Sunday, November 18, 2007

Day 16 Thank God for Gelato

In our wandering around last night to find something to eat besides noodles and curry, we discovered a hidden trail up the back side of Phi Phi Don. The trail was labeled only as Island Lookout Point. We started up the steep steps and then doubled back because we lacked a flashlight and food in our bellies. So of course, it was fresh on Alex’s mind all through breakfast. He wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to go billy-goating on a beautiful island. I had my reserves, mostly because I was lazy and wanted another cocktail. But I made a deal, how about I go up part way, watch our day packs and you can take the camera all the way to the top. He wrinkled his face, but agreed saying he had the right to tease me about it all day. He disappeared up the sandy steps with a bounce, while I found entertainment in a new but used Stephen King novel.

The day was similar to yesterday, the heat just stuck to everything. Even sitting in the shade, doing nothing but reading a book, I must have lost almost a liter of sweat. I felt bad for Alex at the top of the ridge with not even a nalgene of water, but again, he asked for it. He reappeared just as I was starting to bite my lip from my book, looking like he had gone for a swim. Sweat just poured from every place possible as he asked for some water. He demanded beer and ice-cream too, but unfortunately, I forgot to pack those in the back pack.

We headed downhill, on mission, to cool Alex down enough not to get heat stroke. A lady dozing through the heat, advertised a cooler full of ice-cream at the front of her home. I thought Alex was going to dive in, but he was much more civil. Selecting the biggest one he could, and quickly grabbing for a few baht, I knew he would be okay. Later, lunch came early just to get out the heat. He still had beer on the brain, so he ordered the first one he recognized. I questioned the previous ice-cream floating in beer and he said it was okay.

Our ferry didn’t come for a few more hours, and it was close to 100 at nearly 100% humidity. I didn’t care what we did, as long as we could get out of the heat. Going back to the room with air conditioning was out because check out had come and gone. The beach was more less out because our suits were inside our bags, waiting to be shuttled to the ferry. So like any other traveler, we shopped in stores with air. Living in this overly hot climate, one would think that the locals would be more welcoming to idea of air, but sadly most couldn’t afford it. Over the past few days, we had frequented a coffee shop that sold Illy espresso. They had air, as well as my favorite coffee, so seemed like a great place to burn up the rest of the time at Phi Phi Don Island. There in the window, was a gelato freezer, full with swirl topped gelato and sugar cones pointing to the sky. Finally we had found an oasis of culture we could understand. Traveling to Europe last year, left us well versed in the ideas of café and gelato. The crème carmel and the blueberry yogurt were the best flavors we tried, but would have loved to try everything if I had a longer afternoon.

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