March 15th 1984

posted in: The way back | 0

Deciding that it was time we did something more energetic than lazing on the beach all day, we hired 2 bicycles this morning in order to ride around the perimeter road of the island, + see what the other beaches had to offer.  The bikes were respectably new + modern, not the antique bone-shakers I’d expected, but they were without gears, + this turned out to be a serious lack.  We’d more or less expected a ride similar to the one we’d taken around Moorea, which had stuck close to the water, + thus pretty much at sea-level all the way round.  In contrast, the road here is hilly, or at least has 3 or 4 hills too steep to ride up.  The downhill parts were exhilarating + exciting of course, but the hills were bloody hard work.

We didn’t visit as may of the beach resorts as we would have liked, since the main road was so far inland that to get out to the coast often meant a long-ish ride down a sandy track, no easy matter on a bike.  But we made the effort a couple of times, + were impressed particularly by Chawang beach, which had gorgeous soft white sand + crystal-clear blue water.

Having ridden most of the way round the island, we were too tired to make the detour to the first + most spectacular of the island’s 2 waterfalls, tho’ we did go to the second.  It was not at all spectacular, so little so in fact that I now have doubts that we actually went far enough to see the real thing.  We arrived at Nathon, the town, at about 3, + I found the place curiously dingy and depressing.  We stayed long enough to post our letters, to have a yogurt at one place + a banana split at another, + then tackled the 17 kms back.

Back at Bophut, we had a coffee shake at Peace bungalow – it was nothing special, proving presumably that it was the dope which had made it seem so wonderful before.  Ate a final meal at the French place, having determined to move round the island tomorrow.

Some slightly more purposeful activity today, though I do have to confess that I nearly always find the idea of riding a bike more attractive than the real thing.

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