning, as I walked absentmindedly down the path, I looked up to find a snake with its head raised and a flared hood looking at me. I did a little jig and turned around and ran to where the Danielsen's were sitting close by. They were convinced it was a king cobra, so we scoured the area and shortly came across a 2-2.5 meter snake that we watched climb up and down a tree. We were able to get lots of pictures to confirm that it was indeed a king cobra, the world's largest venomous snake!! Let's just say I keep my eyes peeled now when walking around...

Hello Mr. Cobra!
The king fisher hanging out at breakfast.
Meal time is great here, as we get to chat meet other guests and Simon gets to hang out with Hannah and Rebecca. After dinner while the grow ups talk, the kids swing in the hammocks below the sala. The food is excellent and fresh, and Martin and I eat just a little too much at each meal. One last indulgence, I guess.

The masseuse here is amazing, another indulgence to end the trip.

We are leaving tomorrow, but the Danielsen's are leaving today. When I told Simon that the girls were going on an airplane today and that we couldn't go with them, his eyes slowly filled up with tears and his lower lip quivered as he realized what it all meant. But he gave hugs and kisses goodbye, and hopefully our paths will cross again in Europe. Our accidental week long vacation together was definitely unforgettable!


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