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Railay - bruises galore!

THAILAND | Saturday, 10 March 2012 | Views [512]

Utterly terrifying! That is the only way I can describe rock climbing. I was only 1/2 way up a 25m climbing course on the face of an enormous cliff, hugging the rock for dear life wondering whether I am going to make it. Even though you're in a harness, and your instructor will make sure you don't fall, your natural instinct is to hold onto that rock and not fall. There was a couple of times where I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to climb the course and felt on the verge of a panick attack. I was lucky enough to pull my self together and make it the rest of the way up the course.

To me, the worst part was actually repelling down the cliff face after reaching the top. You had to straighten your legs and let go of the rock face and rope and hold your hands to the side as the instructor lowered me down. It may have been because I had no control over the situation. At the end of the day we hiked up through a cave and individually repelled down the cliff face. I actually felt better doing this, although it was at a much greater height, but I was controlling the speed of my descent.

All-in-all, the course was fantastic. Although I had paid for a full day group course, I ended up with a full day private lesson as no one else had signed up. I was able to to more climbs throughout the day, 9 in total plus repelling down the big cliff. One climb was rated 6a, which was much harder then the 5 rated climbs normally done by beginners. I also think I pushed my body harder as there were shorter breaks between climbs then there would have been with a group. As a result, we ended our day earlier then normal. I was exhausted!!!

My arms were quite stiff and tired day after the course, but yesterday they were worse! The entire arm tight and sore. I am also covered in bruises! I don't think I've had this many since I was a kid.

Yesterday afternoon I left Railay and began my over night journey to Koh Tao for my Open Water Diving Course. We drove from Krabi to Chumphon, where we borded an overnight ferry to Koh Tao. It was and interesting journey, but I surprisingly slept really well! Even with a large thai woman snoring, at a volume I have never experience before, in a nearby bunk. I made friends with a girl from Vancouver in the van from Krabi to Chumphon and we stuck together for the trip.

Arriving at Koh Tao at 6:00am, I had some time to kill while I waited for the taxi from Big Blue Diving to pick me up at 9:30am. For a while the other Canadian and I chatted with some other cotravellers from the ferry, and then decided to take a tour of the area around the pier. Nothing was open at this time, so after my new Canadian friend and i parted ways, I read in a restaurant until they opened for breakfast.

Although I didn't plan on starting my diving course until tomorrow, I have decided to start tonight. The course is 3 full days and this way I should be able to squeeze in some fun dives before it's time to head home. It's insane to think I will be home in only 12 days! Where have the last two months gone?!?!?

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