26.04.2008 34 °C
We've stayed in Krabi for three days now... Clare decided (after a lot of deliberation) to do her PADI qualification so she could become a scuba diver! They shortened the course to 3 days so we didn't have to stay here too long and today...she qualified!
On the first day of her training I hired another scooter as I wanted to get to the local beach which is a couple of miles away. I took off along completely the wrong road and ended up on a three lane motorway headed towards Phuket...not an ideal start I must admit so I took the first left exit (as I did not fancy doing a U- Turn on the busy road and headed back towards Krabi. I visited a 7-11 for a drop of water and consulted the map (a particularly useless one!) and decided which roads I needed to take to get to the beach... I successfully hopped back on the bike to find it wobbly wheeled and I knew something was wrong! I stopped as soon as I found a good spot and tried to figure out the problem...a few seconds later I spotted that the back wheel was flat...I was stuck on the side of a dual carriageway with no clue how I was going to get the bike anywhere when a little ice cream man (the have mopeds with caged sidecars) came back down the wrong side of the road to come to my rescue! He spoke no English, he simply left his wife with his ice cream and wheeled my bike across the busy road and straight to a repair shop... It was amazing! After a lot of thank yous they guys set to work on the bike...after a lot of hammering and chin scratching later they had the wheel off and showed me the huge rip in the inner tube. They replaced it for a total of 150 Baht and sent me on my merry way in the most horrific rain storm!
Basically it felt like someone was throwing buckets of water in my face and I could barely see so I trundled back to the hostel to change my very wet clothes and wait for Clare to finish. It was a truamatic day!
The next didn't get any better... I sent Clare off to 'school' and sat down at a cafe and tried to decide what to do with my day (no scooters!)... I decided to have a wander around town however the first corner I turned was carnage! Some poor holiday maker had been run over by a van and there was a lot of confusion and blood!
Luckily though she managed to get to her feet and was helped into the back of a police pcik up truck and taken to the hospital. It was at that moment that I decided that a brisk walk along the river and then back to the safety of the hostel were the best course of action!
I sat there watching the only English speaking tv channel...which happened to be the Australia network which was showing an Aussie Rules football game... I still have no understanding of it but was was rooting for the Collingwood team who are nicknamed the magpies...of course!
Clare found me 3 beers later looking dazed and confused at the tv....
She had a great day doing her first dive (but I'm sure she will write about that herself!)...and we headed to the diving school/bar to have a few drinks with some girls from Manchester, then onto thte night market for some lovely (and very cheap) food!
Today I was allowed along for her second day of diving and I snorkelled around the reefs with a Danish guy called Morton who was very inquisitive. Clare did two dives today which seemed to take forever but on the first dive we were joined at the boat by two other with sightseers from Thailand who were also snorkelling. They fed us some melon and a banana and had lots of questions and basically wanted to try out the very few words they knew in English. The day was great though, I swam with lots of pretty fish on the surface whilst Clare was weighted down and sent to the bottom...she did get to see seahorses though but she's a bit jealous that I saw four swordfish!
I spent quite a lot of time on the deck of the boat though and even though I regularly applied the factor 30 I seem to have forgotten to do my knees as they are now red raw and very hot...much to Clare's amusement!
We got back and showered and Clare had to sit her exam which would have been more tense if they had made her go upstairs to the classroom but instead she sat opposite me slurping her Sprite as she ticked boxes and scratched her head!
92% and she only needed 75% to pass! So she has now got her temporary PADI card so she can go diving in the next 90 days whilst she waits on the official (and no doubt laminated) card!
I got her a cocktail as a celebration...