The heat goes on---
We traveled from the hotel to the bus terminal at Victory Monument in downtown Bangkok. As usual, the taxi driver was lost :-)
Immediately, we caught a 2 hour trip in a van to Phetchaburi. The van was packed to the max. Thankfully it was air conditioned.
Upon arrival we caught a TukTuk to Cokkies home in a nicer neighborhood. We were impressed with her two story, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home. She said she pays about 7,000 Bhat a month, ($200.00, and divides it with her roommate). Fortunately two of the bedrooms have great AC.
Our first night, she took us to a great restaurant in town "Riverside", but it was closed. Imagine that, a restaurant that chooses to close on Saturday nights! We opted for another cute place "PP and Q". The food was very good, and her delightful roommate Stephanie joined us.
After dinner, we went to the best spa in town. One of Cookies adorable students was working the front desk. Turns out her Mother owns the place.
We opted for each of us to have a 1 hour scrub followed by another hour of Thai massage. Danny and I chose "Honey with Tamarind". They gave us each a female masseuse and took us to pretty individual scrub room. Upon enetering the room we were asked if we wanted to start with a sauna. Seeing as it was still over 95 degrees outside, we opted out. We showered first, then put on the sarong and funny stretchy underwear, it was about the size of a cocktail napkin. It pretty funny trying to get them on! Next the masseuse comes in, has you lie down, face-first and proceeds to scrub. Next comes a good shower to get off the goo. Incredibly relaxing and refreshing. Then the 1 hour massage. We were led to a large room with 4 mats on the floor. Okay, evidently we do this together... It was so fun! We laughed and chatted as each of us had our own personal massage terrorist stretch and deep tissue massage our knots away. The cost for two hours of special treatment was 600 Bhat each. ($ 18.00 USD).
While waiting for our TukTuk, we discussed the issues of the mean monkeys that lived in the park across the street. They told us they bought a BB gun to keep the monkey's from coming into their spa. By the way, it is common for the locals to carry a sling shot or stick to keep the monkeys at bay. Then it was time for bed.
We slept in before heading out to the ... Cave nearby. There are no words to describe its beauty. But before getting to the cave, your TukTuk driver will drop you off a short walk from the opening. This area has pretty aggressive monkeys. People stopped leaving their vehicles in this parking lot, as the monkeys would tear them apart. Things like a stick or umbrella helps. This being said, we asked our driver to pick us up in 1 hour. The heat was building outside, but the cave was cool. Entering, we see the bats on the ceiling, the stalactites, and the many steps downward. Once inside, there are over a hundred statues. Some are gigantic and the cave is well lit by the natural openings in the ceiling. We spent an hour enjoying this sacred spot. We took many photos. The climb back up the stairs was a task and we didn't want to leave...
Next we headed to a ...... And took a tram towards the top. It was the hottest hike we ever had! The heat index was about 107 Fahrenheit. Once again, we had to deal with the monkeys. Fortunately none of them took after us. It was beautiful despite the heat with panoramic views of the area. Lots of flowers and in some spots, piped-in traditional Thai music. As we labored upward, Cookie danced across the pathways. After an hour, we'd had enough and took the tram back down for a cool treat. Danny a coconut Popsicle, Carol, coffee ice cream, Cookie had --- Ice cream.
Our TukTuk driver arrived and Cookie took us to lunch at a riverside restaurant she frequents. It was paradise inside. The owner adores Cookie and treated us well. His wife was a cat lady with many cats. After lunch, our driver brought us home as we were done for the day. Cool showers and short naps were in order. In the late afternoon, Cookie taught Carol how to ride a scooter. Then while Danny read books on Thailand, Cookie and Mom went on her scooter to an open air market. The sights filled the sense, but I didn't see anything I wanted to eat. Between the exotic fruits, seafood, vegetables and heat, I couldn't have dinner. Danny had a coconut pumpkin soup that Cookies roommate made. He loved it!
After a good visit it was time for bed.
Was a restful day. Cookie had errands to run, so we slept in, made ourselves at home in her cozy, yet warm house. The air conditioner in her room was a blessing! In the mid afternoon, we caught up with Cookie at a Doctors appointment. It was a follow up visit to check on kidney stones. It is a very nice and modern hospital. She doesn't want family or friends to worry, she is on medication and not much pain at present. For dinner we met her friends at a restaurant called "Side Track". The TukTuk driver invited himself to join us. Their was great dinner conversation with Eddie, a teacher in Cookie's town. A very knowledgable and interesting young man, with fascinating reflections on the last Coup in Thailand. He is from San Diego. Small world! The next morning we headed out early to catch a train to Bangkok, to catch our flight to Phuket.
More to follow.