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Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The home stretch - Porto to Leon

After a lovely morning doing the cultural stuff in Porto while surrounded by bums we decided to skip town and hit the road! We figured our best rote was inland towards Leon in Spain!

Sheila our trusty sat nav estimated a time of 4.30pm arrival in Leon approx 4.45 mins.. Grand we left Porto and headed for the hills, quite literally we climbed and climbed and climbed!

When we reached the top all you could see for miles was Christmas trees! It was quite surreal, there we were with air con on in shorts and T-shirts and tit deep in Christmas trees!

Trish and I had a great time for about ten minutes singing Christmas songs but when after two and a half hours later we were still immersed in the land of St Nick it wasn't quite as fun. It was boring, you could see nothing only varying sizes of Christmas trees! When we eventually got out of crimbo land the place was barren!

There was so little to see I thought we were in a safari somewhere! I was convinced we were going to see an aul lion or giraffe strolling along the barren land! It was miles and miles of sandy soil with a random tree in the middle of it! Not a house, not a petrol station, nothing, nada! Barren!

When we saw a sign for Leon saying 20k but Sheila told us we still had an hour and a half drive we broke into a debate about how reliable Sheila actually was.

It turns out that Sheila was in fact right, we had forgotten about the hours time difference so we were only delighted to arrive in Leon 20 mins later!

We checked into a great hotel in the centre of Leon! Very easy... Just pulled up and booked a room! Great...we showered got changed and hit the old town!

Leon is beautiful, real old Spain. The people are friendly the buildings are beautiful and the beer is ridiculously cheep... €1 a pint and they give you a pincho with every drink! Food so delicious we didn't even bother with dinner! We had sardines in a tomato sauces and various meats and wings and roasted peppers..delicious!

Afterwards I found out that pincho's came about in old Spain where their king decided that people were getting too drunk in the taverns and made it law that taverns provided their patrons with food to stop the drunkenness! Brilliant if you ask me, they should do it everywhere!

Caution though....if in Leon, there is a fabulous square up near the cathedral where you can sit and have a glass of wine and some food! The waiter may bring you nuts! If you are brave enough to accept them the local pigeon gang will most likely attack you!

I fell victim to a pack of rabid pigeons! Much to the delight of several locals I became hysterical when at least 20 birds came to land on top of me and fight amongst themselves over the nuts! They practically used me as a cage as they fought to the death over the bowl of nuts! They were oblivious to my flapping and screaming... Video will be posted to my page if enough interest!!

After our fill of drink and food we sauntered back to the hotel through the lovely streets of Leon!

It's amazing how no matter where you go, what you see or what you do, you can spot the local drug users... They all look the same, they all have that same stare, at your hand bag!

After a short stalk on our way back and a detour into a local biker bar to avoid being mugged ( being a little dramatic ) we eventually made it into the hotel and collapsed with full stomachs into bed to plan the trip home!

I highly recommend Leon, defo worth a visit a definite high point of the trip!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Day (unsure) location Porto

Lads, it's been a busy few days! Last time I posted I was in Malaga after driving for 13 hours and nearly getting mangled in madrid!

We ended up in San Pedro after paying a visit to fungeroula, belamadina, Porto banus and benihavis! Costa del sol was brilliant! Skip got so much sun I thought that Madonna was going to surprise us by trying to adopt her...she's as my granny used to say "as brown as a berry" I actually think she's so dark she's almost navy.

I should have known from the day we arrived.... She was wearing a bikini that resembled a laughing cow cheese triangle and was smeared with factor 2 oil and I sported a burka like outfit with matching hat and factor 50!

After a couple of days of that skip resembled a scalded Micky and I was a glowing golden healthy bronze.. In your face factor 2!

Between the jigs and the reels and the mojitos and the margaritas I had a ball! ...that was until I got locked and had to walk barefoot home from joeys... But I wasn't the only one! Poor joe, skips nephew in law lost one flip flop and then stood on something that bit him - instead of sympathy we decided more drink and midnight swimming was the only cure!

The next morning it was back to fungeroula and off to Portugal !!

Well we travelled onto Portugal after that, soaking in the sights! Stunning! 4.5 hours later, Passing over bridges the size of small countries and into petrol stations that charges €1.77 a litre! I thought we had it bad.... When we reached albufeira my dad was standing on the road Wearing a white Linen shirt (unopened) and looking totally relaxed!

When we arrived at the house he was only too delighted to inform us his neighbor is .... Drum roll please ..... Annie Lennox.... Imagine my excitement ...I could feel a stalking situation coming on!

After days of stalking All I got to see was her blacked out jeep scuttling out the gate one afternoon! Oh and her dogs wouldn't shut up one afternoon disturbing my burka esk sun session!

We left albufeira today... We drove through the pissings of rain through the cork tree district !!! Yes cork comes from forests of trees. They are shaved every six years... Kind of like myself ..

If your looking for 5 glasses of wine for €4.40 it's the place to be... I had to call the waitress to assure her the check was wrong! She amended it to €4 ... I was mortified..

Then made a show of myself ordering breakfast and assuring the waitress that I wanted eggs .... She said Ova (Ova means eggs in Portuguese ) I said yes Ova Easy... Then there were weird words and jokes between her and skip and I realized I was the butt of the joke again ....

We drove north to Porto.... We left wearing shorts vests and flip flops and arrived in Porto at our 4* hotel where we were surrounded by a gang of hobos drenched in rain and thunder! I felt so at home!

After a row with the hotel staff over parking, an altercation with the lical homeless dudes, a change of hotel later we were settled at a nice hotel right in the centre of the city!

As myself and skip sat out having a glass of the local wine dressed in summer gear in the rain watching the elderly go into church dressed in wollen scarves and gortex jackets we realized something...... We must look like tools....

The hobos followed us around all night... I started feeling sorry for them,but as we still haven't received our visa cards we can't be to easy with the flow of cash.... That's why I can't pass a gallery and purchase another painting..

We retire to our room having paid €9.20 for four glasses of wine and a bottle for the room...#guilt

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Day 3 & 4 - Bordeaux and on the road again!

I would have posted yesterday only we were driving...all day!

We woke in Bordeaux and did a cultural walk of all Bordeaux has to see, fountains, churches, cathedrals and the like! By 12pm I was wiped! That teaches us for getting up at seven.

Bordeaux is beautiful.. The architecture is stunning, there is lots to see but there is an awful bang of piss of it that wasn't in the tour books. Every five steps you get the waft, men must literally piss everywhere, it's an awful pity. Also skip got two whopper bites! Huge! I recon they sniffed all the pee of her and wanted a chew!

Not a lot of people speak English and with language skills as great as mine one can be quite confused. Especially when everything starts with Bo Le vo se swe something or other!

After a bit of this I felt the only thing to do was hit the bar for an afternoon beverage which ended up as several. All of a sudden we were starving and hit a restaurant which was on the recommended list in our tour book .

The waiter was lovely and gave us a menu in English ... Delighted... That is until I read it... It was either calfs head, eyes and all or pigs trotters! Then the topping on the cake Mr Ed... Now I refuse to eat horse. Sure you might as well fry my little Flow (my dog) up and serve her! Horses are like pets, not meant for consumption!

We had a wine and politely made our exit and searched for another restaurant... Everywhere we went there were skinny women walking about eating full on baguettes! Chomping down on the bread, no butter no mayo, nothing... Obviously the French didn't get the newsletter on 'bread is the devil'.

We arrived at this kabab place.. At this point we were starving! We hadnt eaten since 7am and were full of drink! A kabab seemed like the only rational food group we wanted! We ordered by pointing at pictures and were a great laugh for the staff... We sat down and they brought us our food!

The kabab was more like a fat crepe. The meat wasn't lamb I assumed it was pork! Dreadful when your biting down into a delicious meal and you can't tell what it is we were eating... We eventually found out... It was Bambi... I ate Bambi ! Poor owl deer! What do they do on anyone!

Off we went to drink a toast to all the Bambi's and Mr Ed's that would be lost to consumption !

We wandered back to the hotel later that night wobbling with a bottle of French champagne under our arm talking about how we were conned into eating Bambi! Bonjouring to everyone we passed!

The next morning we got up bright and early to make our way through the Pyrenees and into Spain!

Just a note on French drivers-

When they indicate right it means left or go straight!

If they indicate left it could mean anything!

If they don't indicate it means they haven't yet decided and chances are they will just do as they please!

At red lights it obviously means drive on ... Especially when it's unsafe to do so!

Oh and not forgetting beeping! This seems to be a way of passing time in traffic! They just love beeping! Beep in traffic beep when moving, they love the sound of the horn!

Once we get out of Bordeaux the roads are great and the beeping stopped and when you get your first glimpse of the Pyrenees you may need to catch your breath.. I did !

This was by far the most spectacular thing I have ever seen. Huge mountains as far as the eye could see! Defo worth the drive and by far the highlight (visually) of the trip!

Then down through San Sebastian which is going to be a stop off on the way back, it is totally picturesque and I'm dying to stay there. After a couple more hours of mountain driving we hid midland Spain! The roads are brilliant traffic flows steadily and bar the odd crazy Moran who refuses to indicate and cuts you off the driving was uneventful!

When we hit Madrid we said ok! We will stop in five minutes! Now another Five...just five more! Madrid is huge...massive, gigantic !!

Put off by the traffic and sheer size of Madrid we drove on and promised each other we would stop soon ! Thirteen hours later, a couple of stops and a cop checking out our car at a restaurant we hit Malaga !

Oh how I nearly kissed the ground!! Well when I fell out of the jeep with a cramp and hit the deck thus kissing the ground ! We unpacked and fell into bed after downing a bottle of San Miguel!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Day 2 - Cherbourg to Bordeaux

Well people, we awoke on board The Oscar Wilde and off I was sent to forage for some food! I had a shower which surprised me! Not that I had a shower of course but the fact that it was surprisingly powerful.

Back I came to the cabin laden with apple juice, orange juice, coffee and cappuccino...oh and not forgetting a bacon sandwich, god only knew when we would be fed again.

After that we realized the hour goes forward and it was nearly time to disembark the boat! Captain Gorden announced that our pilot had arrived, which caused me major confusion until realized that that the pilot guides the ship into port.

After that we were told to make our way to our respective vehicles which was basically everyone bailing their way to their cars with no consideration for anyone else.

We got to the car, we're told not to turn on our engines...of course everyone does...50 minutes later I'm dying of carbon monoxide poising and we get off.. It's first on last off I'm afraid. Not to forget the gobshite who sleeps in and comes running to their vehicle because nobody can move until everyone is in their cars.

Once we hit air we cheer as we pass our passports over to French police who barely look at them before saying Aurivor ... Skip slags me as I respond with hasta maƱana

To the open road we head and drive...and drive....and drive.... And nearly run out of petrol!

Sheila our untrustworthy sat nav keeps telling us there are petrol stations everywhere... Tip: every 50k there is a petrol station motorway do not and I repeat do not go looking for one of a Sunday ... Everything closes on Sunday in France ... It's like a Christmas morning in old ireland.

After that I decided I was hungry again and needed a sambo! Due to my total inability to speak French I spoke three languages in one sentence to try purchase one, it went like this:

Ta bron orm, nein sprechen die French, dos (I pointed to said sandwich) por favor .... Skip was only mortified! But laughed it off as she made a fairly decent effort at it!

When we got to the car we found out the petrol station sandwich was chibata, with brie stuffed with goats cheese and topped with lettuce and walnuts! Whatever happened to ham and cheese! To my surprise it was the tastiest sandwich I ever had. Delicious.

Then I needed to pee! I forced skip into a rest stop where the toilet resembled a Thai mountain toilet, I managed successfully but skip wasn't as lucky and complained of smelling piss of herself for about 20 miles as I laughed until I needed to stop again!

You hit one toll just as you enter Bordeaux and its €27... And I moan about the €3 on the M50.

Eight hours later, 870 kilometers of driving from dublin, a couple of recalculations later, we arrive in Bordeaux where the drivers are like the Schumachers on speed. After ten minutes of horn honking and bad drivers I got into the swing of things and was "merde"ing out of me to beat the band!

We arrived at the hotel and were pleasantly surprised by the room, although the shower would be more designed for a person more vertically challenged than myself! The staff were
lovely and check in was as easy as pie!

Off we ventured to the square which was literally 2 mins from the hotel and had a couple of beers before dinner! We went to the only restaurant doing food on a Sunday and I had a very average salmon and scallop tagliatelle with a delicious white wine and skip had a vile chicken and mushroom thing that was freezing! Again I laughed at her misfortune.

We ended off the night in a little bar called Victoria where the staff were lovely and really made the effort! I wasn't into the wine skip chose, it was too sweet and I felt like I was getting brain freeze from it!

We returned to the hotel delighted with the days events and hit the sack... All in all a lovely day was had by all!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Rosslare to Cherbourg - day 1

May I just start by paying my last respects to blacky, our trusted friend who passed on while on route ...without you and your unreliable speed I will not be able to blog everyday! I couldn't be dealing with the iPhone !!! Ps; never buy a hp...pants

We set of from Dublin at 10.30am on a beautiful sunny day....rare in ireland...many friends sent goodbye texts with warnings not to take the weather with us!

Our freshly waxed jeep laden with useless crap that you can't take on a Ryanair flight (just because we could....up yours Ryanair) contained many liquid items over a hundred mills also stuffed in there....what I'll need with a peach sented foot scrub I'll never know, but it was there....just cause I could,

Anyway it got us there in a respectable two hours...panic set in when we realized we forgot the visa just outside rosslare but that passed when we suggested someone posting it out!

We made sure we had our alco meters, hi viz, little magnetic ireland sign all ready for our departure on The Oscar Wilde...a big boat! We went to check in! Got in the shortest que, a similar incident to previous blog about Queing!

It was actually really civilized, I was very surprised! The check in lady was lovely! There was none of the
Awful airport pressure! They loaded the boat in a first come first served manner which is always good and we were directed to our cabin!

The cabin was small, but clean and we had our own loo and shower, all
One needs on an overnight! We headed to the bar at the front of the ship so we could see where we were going and be on view of the horizon line so as to avoid sea sickness. Skippy was also placed in sea sickness bands and filled pockets with motillium...the excitement was building!

An elderly couple came and sat near
Us and decided to share that the exact seat he was sitting on was where he had been sick the last time! Lovely it was!

The ship left on time with a lovely message from the captain about if we here six long blasts followed by a short one.. Run for your life, or maybe it was short blasts and a long one..either way if I hear a blast I'm beating my way to the life boat! I could see the panic in skips eyes! I could almost here her thinking ... 6 blasts : what if I only hear five!

After ten minutes we realized this was boring and headed for the deck where we were blown out of it and I lost my wallet and room key to the breeze! Thankfully after running off like a crazy person and a very agile skip both items were returned to the bag with a note to self message regarding the items not been taken out again!

We retreated to the back of the boat where there was no breeze and the sun was shining, marvelous! We were taking the weather with us, sorry lads!

There I was sitting down relaxing with a beer when I saw dolphins! Dolphins I tell you! I nearly jumped out the window. Skippy thought I had some sort of early onset sea blindness but then people ran from the other end to see them and I shoved it in her face!

After that there was a barrage of questions about dolphins thrown at slip and when I was very politely told that she was not a dolphin encyclopedia I stopped! I asked another question and was informed I was like the squirrel dog from "Up"! Time for another beer!

Eventually we got hungry... I heard awful things about the food on board but because we didn't bring any with us we had no choice! I had a steak pie which was delicious and skip had chicken and chips with honey mustard sauce! I couldn't fault it! Staff again were lovely!

We returned to the front if the ship to watch Leinster beat the dragons and the sky turn a beautiful purple colour.

The day was very relaxing! We were knackered by nine! Retired to the room to watch a DVD on blackie!!! That was when I realized we would have to read! I was like the national library with the amount of books I brought, but I didn't want them so I went to duty free and bought another!

There is such a diverse array of people that are on board the Oscar Wilde, from the gentleman driving the uk registered Maserati to the family of Romanian gypsies who fleeced the perfume section and when I mentioned it to staff they were more interested in their tills!

When I returned to the room I opened the first page of the book i bought and went unconscious ... I woke at 1.58 am not knowing where I was or why my bed was vibrating when I realized I went back to sleep!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Day 8 - To Raft or Not To Raft...That Is The Question

After a long uninterrupted sleep, by uninterrupted I mean, a pack of wolves didn't try to savage me or a thousand mosquitoes didn't bite the legs off me, I woke, fairly refreshed.  I was really looking forward to getting onto a raft and floating back to civilisation.

It was the last day of the trek and I am not going to lie, I couldn't wait to get back to a soft hotel bed and sleep..I wanted to soak in a long bath and get locked drunk and put on clean socks and jocks and watch a crappy comedy on the hotels overpriced film list while sitting in a pool of left over take out boxes.

I still wasn't eating all that much, so when the guide handed me a piece of stale bread that was mouldy...and I mean mouldy...It was not far off that blue furry creature in Monsters Inc...I half expected it to talk to me, I just sighed and said I was grand.  I mean how can they serve this crap to people. I had to keep telling myself that this is my fault.  I paid to come on this "life changing experience"...well I defo got my monies worth, it was defo one of the most life changing experiences I had ever had.

I went back to my hut and packed my bag, put on my plastic shoes and walked straight to where we were supposed to be setting off.  When I got there one of the river guides was there speaking to another local in Thai..there was much pointing and throwing of leaves into the river.  I knew what was coming.

My pal ran down...."The river is too wild..we have to walk".. I didn't even look at her, I just asked "how far is the walk".."Six hours......Are you OK?" she asked.   "Grand" I said.."Not a Bother"...In my head I was just saying...OK 6 hours...I can do this..then we never have to do this again...

I felt real sorry for the German, who at every step cried a little bit more.  He was starting to slack off but I was arsed if I was going to hang out with him if his girlfriend couldn't be bothered...she was off with the English chap.  We stopped half way for some refreshments..a young Thai kid gave me a stick of vanilla...or sugar or was so sweet..It was delicious, I sucked on it for ages, giving the little kid a bracelet I had on.  It was a fair trade.  The poor German dude only got about 5 minutes rest by the time he limped to the group.  I felt so bad for him.

After an eight and a half hour trek we arrived at this mountain restaurant.  It was an actual restaurant. It even had beer.  We were delighted. No body mentioned that it was supposed to be a six hour walk and not eight and a half.  The German was in agony.  He and his girlfriend had a massive row.  There was all kinds of language used..I wasn't sure what it was they were saying but I knew it wasn't good.

The gammy little truck arrived at the restaurant and we all sang songs and counted our bites on the journey down to the city.  I counted 32 on one lies....32 and some of them looked like saucers.  The German cried occasionally on the bus back and when he wasn't crying he was staring at his leg.  I was terrified for him, it was all swollen and red.

When we pulled in at the pick up point there was a huge cheer..We all promised to stay in touch and went our separate ways, knowing that we would never stay in touch.  We walked the short journey back to the hotel all laughs and smiles.  Already we were laughing about the landslide and me walking barefoot through the mountains.  When we reached our hotel room I ran to the bathroom and ran the shower.  I didn't even undress.  I stepped straight into it and watched the filth of the mountain run from my clothes and body.

I called my pal to look at the muck and dirt in the bath tray...we were laughing again.  That night we ordered a heap of beer to the room, had mountains of food ordered...I still couldn't eat but I tried a little.  I think I ordered it because I could.  I was starting to worry about the fact that my stomach still felt closed.  We put on a film...couldn't tell you what it was now and fell asleep on a soft fluffy pillow only waking when I realised I had spilled the beer I had in my hand all over me.  I drifted off again and was out for the count.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Day 7 - Elephants and an unfortunate German

After the uninvited guests to our hut the night before I got no sleep, absolutely none. Squat. Nada. Nothing so you can imagine the form I was in the following morning.  Luckily it wasn't just me, it was everyone.  This pleased me..It wasn't just me moaning in the morning, selfish I know but in my defence I'm sure people were getting pissed off with me.

I sat back and watched the whole group falling apart.  One of the women looked like she was still in shock, she was practically rocking, one of the others kept looking around her as if waiting for the wolves to come back.

Our tour guide was not surprised by the pack of wolves in the hut, apparently this is a regular occurrence and if it happened again we were not to turn on the torches.  This could aggravate the wolves...No kidding..

I was excited with the prospect of today's trek.  This was probably down to the fact that we were travelling by elephant to the next town where I could buy some shoes.  I was packed and down by the river in no time.  I still hadn't showered, this wasn't because I was a manky bitch, it was because there were no showers.

I still wasn't eating, my stomach had literally closed up..I couldn't even eat bread.  It was like the food was getting to my throat and just sitting there.  When I tried to eat I was in agony, so I just didn't eat.  The mountain kids had taken all my chocolate and crisps on the first night but I really don't think I could have had anything.  Water was even a hassle.  I only sipped, and this was when I was totally parched.

When we were all gathered together we where given our designated elephant.  There was a little box on his back where two of us sat.  There was about six elephants in total, and a little baby elephant who tagged along.  I was very excited, my feet which now resembled something that had stood in a bee hive were getting a rest and I got to sit and have a laugh with my pal.

The journey was going to take four hours, this I soon realised is because elephants are quite slow.  And they eat everything, trees, plants anything green.  They grazed on anything.  If you stopped for more than 5 seconds or slowed up they would start munching.

About an hour into the walk we reached a really steep ledge.  I didn't know how the elephants were going to get around it.  It was way to narrow for them.  I figured that at any minute we were going to get off the elephants and we were going to walk along the narrow ledge.  But no, the elephants went onto it.  Weaving their feet around until they found ground with us dangling over the edge of the ledge looking down onto a 200ft drop.

Again my pal and I were clinging to each other.  It took a good forty minutes to clear the ledge before we were back marching through the jungle with the elephant eating his way through it.  When we reached our destination we were helped down by the locals who made rice and vegetables for the trekkers which we ate while the elephants pounded their way in and out of the water.  The sight of those massive creatures rolling around in the water was unbelievable.

As we finished our lunch the trek guide came running over to me.  'I have you shoes' he said.  In his hands were a pair of black plastic slip on shoes.  They were moulded from someone's foot and didn't bend but shoes were shoes.  I slid my foot into the shoe, it was about two sizes two big but I said thank you to the guide and did the whole grateful beyond all belief thing even throwing in a bow.

The members of the trek thought these shoes were hilarious and couldn't stop pointing and laughing, it was nice to feel like I wouldn't be the moany bitch for a while...We started the trek and chat was being passed about the following day. Everyone was looking forward to getting to the top of the mountain and to be able to build a raft and float down the river where the truck would be waiting to bring us back to civilisation.

We were all trudging uphill when the poor German dude screamed out in pain.  We all turned to find him caught in a branch by the ankle.  The trek guide came running back to us and we all gathered around to watch as the guide took a look at the ankle.  It was vile.  It had swollen immediately and was all bruised.

'We need to call mountain rescue' I said.  I had been thinking about getting them called earlier in the week for myself but thought I might be considered a little dramatic, but this definitely needed them.

'No have rescue'  said our guide, his girlfriend started shouting something in German, not sure what it was but I could see she was getting hysterical.

'We are Europeans, you cant leave him like this' said the English dude.

'That means squat didily to them down there, trust me!' I said, all ready to relay my tale of corrupt cops and mortified hotel staff.

'We must walk' said the tour guide as the German writhed around in agony with a look of fear in his eyes that  I could totally relate to.  The tour guide started lifting the German up onto his feet.. AAAAAHHHHHAHAHAHH the German screamed.

'We have to make him a splint' I said, I could feel my McGiver skills coming back into play.  I sent my pal to get two pieces of bamboo.  I took off the bandanna I had and the socks he had given me.  I strapped the bamboo to his foot and hay presto...he was still in agony.

'Look, these C*&ts don't care what happens you, I'm telling you, we need to get you up and to the camp' I said to him as I tried to get him up along with the help of the English dude.

'This is vile, I'm getting on to the embassy when I get back' Said the English dude.

'Good luck with that' I said back as we both took an arm around the back.

He was heavy.  I had been miserable for most of the trip so a little bit more misery didn't matter, but the poor German lad was in bits.  We tried to alternate his weight between us but the guide couldn't have given a pigs mickey about the pain the chap was in and didn't help at all.  I spent most of the time thinking about how I could just abandon him to walk on his own but my dam conscience wouldn't let me.  We eventually reached the village as the heavens opened.  I dumped the German on a stump and started whipping my clothes off.

'What the hell are you doing?' said my pal
'Having a shower' I said as I stood there in my bra and pants rooting around in my bag for the shampoo

The rain was pouring, it was after all monsoon season......I stood there with the women all looking at me like I was a crazy person.  But as soon as I opened the shampoo and the smell of the sweet perfume and the lathery goodness hit their noses they all started stripping off.  There we were, standing at the entrance of camp, half naked, covered in lather and delighted with ourselves.

The mountain kids all stood off in the distance protected from the rain by one of their huts staring at us.  When we finished the rain was still pouring so we headed down to the hut with our clothes in a ball under our arms to dry ourselves off.  For the first time all week I felt disinfected.  I smelt good and my skin and hair were clean.  It was at this moment that I thanked God that this was our last night in the jungle.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Day 6 - No Shoes,a crazy snake and a pack of wolves!

I woke on day six terrified of the day ahead! I was surprised I slept but really I had been suffering from shock and exhaustion from the previous days excursions so it was no wonder I had went out for the count!

The sun was shining so I decided that optimism was probably the best way to go! My feet were in ribbons, there were wounds, well if you could call gaping holes wounds, in my legs and feet, the soles were raw and I had a couple of cuts that I had obviously missed during last nights examination.

I hobbled down to the table and sat with my pal! Everyone gave me a big welcome and all were very concerned about my feet! That made me feel a little better! We were fed scrambled eggs on stale bread! My stomach wasn't the best but I managed half of it, only because I was terrified we wouldn't be fed until God knows what hour that night.

My pal had collected big leaves and one of the Germans gave me a pair of socks to make a pair of shoes! So I started stuffing the leaves into the bottom of the sock and placed them on my feet! They were very slidey!! I felt like with every step I took I was sliding around so I took them off and put the sock on then tied the leaves on with some torn bamboo! I was very McGiver like indeed. This worked a bit better!

We set off and all was fine for a couple of hours, that was until we reached another valley that we had to climb out of. There was a steep slope that was all rocks and trees! The rocks werent nice smooth ones, no, they were sharpe spiky ones that cut into your skin. The leaves had fallen off and now I was just climbing up the slope in just the socks! They were now wet and torn. With every step I could feel all the optimism that I had that morning being sucked out of me! I couldn't even cry.

After a three hour climb we stopped at the top for some more stale bread but I was feeling really sick and no amount of cajoling me would help! I think I was in shock because I couldn't even speak! When the trek guide said we were off I just stood up and started walking! I didn't even moan, what was the point.

Another hour or so later, I think I had slipped into a walking coma because I had no conception of time or distance but there was a big commotion to my left! I was marching along and out of nowhere the trek guide came up with a huge machete! He took a swung near my head, swoosh I heard, I barley looked up from my feet. But I looked up enough to see the head of a snake fall directly at my left foot.

My pal who came running up to me said 'wow, did ya see that, ya nearly walked Into the snake .... You could have died!'. I replied with "there are still three more days of this, I'm sure I be dead before the end of it" and over the snake I stepped! The way I figured it, the faster I walked the sooner this trip would be over. The day continued on pretty much like that! I would have random conversations with random people at various times but I think I was in a trance! I hadn't really eaten in two days! I wasn't drinking enough water because my stomach felt like it was closed and I was totally unclean. It was horrendous!

When we reached our next stop it was night! We could see very little but I figured it was much like the previous nights hut. We all split up in our couples, covered ourselves in muslin to keep out the Mosquitos and used our respective companions for heat!

About two or three in the morning I awoke to the sounds of snarling.... At first I thought it was the Germans having a domestic! Then I
Heard a snap and what sounded like scuffling. With that I routed around for the flashlight one of the lads had given my pal.. I turned it on, it wasn't great but just as soon as I turned it I I wished I hadn't!

A pack of wild dogs had made their way into the hut. There was about five of them! Totally oblivious of our presence and looking like they were going to tear seven shades of shite out of each other! My pal woke up and looked at where my light was shining, I
Could feel her body stiffen! "I think we may be about to die now" I whispered.

I could hear someone whimpering from across the room! The dogs were still growling at each other, I was waiting for the attack I knew it was coming, they were circling each other! One of the dogs leapt at another and all hell broke loose.. They were all over the hut, tearing lumps out of each other !!! It was the most terrifying moment of my life! One of the other women was hysterical! She was screaming and her partner was screaming at her through gritted teeth to calm down!

Myself and my pal clung to each other, I don't even think we were breathing! One of the dogs jumped on another and they both fell out of the hut! The remaining ones followed down the steps... I could hear them savaging each other outside!

Everyone knocked on their torches and the room lit up! We were still clinging to each other and you could tell everyone was shook! One of the guys was asking everyone were they all right! We eventually all settled down again into our couples and the torches were turned off! No one slept that night, myself and my pal hung onto each other tightly for the rest of the night until the sun crept in the following morning!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Day 5 - Trekking, Leeches and Landslides

I woke up on the morning of the big trek in great form..Iwas a little curious as to what we missed the induction but I figured it was possiblyjust a meet and greet with the other trek members.

I knew we were going to be away from civilisation for fivedays so I packed 5 pairs of knickers, three pairs of shorts I figured Id beable to wash some at the camp each night. Three vests and a toiletry bag.  I packed a couple of bars of chocolate andsome crisps.  I had a feeling  we wouldn’t be eating like Kings on this tripso a few goodies were a necessity and I thought that it might be nice to havesome to hand to the children living in the mountains.

My pal packed her camcorder, her camera, a couple of pairsof shorts and underwear, we were going to share the toiletry stuff so that wedidn’t have too much to carry on the trek and share the weight.  She also packed a shit load of chocolate...Ithink she may have had a problem.  Wediscussed bringing runners (sneakers) but decided what with the weather beingso nice there would be no need for them, our sandals would suffice.  Oh and we packed two disposable raincoats incase of a shower and two bottles of water.
We met at the pick up point at 9am and introduced ourselvesto the other members of the trek.  Therewas a couple of Germans, three Australians and a couple of Americans.  There was also one English dude trekking alone.  Everyone was excited and on form. 

We piled into an open backed pick up and headed in thedirection of the mountains.  About anhour and a half into the drive my ass was killing me but the mountains werebeautiful and the view was astounding. It literally was one of the most beautiful things I ever saw.  There was great banter on the bus andeveryone was joking and singing.

At about 12am we started heading up some really narrow windypaths, the truck took a turn and all of a sudden it tipped over on its side andwe all fell on top of each other. Everyone was in a little shock but no-one was hurt and we all started tolaugh.  We were about six miles from thedrop of point.   We all hopped out of thetruck scrambling over everyone and our belongings.
When we were out we all tried to pull the truck out of theditch it had landed in to no avail.  Thesweat was rolling off of all of us, it was totally humid and I was nearly outof water.  I was starting to wonder how longit would be until we passed a shop so I could get some more.  Now I wasn’t expecting a Spar or a SevenEleven or anything but maybe a local hut shop.

It was apparent that the truck was stuck and we were goingto have to walk to the rest of the way. When the trek guy, a thai lad about 20 year s old in a pair of cut offsand a wife beater said we must walk everyone started changing their gear.  They all put away the sandals and came outwith the hiking boots and sticks.
I figured they were just being over enthusiastic  and asked‘will you guys not be boiling in those boots’ the English dude said ‘we were told to bring them last night, oh youdidn’t make the induction did you’.....Bollox I thought...’what else were we tobring?’  I asked raising my eyebrowshoping he was going to say clean knickers and a few bars of chocolate....’ohjust the usual, rain gear, bug spray, toilet roll...things you would normallybring on a trek’  I throw my pal aworried luck...’We’ll be grand’ she said, ever the optimist.  Yeah I thought, we’ll be grand...and off westarted.

We headed up a hill that didn’t stop for about fourhours...It was warm but there was so much to look at...We had all broke offinto our little groups and myself and my pal were chatting away about the tripand time was flying.  I started to onlydrink when I really needed to, not knowing when I would get to the camp andrefill my water bottle.  About 5pm we hadreached the top of the hill and I felt a trickle of water fall down on me... Iwas starting to rain.

I didn’t mind so much as we were now walking down hill backinto another valley.  We took out ourdisposable raincoats and threw them over us making sure that the poncho stylerain mac covered  the camcorder and thebackpack.  It really started to pounddown and I could only see about two feet in front of me.  I started to get worried because I wasstarting to lose sight of the others. The rain was also causing me to slide out of my sandals.  I was starting to slide down the hill.

All of a sudden the mud started to slide down aroundme.  I got swept up in it and started tofly down the hill.   I was coming downand speed and had no control over the mud or the direction it was dragging mein.  When I reached the bottom of thehill I was chest deep in mud and terrified because I couldn’t move.  I had been swept up in a landslide.  I was bawling..I didn’t know where anyonewas. 

My pal ran up to me. She had got caught to and had gotten herself free.  ‘Get me out of here’ I pleaded...she waspulling and dragging me and then the trek guy came up and between the jigs andthe reals they got me out.  I was lyingin a pile in the mud when I felt it...I had no sandals on..panic set in...Istarted rooting around in the mud looking for my sandals...but I knew it, deepdown...they were gone.  I was going tohave to walk barefoot.

The rain stopped as quickly as it started and there was notime to hang would be dark soon. So off we started barefoot, my pal in her sandals and therest of the guys in their hiking boots...I had a feeling that this wasn’t goingto be as pleasant as I visions of a leisurely stroll through thehills was not going to be realised.

After about 8pm we eventually arrived at feet werebleeding and I was not as chipper as I had been 12 hours earlier.  I had finished my water hours previously andfelt like I was going to pass out...all I wanted was a shower and a bed.  My stomach was killing me and I wasn’t surewhether it was hunger or what but I knew I needed to rest...

I sat down at a wooden bench that was made from a tree trunkand had a couple of rusty nails sticking out of it but I refused tocomplain.  It was dark and someone put anoil lamp on the table.  The guys startedlooking at me strangely...’what is it?’ I asked..’there’s something on yourskin?’ Said the English dude ‘Pardon me’ I asked and with that a little Thaichild comes over and starts pointing at this little slug like insect on myarm...

I looked down, they were all over me, ‘Get them off me, Getthem off me’ I screamed...they were leaches...the little kid who had to havebeen about five years old started pulling them off me...the blood startedpouring out of me...aparantly leeches have an anticoagulant in their teeth sothe blood will just keep coming..for those of you who come in contact with aleech be sure to pour salt on it...this would cause it to fall off and stop theflow of blood, but this is not what I did..

I was sitting there, bleeding from my arms, legs, chest andneck and decided I couldn’t wait for food...I just wanted to go to bed..My palgot me some water and carried me to the hut.  Well when I say hut, it was more of like ashed with no walls and a roof.  ‘Whereare the walls?’  I ask....’We’ll be grand’she said..’I need to use the loo?’ I said....she guides me down this narrowpath to a hole in the ground with a brick either side of it.....’what’s this’ Iask ...’the toilet, I got some loo roll of the Germans for you’ she said nonchalantly...‘Thanks’ I said with a smile.....I didn’t want to appear  ungrateful...but as she walked off I mutteredsome words under my breath too vile to repeat...

I placed my two feet on the bricks, squatted and totallymissed the hole, pissing all over myself...As I pulled up my shorts the tearsstarted to roll down my face and I made my way to the hut wondering where I wasgoing to wash my hands.  I sat on thebamboo floor and just lay down using my haversack as a pillow...what a shittyday I thought as I drifted off to sleep....

Monday, 23 July 2012

Day 4 Late for a flight a a plane with 10 seats!

After the previous nights antics and late arrival home it felt like i had been asleep for about five minutes before I heard the phone ring... It was in fact 45 minutes.

I looked at my watch and realized it was 3am.... What the f@&k is going on, I thought!

'hello' - I answer
'good moning ms, this is reception, your car to airport is ready'
'excuse me'
'you transfer to airport is here'
'but that's not till 4 this afternoon'
'no ms, I sorry, it 4am'
'ok I'll be down soon' I tut at the phone and slam it down before I had a chance to start winging about it!

I jump up and start shoving all our crap into the bags muttering Jesus and Shite a lot!! We throw ourselves through the doors of the lift willing them to move faster, my pal knows better than to even talk to me right now, shes staring at the buttons on the wall and willing each little light to bing a little quicker...down to the lobby and we look like two crazy drunks as we run to the car, throwing the express checkout form at the woman!

When we get Into the car myself and my pal argue about who didn't check the times and we were oblivious to the passing Tuk Tuks and people that had so interested us on our earlier journey into Bangkok! I seriously couldn't be leaving the place quick enough but thought it might be on my terms...

We arrive at the airport and run to check in! Force our way through security and beat our way to the gate! All the while looking like two scruffy half dressed lunatics out for a day trip!

When we get to the gate we run out he doors straight onto the tarmac, the heat and smell hits me in the face! I stand there looking out at what appeared to be our plane but it couldn't have been, it was tiny and had a propeller and looked like it had been in use since the time of the wright brothers! It was like a VW bus with two headboards attached to the sides! I knew I could see duct tape hanging out of something....but I wasn't sure what!!

Awe bollox, I thought we were going to be on a real plane! We are defo going to die on this yolk...I knew things were bad when they seated us according to weight! There were fearful glances being passed between everyone and I quickly asked my pal 'how long Is this flight' - 'only a couple of hours' she said! Ever the optimist....

When we were about to take off everyone had their eyes glued to window trying to see if there was someone starting the propeller by hand and as it bounced its way up the runway people started to hold hands and I'm convinced I heard someone praying in the seat in front Of me....But up we climbed and we were soon soaring through the clouds!

About ten seconds into the flight we were all nauseous! The bumping began and the plane was all over the place, going side to side, up and down and left to right!! It was bad ..... It continued for the entire flight, without food or drink service and then landed with another bump causing half the passengers to cry with relief and the other half to vomit on each other..... I was one of the criers!

When we got off the plane and collected our bags we were taken by another town car to our hotel! It was fabulous... It was all gold and shiny.... It was like a budda palace! We dumped the bags and went out to get some lunch! Chaing Mai was much smaller than Bangkok, the people were nice and there were some really cute little stores! The night life (or day) was similar but not as in your face! We spent the afternoon wandering around and went back to the hotel to have a quick sleep and shower before our induction meeting that was arranged for 9pm that evening in preparation for our trek!!

We hopped into bed about 5 pm hoping to awake at 8.30 pm to meet the trek guide and discuss the trip! You can imagine our surprise when we woke and found it was 2.30am....... F@&k we did it again.... But seriously, how important is an induction I asked!!! It can't be too important can it????

Friday, 20 July 2012

Day 3 - Hookers and Ping Pong

I woke up on day 3 in a strop! I was annoyed with myself for bringing shame upon our hotel! I was annoyed with my pal for assuming I would serve time for her, which might I add I would have done... But she could of at least stood up for me!

I stood firm and refused to leave the hotel. Thankfully there was a rooftop pool which served very expensive cocktails! Very expensive! When you can buy a pair of sandals for €3, and not just a crappy pair of flip flops, Birkenstocks no less, one would be very surprised when they give you the bill and you could shoe a whole family for the price of a couple of cocktails!

We lounged about at the pool surrounded by some fantastic looking people! I'm convinced most of the women were wearing makeup, and not just any makeup, it was like they were all ready to see the phantom of the opera .... But semi naked! The guys were all toned and tanned and were also semi naked!

You can always manage to spot the Irish when your abroad, they are the ones that are pasty white wearing GAA shorts and sport a fabulous looking farmers tan from the elbow down...and that's the women!! Only kidding, but seriously, there we were sitting in the sun at a fabulous pool and out struts a couple of our countrymen! They were as obvious as fire is hot!

When an Irish person is abroad they tend to become overly patriotic, we have a tendency to sing really loudly to Irish songs and always find U2 on the duke box and always seek out your own! These Irish were no different!

The couple we met were great fun, the girl was doing Thailand with her boyfriend before he embarked on a year long trip around Australia, the guy was meeting up with all his friends in Bangkok that evening to start their journey!

They invited us along to the club they were meeting the group at! I was delighted, there is nothing better than safety in numbers! And I didn't mind being in a dive if there are others to play with, so at 7pm all dressed up we headed off in a Tuk Tuk to brave Bangkok!

We arrived at a bar that was bustling with excitement! When I walked into it i might have thought I was in any bar in any metropolitan city. I heaved a sigh of relief.....that was until I saw what can only be described as a life sized fish bowl!

There were two women half naked prancing about each other knee deep in water and a mini waterfall effect falling around them... One would grab the others nipple once in a while or maybe maul her ass...perfectly normal that is until After about 10 minutes I realized the water had risen to there chests and there wasn't as much mauling as there was sway dancing.

Five minutes it was up to their chins and the girls were more jumping and flapping about.... I started to pay more attention to them as I was genuinely in fear for their safety!! Their hair was all over the place, their clothes were totally transparent and they were jumping up and grabbing in a breath before sliding themselves up and down the tank with their boobs!

I looked around and observed that very few people looked very bothered by this! Actually some were laughing and cheering!

After another minute they were totally submerged and were literally threading water! There was a brief look of panic until all of a sudden someone must have pulled the stopper because there was a gush and all the water was out in a matter of seconds and the two girls fell landing in a pile on top of each other!

There was a scream of laughter and out those to got and in came another two! Merciful hour I thought to myself! And I thought I had a shite job!

I didn't pay as much attention to the next two but gave them the odd glance every so often just to check they weren't floating at the top or anything and all of a sudden music started to boom out of the speakers....

A woman walks out onto the stage area and there is uproar!!! Everyone is clapping and cheering and the excitement is infectious! The woman is wearing a bra and pants and starts blowing up balloons. If you can picture a woman trying to blow up a balloon and try to be seductive imagine that because I certainly can't describe it. Not without making her sound like a total hooker, and I don't want to be a bitch.

So she starts handing out the balloons and all the boys and girls are cheering and I'm dying to know whats going on! So she slides of her pants and does a bit of a wiggle! Then shows the crowd a whole load of these little metal balls, like pellets!

'awe' I think... 'she's going to throw them at the balloons' but no, she is not... She proceeds to insert all the pellets into her lady garden ... Then squats.... Takes aim... And starts firing! She's like something out of a world war one sniper movie!! BANG ..... BANG ... She pops them balloons like the lid of a Pringles box! Every single one, the crowd goes wild and I find myself up cheering.... That's some talent!

But does she stop she does not! She starts pulling darning needles out of her VAJAJA . One two three four...... She just keeps on going till she reaches fifteen! I'm starting to think that her minge is like Hermione's magic bag in Harry Potter, stuff just keeps coming out of it!

But the peace the resistance was after she popped several ping pong balls and a couple of colored scarves out of her vagina she grabs a beer bottle and pops the lid off.......with her flaps..... No I hear you say, but I swear as god is my witness she opened a bottle with her flaps!

Needless to say we decided to buy her a beer for her troubles and chat about her training! After a couple of beers we decided to try rescue her! We bought her for €20 for the night and brought her out for Dinner and some drinks! We were in the process of explaining that we were going to rescue her and she seemed up for it until we went to the toilet and in our return she had run off !! We returned to the bar to find her back up on stage blowing flames from her vagina!! We just shook our heads and said...,,what a woman!

That night we fell into bed reeking of bonfire and beer! It was the a fun but eyeopening night !!!!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Day 2, Nearly Arrested! Bangkok Hilton

After a long rest and recovery beer we decide to hit the streets on Bangkok. As we walk through the huge marble lobby of the Hotel my pal decides to have a smoke! She smoked a very popular brand of american cigs, let's call them larlborough mights!

We stand outside in the sticky air and take in the sights as my pal takes in a long draw on her smoke! I didn't smoke but eventually took it up and am now a recovering smokaholic!

Anyway, she didn't like walking and smoking so after she finished she put her pack of smokes in her fanny pack or bun bag as we call them and off we went to tackle the streets of Bangkok!

The second we hit the pavement we were bombarded with offers from street venders offering Birks at $3 and 5 bandanas for $2! It was great, we sauntered along for about 20 minutes not a bother, buying nick nacks, shoes, and fake designer t-shirts, stuff like that.

The Thai traders were lovely, friendly people with smiles for everyone!

Now we, being two Irish muppets were flashing the cash all over the place, we were a little naive about the whole Experience, that is until we were approached by a policeman!

We were standing next to a street trader, my pal was buying bandannas! There was banter going on between us as my friend was choosing her Colours!

I spotted a police officer saunter over to us! The vender got nervous and took the money quickly! Banter stopped!
The cop hands me a little piece of card, it was laminated and had the following on it!

FINE $2000

No smoking for tourist on Bangkok

Then a whole load of Thai writing, I assume legislation cause there was lots of 1.3 3.6(3) stuff like that!

Needless to say I was confused! I was looking at the page like it was going to start taking to me when my pal turned and said "what's going on" this is the conversation as it happened-

Me- I don't understand we didn't litter

Cop- (in a very authoritarian voice, after all we are just two young women) litter.... Fine dollar 2000

Pal- sorry, I thought you said fine $2000 / she's laughing

Cop- You litter, American, dollar $2000

Me- you've got to be kidding, what did we litter, the place is manky, show me what we added to this....( I'm pointing at the crap all over the streets, Bangkok was not the cleanest city I've been to)

Cop- you litter - he is now waving his little sheet of paper around wildly and shouting at us!

Me- ok show me (I'm getting nervous as he's going kamanshi and I've a feeling he loosing patience! My pal is now white and has turned mute.

Cop- you smoke, you throw away! Smoke! Throw! Still waving wildly and drawing more attention to us! I look around for some help, everyone's ignoring us! Typical!

Me- listen mr policeman show me the smoke I threw away and I will pay your fee! (I'm loosing patience and know this has to be a corrupt mother f@&ker.

Cop- here! Here (he is tearing at my pals bunbag, opening it and grabbing her smokes! (he thinks he's triumphant)

Me- listen here you shady prick, she hasnt smoked since the hotel, I don't even smoke, I'm not putting up with this shite! I want a translator. (I'm irate now, my pal is still mute, I drag her back toward the hotel, thankfully it's not far as we were stoping at all the stalls)

Cop- 2000 batt! Ok ok 2000 batt! He picks up a random butt of the ground, and waves it at us!

Me- give me that (I look. It's some Thai brand) that's not even her brand! I'm walking off now not even entertaining this cabbage!

Cop- 500batt ( he's bending down and picking up every butt he sees)

Me- NO, you twisted prick! (I'm now in a power walk dragging my pal) The Cop is now blowing a whistle!

Cop- here here I find you smoke ( he's waving a filthy butt of a narlborough might ) 200batt only 200 batt. We are all in a jog now and I'm terrified! I see the hotel and take off in a sprint!

We run through the lobby with police in tow! I'm sweating like a dyslexic on countdown! All I can think about is Bangkok Hilton! And me not even a smoker, I know my pal wouldn't last five minutes so I'm going to have to go down for her!

As we pound our way to the desk the anger gets the better of me! And I start screaming for a translator. One of the staff immediately ushers us all out of sight into a board room! I'm so out of breath but start to shout that I want translator and someone from the embassy!

The manager arrived !

The cop and the manager get into some talks in Thai... The room goes silent! Then the manager asks me why I bring all these police into hotel!

I explain the story, how we didn't smoke out on the street, how he said we owe him $2000 then kept reducing it! How he had to search the streets for the butt which wasn't ours! She looked at the cop, he went bright red and looked at all the other cops who now started filtering out of the room.

I had obviously been watching to much csi as I requested that the filthy ancient butt be tested against our DNA.. She informed me that unlike our country in Thailand one is guilty until proven innocent and one would have to stay in prison until DNA was tested with could be months!

I asked to speak to someone from
The Irish embassy. I was informed that the Irish do not have an embassy but the UK represent us! I'd rather be put in prison. Not very PC but let's face it could be there for ever waiting for another country to rescue me!..

That was it, I thought it was all over, I thought, right, I'm going to prison! No point in whining about it! So I just had one thing to say.....,

"right well this is an appalling way to treat a visitor, a cop telling someone who doesn't even smoke that they have littered! Then demanding $2000 dollars for a fine, then 500 batt down to 20 batt, that's like €20.00 how can this be right, I wasnt aware that fines were negotiable, I feel sorry for the fools that pay $2000 out of fear. I won't be recommending Bangkok as a travel destination to anyone.

The cop was really red, the manager was mortified and my pal was still impersonating a mute!

The cop and manager got into a debate in Thai for a couple of minutes while I gave out to my mute friend for being a smoker!

The manager then turned to me and told me that if I paid the fine of 200 batt the whole thing would be over!

I said No! I'm not giving in to that prick! The cop wouldn't even look at me! I said I'm not admitting to committing an offense I didn't even do!

There was more talk between them! The manager turned and said she would pay it on my behalf!

I went mad! I started calling the cop corrupt and shouted that he should be ashamed of himself! He still wasn't making eye contact!

The manager relayed this to him in Thai! He spoke to the manager who told us that some sort of a fine would have to be paid as his supervisor had been informed of the situation!

So I said "I have to pay a fine so you don't get in trouble for trying to extort money out of tourists"!

The manager was really frustrated! She said its either pay 200 batt or of to a cell! My pal started to cry! The cop was practically looking at the floor! You could cut the air with a knife!

"what if I take the fine in my name and you give me the 200 batt" said the manager, my pal was now bawling!

I reluctantly said yes! The money was handed over, a receipt obtained in the name of the manager and the cop scurried away, the manager informed us that in her history of managing the hotel no person had ever brought police to the hotel! I was mortified! We left the room, heads hanging in shame and went directly to our room!

When I walked into the room my pal piped up "Jesus that was a bit unnerving wasn't it" .....

I fell onto the bed and burst into tears swearing I would never step outside the door of the hotel again! I lay there crying for about 10 minutes before I asked my pal for a smoke and a beer to calm my nerves!

What a crappy day!

Thailand...... Leeches, landslides and hooker bars!

Hello there peeps, it's been a while and yes I've missed you!

As I sit here scratching my ass I thought to myself, I must update my blog. But I don't really have that much cabbagey crap to write about its true yes I've since had a dodgy injury and yes I make a show of myself on a daily basis but is there really anything worth writing about, I think not...

And then There i am watching an add about some disastrous drug smuggler in Thailand on the History Channel (I'm watching American Pickers, and yes I'm a total geek) and the mother load floods my mind!

The most horrific holiday ever experienced in the history of holidays! It was nothing short of Horrendous!

I'll paint you a picture....

Myself and a friend enter Trailfinders..we sit in a que and wait our turn. We are surrounded by beautiful shiny and brightly colored brochures with sandy beaches and blue seas! We are called to the desk and a guy (let's call him Philip) introduces himself to us and asks us what kind of a holiday we are looking for. We are looking for An adventure we tell Philip, but must have sun and sea! Thailand is for you guys he says, of course it is, he's on commission!

He starts tapping away on his computer and gives us dates for flights, brilliant, "would you like limo transfers to and from hotels", of course we would...

How about a five day trek in the Chiang Mai Mountains, you get to eat and live with the locals" it's brilliant, I did it myself, it's a must" Sure we tell him, a couple more clicks and that's booked! He looks at us, your moderately fit arnt you? What, I ask, as the stentch of fear is reeking through my skin. My pal the athlete pipes up, of course we are! I know he is looking at me in doubt! Well you guys can recuperate afterwards with a trip to the Islands, white sandy beaches and ocean side cocktails in your own luxury beach hut! Now that's more like it I thought.

A few weeks later and we arrive at Dublin airport, rucksacks on back and most of our family's waving frantically as we go through security! I'm mortified for them, my mom is crying, it's taking ages and it's getting awkward waving back at them every five minutes. After about an hour I wave one last time and breath a sigh of relief, we are finally on our way!

After a four hour stop over in Vienna and a fifteen hour flight we finally arrive in Bangkok! The first thing that hits you is the smell, it's strong, it's fragrant but for an Irish person who grew up on stew and coddle it can seem a little too fragrant, especially when your not sure what it is your smelling! It's also humid! Very humid!

Its monsoon season in Thailand, but its not raining yet thank god, or budda or whoever, I'm about to embarke on the trip of a lifetime! I'm young and reering to go..

We come through customs and see our names on a big cardboard sign and scream in delight! The limo! It's more of a town car but we don't complain as we pass by family's on bicycles and mopeds! Literally family's!

There they were the dads on the seat with a mother on the back holding a newborn while sidesaddle and the a young child on the handlebars while an even younger one is balancing on the frame in between the father and the kid on the handlebars! They are wizzing through traffic like they are in a tank, not even a helmut! The kid on the front had a plastic bowl on his head with a shoelace holding it in place, must be the favorite I thought to myself!

The smells are so strong of spices and herbs and street traders! The sight of big fancy hotels towering over squalid huts and shacks makes one feel guilty to be staying in such lavish surroundings when the locals obviously have so little, but they seem like such humble and happy people as we wave like fools! Obviously thinking, f@&king muppet tourists! Or whatever their version is!

We pull up to our hotel and I feel we obviously should not be here, it's way to posh! It's magnificent, like a temple except with a bar!

The porter takes our rucksacks and tells us that Thai royalty stay here and it often has celebrity clients housed here when filming in Bangkok! I totally feel we are in the wrong place! But off to the room I trot delighted with myself! Boy what a room, it's a cracker!

After a bit of R&R we decide to hit the town, out we go into the street and immediately feel lost! With bun bag containing money, maps and cameras we cautiously walk past venders trying to sell you crickets on a stick, pigs ears, beetles and legs of some poor foul in a sweet sauce, and when I say leg, I mean foot! Claws and all!

We decide to get a taxi. No taxi to be found! So into a Tuk Tuk we climb! It's looks fun! Where you go? A very young small Thai guy asks. Pub or night club we reply in sync! He revs the engine and zooms off at speed down the road, weaving in and out of traffic like a pinball!

Excitement soon turns to fear as he meets a pal of his and decides to take off in the direction of a dual carriage way for a race! The competing Tuk Tuk had three lads on board and while I was screaming at the driver looking for seatbelts they were screaming at theirs to go faster!

The two drivers took off at speed on the straight and I tried to wedge myself between the rim of the Tuk Tuk and the rear! The driver relished every scream I made and when saw tears streaming down my face slowed for a fraction of a second before pulling a wheelie causing the rear of the Tuk Tuk to hit off the ground creating sparks that would put a fireworks display to shame!

They eventually tired and pulled off the bridge down some street and into a lane, skidding to a halt!

I throw myself out of this contraption and swear never to get in one again! He shouts at us "good club, good club"! I reply, where?

"in here, in here" he is guiding us into a little door that looks like someones home! An elderly Thai lady is sitting on a chair sewing something, a man comes over and hands us two beers and demands 200 batt! There are three Thai males in a corner smoking and playing cards, this is not a club!

I look at my pal and say "we are getting the f!@k out of here" she's all smiles," come on its exciting" "it won't be exciting when I'm trying to translate Rape Crisis Centre" I tell her!

We hand over the money as good Irish girls do and are guided into a room that is very dark and has mirrors on every wall, it's small and the only chairs are on one wall! They are not really chairs, it's more of like a bench, it's got a higher bench behind it and there are about 15-20 Thai ladies sitting on them like they are on display! We are the only two people in here!

The ladies glance up and continue to talk amongst themselves! I'm thinking, what the hell kind of place is this! The man comes back to us and asks "which wan you want?", pardon me I reply "you pick" he says. I'm sorry I say, I no pick, I leave! I get up to leave dragging my pal with me! "no no, real nice ladies" he is trying to guide us back "only 200batt" he says, that's great I say, it's the same as a beer, I was appalled! He was trying to sell me a woman for the same as a beer!

The Tuk Tuk guy was waiting for us! Bollox I thought! I climbed back in! Back to hotel! I said!! "no no, nice bar, nice nice English Bar", I didn't even bother to tell him we were irish!

More sparks and some clean underware later we are back at the hotel bar and spent the night on stage with a Thai Diana Ross impersonator signing karaoke songs till the early hours!

Day one was over in Bangkok only four more to go, maybe five days is too many in Bangkok I think as I fall into bed exhausted and reeking of take away!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The L Word

Thanks to Tara Mc I am going to inflict you all with a little story about a group of LA Lesbians who appear to have it all, this is The L Word!
I remember the day I first found out about the L Word, it was or may  have been 2003.  My good pal Conway had rallied the local lesbo's to my house to watch this totally revolutionary gay TV show.  So there we all are about ten of us, sitting wedged on one couch (it was big) ready to watch the lesbo show of the century, when in walked my sister "we watching?" she asked.  "The new gay show that Conway got in the States" I reply, now as open as my sister is to my sexuality her reply was "You cant force me to watch a gang of lesbians all over each other on telly"  I ignored her and watched her sit on the arm of the chair.

Three hours later she is sitting wedged in between two of my pals with her hand in a bowl of popcorn.  The following day I return home from work to find her in her PJ's in bed with two of her friends with pizza and a two ltr of Coke and her reply was "Jesus Joy, this is deadly, that Jenny is a Tramp" and they all continued munching away, engrosed in it.

That is the Joy of the L Word, as soon as you put aside the fact that they are all lesbo's the sooner you realise what a clever show it really is

I loved this show when it first began. the issues it addressed were some we can all relate too.  I have been cheated on, I know first hand the struggle with being in a relationship and wanting a child, we have all been affected somehow by the dreaded Cancer.  When I say we I don't just mean lesbians, I mean everyone. 

Ok, its far fetched to think that there are that many hot looking woman in one place all batting for my team but who cares, they get naked every five minutes and lets face it who wants to look at unattractive people getting naked on screen. 

My favourite season was season there where Alice goes crazy obsessing about Dana, I particularly like the scene where she follows her in the car which is side breakingly funny.  I just love Alice, I don't however love her off screen band UH UH HER or whatever.  I endured a couple of hours of this band in Whelans and let me tell you I was BORRREEEEDDD!!!!!

I hated and I mean hated Jenny.  From her first whiny entrance to her untimely death in 2009, I coundn't stand her.  Ok the issues of her self harming, child abuse etc, were an interesting storyline but with her everything was over drama....she was a total pain in the ass.  

All in all I miss the L Word and have to admit I still watch it when its on late night Living but for those of you who didn't watch it because it was a Lesbian thing, it may have had lots of Lesbians in it but almost everyone can relate to the story lines and it was pretty funny.  

Tuesday, 31 January 2012


This blog is a request from Anthony Rafferty, who requested I blog about Netflix.  When this initial request came in I was like, what the sweet mother of devine Jesus is Netflix.  I had heard something about it on the news on the 9th of January 2012 and paid little attention to it as I was hitting "LIKE" a number of times to a cartoon I found much more interesting at the time.

This to be precise!!

Not being one to write about something I know nothing about, I decided to do a little research.  I could tell you that  Netflix was started in 1997 in California by two guys who were too lazy to get up of their asses to return their rentals and got charged late fees from their video store, this I can relate to as I too hate getting up of my lazy ass to return a dvd and have been known to tut loudly and embarressingly when asked to pay said amount on trying to rent another.

Anyway a few years on and they now doing live streaming for €6.99 a month to watch any number of excellent films and TV shows,on the downside I couldn't find Greys Anatomy but really its not a big deal as I have them on boxset.

I logged on to Netflix and it took me two minutes to register, so long as I had a credit card to use...then it asked me to download silverlight which took me another minute, then it asked me to select various genres and rate selected movies (which I actually enjoyed), another two minutes later it gave me a selection of films and TV shows it recommended for me based on the ratings I gave other movies.

The first movie choice it gave me was a film called Escape From Huang Shi, this film is one of those "true stories"  and stared our own Jonathon Rhys Meyers who plays a Journalist who tries to rescue 60 orphanaged boys in the 1930's during Japans Occupation of China.   I had never even heard of this movie before, so I sat down for the long hall to endure the true Netflix experience.  I expected to endue pauses and sound problems and the usual streaming issues.  

After 152 minutes I have not got one flaw, I thought the movie was brilliant and heartbreaking at the same time.  It is definitely worth a watch and Netflix is definitely worth the €6.99 a month.  

After I decided to Blog about Netflix my good friend Tara informed me she had just download it and watched the Blair Witch Project.  She also said it was shite, her words not mine, and not Netflix, The Blair Witch, she too had an enjoyable (bar the crappy movie choice) Netflix experience.

All in all I would like to say a huge thank you to Anthony Rafferty who asked me to blog about Netflix and has opened up a whole new experience for me.  As some of you might know I am not a fan of downloading movies/music I like it the old fashioned way but boy am I a total cabbage because this is marvellous, it doesn't fill up your hard-drive and you can watch any number of movies over and over again.

I cannot say enough good things about Netflix, it is just too too cool!  Happy Netflixing!