Sunday, February 3
Phuket part 1
We arrived in Phuket at lunchtime and found Antonio waiting for us at the airport. He loaded us and the rucksacks into a taxi and whisked us off to Patong. I had my doubts about Patong, thinking that it would be a tourist mecca filled with high rise hotels and crowded beaches, it was very touristy but it wasn't quite how I imagined.
As soon as we dumped our bags in the room that Antonio had found for us, he and Carlo headed out to hire a scooter. Skye and I changed into our bikinis and put together a beach bag, then went to met the boys outside. We drove through the busy town and out along a hilly coast road that took us to Antonios favourite beach.
It was then that my Alice in Wonderland moment began...
Antonio led us down a steep pathway, cutting through jungly undergrowth until we came out into a small sandy bay. Fine yellow sand overflowed into our flip flops and the clear sea beckoned invitingly, promising to wash away the grime of Bangkok. We walked across the sand towards a small shanty beach bar and Antonio pointed at a table, 'look who's over there,' he said. I walked a bit closer and saw three guys from Positano sitting playing cards. They looked up, 'Ciao Nicki,' they said as if it was completely normal to bump into your local villagers on a a beach half way around the world.
I walked down to the shore to test the temperature of the water with my toes and heard from behind me, 'Hey! Carlo! Nicki!' I turned to find another two Positanese lying on a couple of sun loungers. How bizarre, I thought, and looked up into the bay only to see a yacht that is normally anchored at Positano all summer, bobbing calmly in the bay in front of me.
I decided to have a swim to clear my mind and sank blissfully into the cool water. But when I surfaced I found myself face to face with a couple of girls from Positano.
" Ciao! Have you just arrived?"
"We got here yesterday!"
The afternoon became curiouser and curiouser as we made our way back to our room. While driving back to our base we were overtaken by a couple of bike wielding Positanese and then practically forced off the road by a car with blacked out windows. But when the doors opened I saw that the car contained a family with whose children Skye goes to school with. They took her in the car with them back to their rented apartment and we followed on the bike, where we discovered that the apartment next to theirs also contained Posipeople.
Back at our hotel we discovered that we weren't the only Amalfi coast residents staying there,we bumped into two more in the bar, and even later while eating dinner with all the guys we had met on the beach we spotted another known face at a table nearby.
The town was full of people from Positano! How strange, I thought that they all go to the same place. Isn't going on vacation all about exploring new places and meeting new people? Maybe they feel safer in large numbers? Or maybe its just one of those Italian quirks that I still discover every now and then, maybe all Italian towns have vacations en masse...
at 4:46 AM