Day 43-49 - May 29-June 4
Lets just say my guard was down.
I've climbed ice mountains in New Zealand, volcanic peaks in Indonesia, and steep granite ranges in Canada. So when it came to a small lookout along a serene and sandy section of Thai coastline I was unconcerned.
Things that I was remiss in considering before setting off:
- the typhoon rains the night before
- the importance of proper footwear
- that bloodsucking Thai insects simply devour bug spray from Canada
- that the climb was mostly vertical
When my guide pointed out the way up to the top rated local attraction ( http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1597036-d5546706-Reviews-Railay_Beach_Viewpoint-Railay_Beach_Krabi_Town_Krabi_Province.html)
I assumed it was in jest. Where she was pointed was simply a wall of red clay, slick and in some places still flowing from the recent rains. The set of jungle cliffs that loomed overhead would have been all but impassable were it not for thick mooring ropes dangling over each cascading ledge.
While my trusty Sperrys had served me well so far throughout Asia, they may not have been ideally suited to the terrain. That said, it appeared as though only thumb-sized mosquitoes were suited for this jungle trek.
Admittedly, once the first pitch had been conquered and the difficulty of climbing a rope through a flowing river of clay was fully understood, being harried by thirsty insects is perhaps the only reason I ever saw the view from the top.
While the tradeoff of exertion and blood loss may be a better balance in the dry season, the stunning views of coastal Thailand from the top are well worth the effort even in the rains.