Quite a bit to fill you in on since the last proper update, then. We caught the high-speed ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Tao last week, and firstly made our way to our first point of accommodation - a secluded set of bungalows owned and run by a woman called, genuinely, Ping Pong. To describe the place as "out in the sticks" would perhaps be an understatement - it took a 30 minute bumpy, off-road taxi ride in the back of a pick-up truck to get there! It was, however, on the coast, and the isolated nature of it proved quite a contrast from the comparative hustle and bustle of Samui. Here, the three of us shared a room, and - armed with the information that you could see sharks if you went out at 7am - the following morning got up to do some snorkelling.
At this point, I should have probably worked out that I'm not cut out for water activities, as my snorkelling was fairly disasterous - generally a repeating circle of a little bit of underwater swimming, followed by getting some water in the snorkelling, followed by a general coughing and spluttering and giving up. Therefore, I did not get to see any sharks, but Adam did, and given that he lived to tell the tale it's probably safe to confirm that they were, indeed, harmless.
From Casa-del-out-in-the-sticks, we then moved across to the other side of the island, and checked into some bungalows. To be honest, even most estate agents would struggle to find something nice to say about them, with no hot water; cold water that runs out / switches off at, like, 11pm; my bed sinks in the middle because it's evidently broken and is propped up at the foot-end by bricks; and you have to provide your own loo roll. Yet at 300Baht (5GBP) per night I perhaps shouldn't complain. Night life is decent enough here and, as for the entire holiday, the food has been fantastic (and cheap), but the main attraction of Koh Tao is diving, so that's what we did today.
As I mentioned before, I should probably have worked out that I'm not cut out for water activities - however, I didn't, and so off we went on our scuba adventure. After squeezing myself into a wet-suit (which can't have looked good) and loading up with the rest of the equipment, we went out into the sea but I just could not get used to breathing normally underwater and I ended up in a sort of panic each time we went under. Eventually I had to give up and go back to the boat, as I just could not get myself to not feel abnormal under the water, and it was not at all pleasant. I wanted to love diving, but - like snorkelling - apparently not for me! Still, I'm pleased I gave it a go, and it is cheaper here than probably anywhere else in the world so I guess I should take that as some consellation.
So, I guess I'm not a natural child of the water. Also, having met two separate young English couples over the past few days who have been out here taking a holiday before going to University for the first time, I'm also starting to feel a little old! Time, I think, for some alcohol...
Don't know when the next update will be - possibly the weekend, possibly before - who knows! I've uploaded some new photos in the meantime.