Day 15. Tues 5/24
Ban’s diving trip, shopping, Barracuda
We got to dive today! With rough waters and a cloudy sky – but still! Ban’s Resort offers a discount to guests who also scuba dive with them, so even though there was less than perfect weather it was a no-brainer. I was a little concerned because Kaija and I have both developed a nasty cough over the last two days, but everything ended up working out great.
Our guides for the morning were Hailey and Tara. Hailey was Canadian (so many people from Toronto over here!) and Tara was from western Australia. Both came to Koh Tao on a bit of a whim and loved it so much that they chose to stay, using their jobs as diving instructors to pay rent and buy meals. Hailey mentioned that the AC filters here aren’t always clean and that she actually got walking pneumonia from breathing the (un)filtered AC too much, which made Kaija and I nervous about this mysterious cough we had both contracted. We stopped by a pharmacy later for cough drops and anything else we thought might help us get back to feeling 100%.
Our diving sites were a little limited because we had such strong winds in the morning, but it made for a good learning experience. The water was extremely warm and the ocean animals and coral were completely different varieties than we had seen before. Each dive was about 40 minutes and although there was pretty low visibility (no more than 5m) we spotted plenty of grouper, butterfly, angel, bat, and even trigger fish. We also learned a new memory trick for our BWRAF buddy check before the dive – Bangkok Women Really Are Fellas – and I don’t think I’ll ever forget that acronym again.
I enjoyed the second dive best; it was in shallower water and the visibility was slightly better. We moved extremely slow around the dive sites, but I was more used to it during the second dive and used the extra time to look around for new ocean life.
After diving we got our Taco Tuesday on at a restaurant Tara recommended called El Toro. It was delicious and we celebrated Taco Tuesday with a feast of fajitas, wrap-arounds (burritos), tacos and of course pizza (Josh) after our hard work diving in the morning. We went back to shower a then nap by the pool but some of us didn’t even make it to the pool by the time we passed out.
We made out way down to the restaurant and shopping area around late afternoon and took a recommendation from a charming Aussie about the best seafood in town at Barracuda. We had to wind down a long narrow alley with littered with insects and toads (something we haven’t seen before today!) but the meal was the best we’ve had yet. There was a plethora of fresh seafood options and the drink menu had an Asian spin too. We tried (strong) lychee and passionfruit mojitos and Sassy ordered the “special mojito” that had noodles and some other unidentifiable ingredients, but was still good. We dipped on the drinks and played a solid round of Honesty Hour while we waited for the rest of our food.
We tried ribs and pan-seared and baked barracuda. All were delicious and what would have probably been a $30 meal at home cost close to $10 👌 Things I’ll miss after this trip.
Kaija and I headed home after dinner while the boys opted to check out a local brewery next door. On the way back we stopped for gelato to soothe our still-coarse throats. We sampled pretty much every flavor and decided we each needed two scoops. We took a picture and not more than ten steps later Kaija’s top scoop toppled to the ground. I guess you gotta take the highs with the lows.
- Half an English breakfast with fresh OJ as we hustled to our scuba lesson – egg on toast with bacon, sausage and beans
- Beef fajitas and an apple shake
- Lightly fried calamari with garlic aioli and pepper
- Baked barracuda wrapped in ham and stuffed with feta and tomato, topped with homemade pesto
- A very strong and sour lychee mojito