I think we can all agree that whatever your age, a drive to the beach is always going to feel like it’s taking far too long. If I’m being honest we were already an hour and a half into an hour long ride to Khao Lak but maybe the less than inspired scenery was part of the reason I was impatient. We pulled into the carpark in a cloud of dust. I looked over at a steep two foot wide roughly-paved concrete pathway that disappeared into a wild tangle of jungle and a sign pointing toward Poseidon Bungalows.
This is not the first time I was glad I’d kept my walking cane. I really didn’t need it anymore but at Phuket immigration I‘d felt like a celebrity, shuttled to the front of the line for my own passport guy. Who knew? The anxious crowd stared over at the lucky guy —Yours Truly — thinking “Who the hell is that?”
At our new digs, cane at the ready, I started to work out how I might build a little momentum up the steep grade but when I finally reached the top of the path it sharply turned towards the crashing sea and pitched over at an amazingly steep angle.
The torturous path ahead looked more like a rollercoaster than a way to get from point A to point B. It was certainly picturesque but Dr. Aaron’s last words echoed in my brain. “Just. Don’t. Fall. Down.” Turns out until new bone builds up, the knee is just glued in and not as strong as it will be.
Every walk from our tree house along the undulating cliffside path made me more confident and stronger, and the jungle color and atmosphere were amazing.
Breakfast and dinner were served at the main covered deck perched on stilts overlooking the river that emptied into the bay right under our feet. After a couple of days I threw down the cane.
At the end of our rollercoaster cliffside path was an overlook with steep uneven stone and concrete steps leading down to a magnificent crescent-shaped sandy beach with open air restaurants including, of course, Thai massage tables scattered about. You could walk for miles along this magnificent beach, and we did.
Every night we lay in our camp-style bungalow and absorbed the sweet music of the ocean swell breaking over massive well-worn black rocks just below our heads. During the day we often sat together on our tiny covered front deck in the trees writing, listening, only interrupted occasionally by a long-tail fishing boat passing close by. We eventually found our way down another set of steep steps to our own private beach.
This week of beach decompression was so restorative that we felt ready to tackle the rigors of the old walled city of Chiang Mai. I decided it was time to pass on my cane to someone in need and we were off to the airport.