Okay, so I finally worked out how to create the next blog in our journey - complicated!
So we are here in the AMAZING Thailand and it is so beautiful it seems unreal.
I realised my last few posts in Yorkshire we frankly, depressing, so here is some positives!!!
Started the trip in Bangkok where we boiled to death looking round temples. You're supposed to cover up in holy places so jeans and a cardi in 40degs was not good.
After Bangkok and a venture down the famous Koh San Road, we caught a sleeper train to the southern area where all the jungle is.
Don't let the name "sleeper train" fool you - we didn't sleep at all. Rocking all night and hearing bangs, clicks and general train things every 5min meant we got about an hr!!!! Zzzzz
So, we were pretty knackered when we arrived but finally got out and went to the market. Tried some Thai fruits which were really nice and refreshing.
Our guide is called Sharky and he is lovely. Really gets the group involved in stuff.
So anyway, after a drive of 2hr we were in Koh San national park in the middle of the jungle.
Now the jungle is green for a reason- it rains a lot. We arrived at the beautiful lodge in the pouring rain, but you tend not to care when it is so warm.
We could hear the monkeys in the trees (although I'm gutted I never actually saw one) and within 5min of lunch we'd seen A chipmunk, exotic birds and dogs (the owners', not wild).
After we got sorted we did my favourite thing so far- rode elephants thru the jungle. It was one of the things on my bucket list and I was so excited to finally tick it off. We had a girl elephant and she was absolutely lush.
The whole thing was unreal. Afterwards we fed her a snack and she put her trunk on my arm and played with my hand. I've never had an experience like it.
After that amazing high decided the evening should be cocktails, cards and bonding with the group. And they make cocktails STRONG here!
Next morning woke up like a bear with a sore head and, quite frankly, wanted to die.
But instead managed to not puke on a 10k trek thru the jungle in the pouring rain.
In the afternoon we went canoeing and I used my underwater camera my friends at the Mail got me, which was awesome! So much beautiful scenery. Good banter too as everyone was splashing each other and laughing and joking all the way along.
The next day we got up early and headed to the first of our island stops- Koh Phangan.
We stayed on Hadd Salad beach and the rooms were lush. Walking round the gardens we saw fish of every description, Buddhist statues and the most beautiful flowers.
The island is incredibly pretty so that meant we just HAD to sail round it and go snorkelling- another excuse to use the underwater camera. Managed to stalk a few fish and will hopefully add the video later.
And that takes me to now- we are in Ko Tao today and for the next two nights. I didn't think it was possible, but it is even more idyllic than the last place.
Our balcony overlooks the beach, there are terrapins outside our room and for miles all you can see is blue water and white beach.
Working on the tan and already very brown- not surprising in this heat.
Been weird being away from home- but as it's only been a week it just feels like a holiday. I don't think it has sunk in that this is my life for the next year.
Keep having lots of strange dreams about people back home. I fall asleep missing people, which is hard, but in the morning I wake up, look out the window and know I've made the right decision.
The people who are meant to be in my life and meant to be my friend will still be around when we get back.
Having said that, it doesn't make leaving behind people you love any easier!
Saying goodbye at the airport was really hard. And a picture-text from someone had me in tears even before the goodbyes (which had me in more tears).
But I know people want this for me. And week one of the adventure had proved to me I did the right thing.
Love you all and miss you like crazy xxxx