May/June: Galle About Eve & Bonnie Thailand
Well, it seemed that our last email left you all at somewhat of a cliff hanger! It wasn't done to make you want to read our next installment ... honest!
So what I was trying to say, was that we would stay at Project Galle and continue the volunteer work for a month, and that is just what we did.
We built more houses, put up more tents and hammered in a whole lot more nails. The hardwork, heat, humidity, football, cricket and Lion beer all took it's toll on Derek and for our last week at Galle he was pretty sick with a nasty virus (I'll spare you the details) but he's all better now.
Although we worked very hard and sweated more than we've ever sweated before (am I painting pictures with words?) we also had a really good time. We met loads of great people from Sri Lanka and all around the world who made us laugh, amazed us with their stories of how and why they ended up at Project Galle and dispelled myths about Germans and lawyers and their supposed lack of sense of humour!
So as well as the hard toil, we partied pretty hard too, and the party on our last night was certainly one to remember - the most wonderful beachside setting lit by moonlight and lined with palm trees, the most unusual mix of music, wonderful people and finished in style with egg rotis before bed!
So leaving Galle behind we spent our last few days in Sri Lanka in the capital Colombo. We explored the city, saw the sights and begged Thai Airways to sell us a one-way ticket to Bangkok - not dignified I know, but successful.
So as we boarded our flight to Bangkok, we had everything crossed in hope that we wouldn't be deported from Thailand .........
over to Captain Clew for more news
Our 5 weeks in Thailand/Malaysia/Singapore in 2000 has nagged away at us ever since and is probably the main reason we decided to come away again.
We flew into Bangkok over 2 weeks ago and have loved every minute. After the squalour of India and the tragedy of Sri Lanka's tsunami affected coasts, Thailand has been a welcome change of scene. We had a wonderful week in Bangkok despite Helen being ill for her birthday and injuring herself (the famous Gawler gin-sky-dive from 5' 8") when we did get to celebrate.
We stayed near Siam Square and with the crazy new Skytrain, neverending traffic, glitzy shopping malls and millions of happy Thais, it was something closer to the Asia of how we imagine a Tokyo Futurama to be than the Asia we had come from.
Our week there was not nearly enough and we are still trying to concoct a plan that will get us to spend a few more days back there.
From there, we trained it north to a town called Phitsanulok and spent a couple of days seeing ancient cities either by the scorching heat of midday on pushbikes or by crazy motor-cart under the furious monsoon rains with token umbrella lightning conductors.
Next, we headed up to Chiang Mai for elephant treks, elephant football (very natural), elephant painting (that is elephants what paint), elephant river fights (unplanned, but we got a good view as we were on top of one of them, which is as scary as it sounds), non-elephant bamboo rafting, hill tribes, pub quizzes (very Thai) and more cycles for your would-be superfit duo.
Now we sit in downtown Chiang Rai, having eaten at the world-renowned Cabbages & Condoms (very VERY nice) restaurant, spent a surreal weekend in the hills with tribes, karaoke, fried tree-maggots (mmm...), giant teapots, young ladies of questionable virtue and a spectacular longboat trip back to Chiang Rai from the Burmese border on the Mae Kok river (Mae Kok is absolutely huge by the way - (Raymond, apologies for saying exactly the same thing as I've just written to you, but the Changs are slowing my brain down)).
So that's us for now and for those of you who don't want to read what we can never get around to writing, there is a new website address for us called http://www.traveljournals.net/burntfish which you should just have received an e-mail from. If you do not wish to receive any more updates, then select the Auto Update, put in your address and then 'Stop Update'. We apologise for including anyone who should not have been included!
So keep the emails coming, we love to receive news from home.