Peter Lyons

Railay Scrambling and Climbing

November 03, 2014

Thursday morning after breakfast we walked to the trail up to the lagoon and the viewpoint. The "trail" is really a steep climb/scramble outfitted with slick, muddy ropes to "help" you climb it. We slowly made our way to the top one careful, slippery step at a time. The first stop at the top is a viewpoint that overlooks Railay East beach. From there we hunted around a while looking for the trail to the lagoon which sits high on the limestone cliffs. It's a steep and slippery downclimb and very slow going. The jungle environment is straight out of an Indiana Jones movies. There are huge palm fronds and giant coconut trees overhead. We got down to where we could see the green algae covering the surface of the lagoon below, but the next sections were sheer vertical down climbs supported only by old, wet, muddy, unreliable ropes and rope ladders. We had seen a British couple as well as another man on the way out that all had the same story - too dangerous to continue down to the lagoon itself. So we headed back out and made out way back down to the resort.

After our daily sunset watching ritual I think Thursday was street cart burgers in the room and very early to bed.

Friday morning after huge buffet breakfast we geared up for climbing and walked to the Diamond Cave crag. I led the first route, which I considered to be our first "legit" outdoor Thailand lead climb because it had 6 or so bolts/threads. It was quite nerve racking, but I completed the route. Shannon followed and then I think she led the next one. That route had a long unprotected run to the anchor and Shannon decided to go for an alternate anchor, which turned out not to be an anchor, so then she had to climb across a tree to find a real anchor, although it was not the right anchor for the route. I followed that one and then I think we packed it in. We ate some street cart chicken kebabs that were actually wraps not kebabs and proceeded to sleep approximately 7pm to 7am. The past few nights we've been dead tired within an hour or two of sunset and slept through to morning. Not sure why that is, but we're OK with it.

Saturday morning we explored around the area some more and went through Diamond Cave. In the afternoon we swam in the ocean. Dinner was at an Indian Restaurant on the back alley strip of cheaper restaurants and the butter chicken I got was fantastic. I drank a large (630mL) Chang beer and got nicely tipsy and funny.

Sunday we did some hotel shopping as our current hotel is fabulous but the high season prices start this week and it gets quite pricey. So we explored around and looked at the Railay Princess and Railay Phutawan resorts closely. In the afternoon we rented a kayak and made our way out of the local cove area heading back toward Ao Nang, but the seas we a bit too rough and I started to get motion sick, so we paddled back and swam in the beach until sunset. We ate at a restaurant that had both Thai food and pizza as Shannon was craving melted cheese. She got a pizza with black olives and I got red curry chicken that was too spicy for me to handle, which the staff noticed despite my efforts to act cool. They made numerous offers and pleas to bring me a less spicy version but I declined as I wasn't that hungry and I just wanted to let my lips melt off my face in peace.

I have photos to post but so far none of the wifi hotspots work well enough for uploading photos so that may have to wait until I get access to a coworking space.