Friday, November 15, 2013

Climbing in Tonsai - Part 3

Still Climbing,  Sweating and Swimming...

I am mostly just going to publish some more pics with this post rather than write a lot. No Internet and spotty electricity where I am at in Tonsai so taking a rest day in Ao Nang to use the ATM, Internet and hopefully cool off a bit. Coffee in a place with AC fits the bill. Getting here from Tonsai is a 100 Baht, 15 minute ride via Long-Tail boat so not onerous at all.
During the day, I mostly sweat constantly just standing around, so you can imagine how hot it gets climbing up some of the very steep rock here - even in the shade.  It's a good workout. The ocean is too hot to cool you off either, so the best you can do is stand under the shower in your bungalow. Of course there is no power during the day so you're in the dark with the cooler water running. I still can't get over how beautiful the beaches are here and every day I turn the corner in some new area and come across more magnificence. The color of the ocean is just incredible. Pictures can't do it justice at all.
 One of the islands off Pranang Beach. The giant Pranang Cave is behind me.
 This is Pranang Cave which not only has some nice climbs off to the side, but a spectacular beach that seems to be pretty popular with more affluent tourists just looking to sunbathe and play in the very warm water of the Andaman Sea.

The picture above is a little hard to see, but what I am doing here is jumping up to grab the first holds on a giant stalagmite hanging over the sandy beach. Bit of a reach for me and then no footholds for a couple of pumpy pull-up type moves. It's not technically hard, but pretty burly. I asked one of the guys I was climbing with to take some pics with my iPhone, but he wasn't familiar with it and ended up taking several videos in the vertical format so most of my original ascent imagery is not really useful. Not sure if you can fix a vertical video like that, but highly doubtful. If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear em… :-)
The image above is another sunset pic from one of my favorite spots to sit and drink coffee or a fesh fruit smoothie at the end of the day. It's where the long-tail boats mostly come in and where the small coterie of cafes and food carts set up for dinner. Most people staying in Tonsai proper (as opposed to Railay) are climbers so we all tend to congregate here in the early morning and evening to talk and find climbing partners. People come and go so you are always meeting new people and sharing conversations as well as climbing.