Monday, February 5, 2007

Back to La La Land 2/5/07 - PLEASE COMMENT

If you followed our blog while we were over there PLEASE POST A COMMENT ON THIS ENTRY.

We are home back in LA and trying to readjust our sleep schedules. We plan to try to round out the blog and post more pictures of the days we were not able to access the pictures for in Thailand. Be sure to check the out the pictures from the Grand Palace day in Bangkok.

We've estimated that the 29-day trip cost about $5,000 for the two of us combined.

Flights $2200
Lodging $650
Tours $500
Climbing Transportation $150
Food $800
Beverages $100
Purchases $600

If you followed our blog while we were over there PLEASE POST A COMMENT ON THIS ENTRY. We'd love to see what family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers followed along on our blog. We had an amazing time and we had originally only started the blog to keep Ken's grandma and mom and Anja's dad updated but it was great to come back and hear how our friends enjoyed living vicariously through our blog. So please post a comment because we'd like you all to be a part of our trip blog.

For note we are thinking of returning next year (March maybe?) for a two week trip to Tonsai. Anyone interested would be welcome to join us to climb or just relax on the beach.

Ken and Anja

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Chatuchak Market and Flight Home

Our last day was crazy long. We got up at 5 pm LA time (8 am Bangkok time) and shopped at the Bangkok Chatuchak Market.

Anja was on the hunt for beads. Thus far she had struck out finding any cheap real stone beads. We looked in Chiang Mai but all the prices were close to the states. The guy at Railey who taught her a necklace pattern said this was the spot. Anja spent close to $100 on beads, but the prices were about 50% less than eBay.

The market was not as touristy as the Night Bazaar in Chiang Mai, but we did see the Thailand Tourist Police there. We asked an officer if we could take a picture, and she said sure. Then she said the young guys behind her were on a class trip to the market, and she asked if they could take a picture with us.

At 2 am LA time (5 pm Bangkok time) we boarded the plane for the first leg of our trip home. Luckily the return trip was a bit faster with a 3.5 hour flight and a 12 hr flight (instead of 3.5 and 16.5). Our flight back went smoothly except that Ken suffered a bit of food poisoning. We landed at 6 pm and Paul Lopez picked us up from the airport. After a visit to In n Out we got home at 9 pm.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Last day of climbing

Our last day at Tonsai we climbed the ultra classic Groove Tube 6a.

The guidebook said the second pitch was good but rarely done due to the extremely popular first pitch. Anja was all over this because she was starting to love the views that multipitch climbs offered.

Given how polished the second pitch was it apparently got some traffic. Below you can see an old restaurant which was probably wrecked by the Tsunami.

After climbing we flew back to Bangkok and met up with Rosa and Deborah at the Tiger Bar around the corner from Suda Palace.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Humanality 2/2/07

After our rest day we got on a Tonsai classic 5 pitch climb called Humanality. It climbs right above the Freedom Bar on the beach, so it puts on a good show. The classic pitch is pitch 4 (6b+). As you climb up large holds on a steep face they suddenly disappear except for two large holds about 10 feet out of reach. As you look around for what to do next you realize a large stalactite is just within reach behind you. When you lean out to reach it you are left staring 300 ft down into the bar!

You do a few delicate and spooky moves and find yourself comfortably on the stalactite but then you have to move back on the face so you move up and around on the stalactite and reach back out for those large holds which were formerly 10 feet away. After that you have another great pitch of 6b and then rappel down straight into the bar.

In a classic Tonsai style my friend Rudy arrived while we were on the climb. I knew he was coming to Tonsai but not exactly what day and he knew we were in Dream Valley 405 but that was it. He arrived, got a room, left a note for us at Dream Valley and headed to the Freedom Bar with some people he had meet on the way to Tonsai. They had just been asking him "How are you going to find your friend?" "This place can't be that big, I'm sure I'll come across them" "Hey I think I know that guy rappelling into the bar!"

Before we called it a day Anja jumped on the classic 6c Vikings in Heat. A steep pumpy climb which she struggled through but managed to onsite.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Ao Nang Restday 1/2/2550

We are taking a rest day and saw Deborah and Rosa off to the airport riding the longtail with them over to Ao Nang. We stopped by the Elephant pool. Later we plan to crash the pool bar at a local resort.

A cat with a tip jar in an Ao Nang convinence store. The woman explained that the she-cat was expecting. Though from the scrawny cats we've seen, 1B would go a long way!

Then Deborah climbed a coconut tree and picked some coconuts (don't know if this is legal?) egged on by a thai lady sitting nearby. She seemed more excited than we were, and after watching our feeble attempts at opening them, the woman sent a man for a knife. She deftly hacked away to harvest the coconutty goodness. Love the look the lady is giving Deborah.