Life on Phi Phi Island….
Cycling for… 692 days Pedalling over… 21,239 km Through… 27 countries Currently… in Thailand ! Raised so far… £11,500
This month we’ve visited…..
Since the 22nd March we have been on Phi Phi Island in Thailand and this is where we decided was the best place for us to be stranded whilst the world went on lock down. When all the tourists left Phi Phi Island on the last boat to the mainland we happily waved them goodbye and now we have a tourist free island, just a hand full of locals that live here along with the Sea Gypsies. On the 22nd March we arrived on Phi Phi Island by long tail boat, not long after arriving, all neighbouring countries borders closed and they stopped the boats. Little did we know how long we would be staying on the island for, it’s looking like we’ll be here at least 5 months, but we are not complaining!
What We Eat…..
Fish! There is no shortage of fish here, we are friends with the local fisherman who takes us out on his boat fishing, I am not much help as every time we go out I always suffer from sea sickness and spend the whole day with my head in a bag, lying on the floor of the boat. Chris has become very good at catching fish and cooking them on our campfire. He caught a huge sailfish on his last boat trip out which we shared with our neighbours the Sea Gypsies, we shared a tasty meal of sailfish, rice and a hot chilli dish that they had prepared. A fish this size will give them food for many days they often invite us to their home to show us how they prepare the fish. Fruit! We can get pineapples, passionfruit and many lemons. Other foods like vegetables, rice, noodles and water to drink we have to do a weekly seven mile walk over the mountain to reach the other side of the island through the jungle in the intense heat with many interesting bugs, mosquitoes and we always have a family of monkeys following us. When we reach the other side of the island we collect our supplies but we are limited to what we can carry back as it is quite a challenging hike there and back. Water! There are many water wells dotted over the island where the local people go to have their daily wash and collect their water to do their washing up and laundry.
As we cannot cycle our bicycles on the island as there are no roads or anywhere to cycle, we keep ourselves fit by doing our daily run from one end of the small village across the beach and back, we do this in the evening when the sun is going down and the temperature is slightly cooler. The local sea gypsy kindly allows us to use his kayak, so we are planning to once again try to get to Bamboo and Mosquito Island. The locals also do a keep fit class every evening on the beach that I often join in. We also do a lot of snorkelling as the water is so clear a lovely shade of blue and the temperature is like being in a warm bath. There is nobody around so we enjoy the small beach all to ourselves.
On a regular basis when we are at the beach we always collect up the plastic and rubbish that the tide brings in, it is very interesting to see what gets swept to shore and how many different items we find. The majority of the rubbish are plastic bottles – it’s unbelievable to see how many there are scattered all over the beach. People don’t think a small piece of plastic can be harmful. “They say it’s only one straw or one plastic bag”. But it all adds up, millions upon millions, every day.
On one particular day when going back to our beach with our supplies we had bought over from the other side of the island, the tide was in and very high, normally if we time the tides correct I can wade through the water and it’s about waste high but this time it was way above my head. Chris goes first so if the water is above his shoulders I know I will definitely have my head under water. We had lots of supplies with us that we were taking to our beach and could not swim with everything as things would get wet, so I left Chris on the beach with the bags and I swam over to the other side to where our Sea Gypsies live and asked to borrow their kayak which they kindly said yes. I then paddle back over to Chris, we then loaded the kayak with all our bags. Chris swam over to the other side whilst I paddled the kayak over. It is all good fun, keeps us fit and keeps us entertained.
Thoughts and feelings….
We have now been on Phi Phi Island for nearly six weeks we have no complaints as we are in a very unique situation and we are on a paradise island. Now with the Thailand government automatically extending foreigners visas further till the 31st July, that has eased our worries, we now don’t have to try and get to an immigration office which would have been impossible for us to do. We cannot really plan our next move, we know where we were planning on cycling to but now it all depends on what countries open their borders and to which nationality’s. We were continuing to Malaysia and Indonesia but who knows? Our main concern at this time is our Charity, Prevent Breast Cancer, as we realise this is a very difficult time for them as fundraising events are cancelled or postponed and donations are reduced thanks to the Coronavirus outbreak. Cancer doesn’t stop because of Covid-19. People are still being diagnosed. Thank you to all our supporters, your donations and your continued support….
We wish you all well. If you go to our website https://chrisandgabsworldcyclingtour.com you can read our blogs and watch more of our films that Chris spends time filming and producing.