Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Well enough to take it easy...

Longtails lined up in Railay Bay this morning.

Today was an absolute blast. We awoke to a beautiful morning and went down to our "regular" breakfast spot, "Yam Yam's." Our favorite breakfast has become sticky rice prepared with condensed milk with 1/2 a mango. It's amazing! I added in a fried egg & toast this morning for extra sustenance. We sat down on the beach and enjoyed some "real" coffee. Most of the coffee is prepared with some type of "ground" that they add directly to hot water. When I saw it prepared this way, I figured there would be grounds at the bottom, but, nope, it just dissolves. Weird stuff.

We then walked across the intensely beautiful Phra Nang beach on our way to a crag known as Escher World. We arrived a bit late, as it was already getting sun by 11 or so this morning. We scoped the place out and ran into a guided group. This guide was not the type to shout each moves instructions to his clients, for which we were grateful.

I've been climbing at my standard moderate level, leading 6a & 6a+. But, my goal out of this trip is to lead 5.11. As the guided group finished up, I asked if I could pull our rope through the 6b+. (5.11 a/b) He obliged, and soon we had a TR setup on a super fun route!

Those who know me well know that I generally talk sh!t on projecting, likely because I haven't done too much of it. Today we both projected the 6b+, Jolene got up it too which was awesome. I'm pretty psyched on the route, and after 4 or 5 sessions, I can clean the crux on TR. I replaced the sling that protects the crux as it was looking pretty nasty. I'm hoping to go back tomorrow and warm up on the adjacent 6a, and then, with a little luck & a dash of skill, go for a redpoint on the 6b+. Seams like an achievable goal at this moment.

Around 4:00 it started raining, and not just the in fast out fast convective storms that we've had every day. No, this rain meant business. We retreated into a cave opening and looked out while a storm lashed the coast. The intense weather got the animals on the move, and a monitor lizard, about 1.5 m in length ran across the jungle just 10 m in front of us. Knarly! Biggest lizard I've ever seen. I was on-guard for more animals on the move, notably snakes......

After the rain backed off (a bit) we decided to work our way back towards the beach, and to our delight the rain had forced everyone off. We skipped, ran and giggled our way along the beautiful empty beach. Paradise.

We stopped near the south end of the beach and went for a swim. Jolene is an absolutely wicked swimmer. I've always known this in theory, as she was a lifeguard for years, but, I'd never actually experienced it. She gave me a few lessons, and had me breast stroking properly, even with the appropriate kick. We giggled and enjoyed the buoyancy of the ocean as we swam around in the rain watching the dramatic lightning in the distance.

From there, it was back to E. Railay where we stopped in at our favorite Thai food joint. The place just has a sign saying, "Thai Food." The proprietor is an awesome lady who whips up amazing authentic Thai food. It's great, as we always learn a new phrase for two from her, and she tells us all about the food. Tonight's thick red peanut curry was amazing.

That's about it for now. Hoping to send my first true project tomorrow and continue to enjoy this little slice of what I truly feel to be a paradise.

"Yellow for the gold, that they stole....."

This spider is the biggest I've seen to date. With his legs, he's far bigger than my palm, about the size of my hand/fingers. Eek!

Can't seam to rotate the clmbing photos. I'll hope to get some in the next post. La gorn kap.

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