10.02.2007 32 °C
Ton Sai is a penisula on the south east coast of Thailand that is seperated from the city of Ao Nang by the dramatic limestone cliffs that make this a climbers mecca and is only accessable by longtail boat. For better or worse Ton Sai is populated almost exclusively by climbers from around the world creating an interesting cultural, albeit not a thai cultural, experience.
ive settled into an enviable routine that makes it hard to leave. i wake up around 7 as the sun comes streaming in through the windows of my dusty little bungalo and watch the mosquito net dancing in the breeze for an hour or so as i wonder why all the Thais are clearing their throats and spitting in the mornings. yeah, the bungalos arent so much houses as 4 woven bamboo walls with a lean-to roof perched on stilts to keep the floor (wooden planks) dry in the rainy season so you can hear everything that happens in the adjacent bungalos and the surrounding jungle. at 7:55 i jump out of bed (bed is just a matress that despite being 2.8 inches thick manages to be extrodornarilly lumpy...yes i measured) telling myself that tomorrow i will leave more time to pack my gear before meeting for a bit of b-fast at 8.
some eggs or fresh fruit, a bit of BBC news and a conversation about where to climb takes an hour or so, then its off to the crag. ive worked my way up to being able to climb 3 days on with one rest day and have bagged two multi-pitch climbs even leading some of the pitches("humanality" and "big wave" for those who want to see if Google has anything to say about 'em). after a few climbs its lunch and then maybe one or two more routes. after climbing comes the much needed cold shower where the soap reminds me of every single cut, scrape, and laceration...(with the sharp limestone there are many) then mabe a massage (6 bucks for 60 min.) and dinner on the beach and in bed by 11.
thoughts and anecdotes:
deep water soloing is scarry as hell...at on point I had a great kneebar on a stalagtite 10m over the water and was shaking out when an orange jelly with a two foot bell floated under my fall line...suddenly the knee bar didnt feel so solid.
one of my climbing partners is a bit nuts...i got a video of him free soloing a 25 meter 6a...luckilly hes a pretty good climber and has been teaching me some of the finer points of multi-pitch climbing.
i think im headed south to Malaysia on the 14th (my visa ends the 16th) which will be a sea change from Ton Sai. it will be the first muslim cuntry i travel to...should be interesting.
until next time...