The Koh Tao Roller Coaster

There is so much to say a bout my experience of Koh Tao so far that I think the word ‘roller-coaster’ just about covers it.
This tiny island with white beaches, chilled out vibe, divers galore,funky beach front restaurants and buzzing nightlife is such a draw.
When I arrived on the 13th I was meant to be staying 4 days..its the 21st of December and im still here!
Arriving on the island to dive I breezed in thinking ‘ill grab my Open Water PADI licence spend time with my friend Jeff, who arranged it all from the school he works in, and split for oz’….those two thoughts were not to be!
Along with being completely in awe of the island life and loving the experience and the great people Jeff had introduced me to. I soon and unexpectedly realised a bit of a new found fear when diving. Every other shallow dive I had done prior had been fun, peaceful and exciting but with some poor visibility post monsoon season and some scary mask skill requirements for certification (taking off your mask at 10 metres depth and replacing it,without drowning, preferably) threw a giant speed bump in my way. It just wasn’t as simple as I thought it would be.
With patience of a saint my gorgeous aussie instructor Heather gently coaxed me several times to re attempt my required mask skills, all coming to a halt at mask removal. It just wasn’t happening without breathing in water through my nose instead of air through my regulator and I didn’t trust myself to do any better at 10 metres below the surface without scoffing in half the sea and fish along side it! With my final exam to complete there is however, 2 options. To postpone the mask skills and maybe with some practice and confidence i could complete my Open Water Certification or to be certified as a scuba diver, which is the ability to dive but to a lesser depth without the mask skill requirements…..the later is now my only option.A slight incident rubber stamped ‘no more diving’ for me 2 days ago, in the form of a bike crash.(aka The Koh Tao Tattoo)
A few of us went to Freedom Beach for some snorkeling (this I can do) and to soak up the white sand and amazing views.

En route home, Alex driving and yours truly on the back, we encountered a Salang, a local motorbike and side car. It pulled out from the side of the road just where some gravel was and sure enough before we knew it we were thrown from the bike and suddenly sitting on in the gravel to a few road side gasps, wondering if it was just a slow mo dream or some post production motion graphics from The Matrix!
A quick look to our gritty injuries said otherwise. Before we knew it kind Thai locals and passer bys were offering water, tissues, ice and a make shift sling for my arm (which thankfully wasn’t broken, a relative calm on my behalf may have told those who know me well that it wasn’t! !)
Just when we had surveyed bike, injuries, had a quick shaky smoke to calm the nerves we thought a trip to a clinic the best idea.(originally offered on the back of a bike, talk about getting back on the horse! Until we thankfully declined and asked for a car)
Sitting in the car about to leave I got visited by shock….For those unaware; sudden sweat followed by, nausea, pale as a ghost and uhoh I need to sit down!As soon as we had established what was going on I was suddenly reminded of what id eaten for lunch in a very physical manner, by the side of the road. (Who knew Pad Thai noodles could stay that intact!)
Once up though, we were able to get to a clinic and other than some painful road rash and a swollen elbow all was not broken! Alex and I even managed a few giggles, aided by the fact things could have been so much worse.

So wrapped up in some white bandages i’ve made Koh Tao home for Christmas, (just as well) and it’ll be Sydney for the new year, plenty of time for the wounds and ego to heal…im getting good at walking to places now!

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