Snorkelling, Seafood & Mai Tai's
I'm not too sure if I should be blogging about my newly found paradise - Ko Lipe - although most of Germany and Sweden have already arrived at its powdery white sands and shimmering aqua-blue waters long before I rocked up on the beach, so I doubt one more online mention will make much of a difference?!
We spent seven glorious days and nights snorkelling, eating fresh fish on the beach and hanging out at the Monkey Bar - Ko Lipe's original beach bar - and home to the island's best Mojito maker; Kim.
"I hate my life" became the motto, coined by our new German friend and restaurateur Jean, whilst sunning himself at the front of a longtail boat, as we made our way to one of the deserted islands for a spot of snorkelling.
Our fortune of meeting Pete from Margate who has been coming to Lipe for years and Til from Berlin who has also been visiting the island from 'back in the day' meant that we could rent our own boat without taking a regular tourist trip as they knew all the best spots.
Evenings began with a couple of beers on the beach to watch the sunset before choosing the beach bar with the best looking fish for dinner. Jean and Til had the art of selecting the freshest 'catch of the day' by shoving their hands in the gils of the fish and poking them around a bit before loading it all up on the scales. The restaurant waiters then whisked it all away to be barbequed with chilli, garlic and fresh lemongrass and Thai spices. To the German's great excitement this included a freshly caught Eagle Ray one evening, which they couldn't keep their hands off - Jean even insisted on helping prepare it! Mmmmm... meaty!
Our stay in Lipe co-incided with the annual festival which marks the end of the rainy season. We joined in the action up and down the beach, where people set off lanterns for good luck and their bad-luck away on candlelit and incense filled banana-leaf boats out into the ocean.
When we weren't busy snorkelling, we roamed Lipe's beaches picking up shells and reading in the shade of the palm trees.
Anyone want to hit me yet?