So my last update was on Christmas Eve morning, as we sat on Chalong Pier, awaiting the speedboat that would whisk us to Koh Racha for three nights, where we would be staying at The Racha, a rather glorious beachside island resort.
Our activities on Racha can be neatly summed up in: swimming, beach, hiking, massage, sleeping, doing bugger all.
It was bliss incarnate.
The first thing we did was head to the Beach Cafe to eat festive Pad Thai for our Christmas Eve lunch. (Photo at top.) Wow did that Singha taste GOOD after some thirty hours of travelling.
And then we flopped.
I booked a massage in the excellent spa to unknot my shoulders after all that luggage hefting en route to Thailand combined with sitting at the back of the plane, and Rach headed to the infinity pool.
Later that evening we eschewed the hotel’s open air, £70 a head Christmas Eve celebrations, complete with neon snowmen – really designed for large family groups, and people for whom the words ‘international buffet’ are a magnet, and slipped off after a few glasses of Champagne across the white sands of the small bay to the backpacker resort on the headland to eat plates of Thai food instead.
When we got back to the resort a few hours later the party was still going strong, but we decided it would be a great idea to go late night swimming in the lit up garden pool by our villa. It was one of the high points of our stay, as we swam gentle circles in the warm night, chuckling away and putting the world to rights.
Pudding afterwards was a somewhat tipsy duvet picnic in our villa, courtesy of room service.
On Christmas Day we woke at 0530 – jetlagged – and headed to the infinity pool for a long swim, as the sun came up.
Here I am somewhat dopey with time lag, just after the sun came up.
I took my first outdoor shower of the trip after swimming laps
This was Christmas Day lunch. Soft shell crab in yellow curry for Rachel, festive green curry for me and an also green coconut. There was so much chilli in both of our dishes that our noses ran, our faces blushed and I think steam may have poured from our ears.
On Boxing Day we woke up mindful of the ten year anniversary of the Tsunami.
At 10am we went for a hike up to the viewpoint over the island.
Utterly wiped by the forty-five dress slope we hiked up at marching speed in the humidity for forty minutes, we spent several hours in a blur of massages (me) and body wraps (Rach).
We also changed rooms to a beachview Deluxe Pool Villa (as planned), which had its own incredibly spoiling plunge pool.
On our last morning, the 27th, we got up early to swim in the crystal clear sea before the daytrippers arrived at 10am, and then took a very good free yoga class in the excellent studio in the spa.
Washing my feet clear of sand outside our villa after yoga.
As we sat and gazed over the beach, waiting for our 1130am speedboat transfer back to Phuket, we were rather sad, dull food notwithstanding, to be leaving our island fastness.