Sunshine FINALLY--remember, it is monsoon season--so we had to do something outdoors, and the row of shiny scooters were just the thing.
Anything goes on the island, meaning road laws and courtesies. you should wear a helmet but since it is not the law, most don't. The hazards are many: potholes, mud bumps, taxi drivers texting, Buffalo or dogs on the road. It's amazing to me i never saw any roadkill!
On the way to Old Lanta, a quick stop for a sip of water in the parking lot of Monkey School, Katy puttered to a stop on the road, but had to rev up to ease over a ridge of dried dirt. Her plan was to gently rev the motor and walk beside the scooter as it crawled over the hump and into the lot. The bike had another plan however. If you can recall the album cover for Meatloaf's Bat Out Of Hell
Katy was the "bat", horizontal to the ground, determinedly clutching the handlebar. The bike seemed to grow in size and sound as it flew toward the banana tree. In a split second decision, she angled the bike to the right of the tree, the momentum of her own body followed the thrust and trajectory of the initial launch however. Her head missed, but her upper thigh did not. "Dad!", she wailed. "I broke my leg!" (Which is the same thing she said when she hit a walnut with her three-wheel tricycle and fell off in 1993. So, all things in context.)
Her self-healing powers remain other-worldly, and she had remounted and was driving 15 minutes later after the monkey trainer rushed out and slathered some tiger balm they use on baboon boo-boos onto the bruised thigh. Driving behind her was like a cruise through a Eucalyptus forest.
Travelling is so full of carpe diem opportunities, and while cutting across the mountainous centre of Lanta Island, scooting along a steep up-hill, I glanced through an open restaurant with an indescribable view. A spontaneous U-turn and we seized the moment to secure a table on the rail--at least 100 feet up from sea level (I heard a bird soar by muttering something about a nosebleed, so I know it was high)--and at 30C with an amazing view, an amazing story (just told), and some new friends, what else do need to punctuate the experience?
The new friends are strictly the byproduct of serendipity: diving student Matt from London who sells gym memberships and knew a lot about cameras, was soon joined by Gemma the dive instructor who grew up in England but has also dived in South Africa and been to Montreal. A beer and some "sprin roes" (spring rolls) and an hour later, we had traded stories and were on our way home.
Dinner was recommended at a place called Samesame But Different, a surreal location right on the beach, literally. It felt like the set of Gilligan's Island, sand floor, crab walking by, bamboo furniture. And sitting across from me was the blond version of Ginger, dolled up in a red dress. A harrowing after dark scooter ride home and a 3-story day finally came to an end with a some Prosecco on the balcony.