Day 50, Year 5: Day Trip to Phuket Town
Date: Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Weather: Weren’t Here So Don’t Know-But Quite HOT
Location: Ao Chalong, Phuket, Thailand

Is it true that there are only nine more shopping days until Christmas? I have set Christmas as my deadline for having all shopping done for upcoming crossing of the Indian Ocean, except for fresh food that will be bought at the last minute, so the pressure is on. Our friend Cory from Increscent Moon came and towed us to shore at 8:30 so we wouldn’t have to have our motor with us when the dinghy shop came to take the dinghy for repairs. On time at 9 am, the guys from the dinghy shop came in a truck and loaded our dinghy in the back. We then went to get the rental car and drove to the jetty to pick up Tina and Robert. They had hoped to check in this morning, but the office is not really open at 9 am as stated on the door. They decided to wait until tomorrow to do the official business, so off we went in the almost new Toyota. It is the first rental car we have ever had in this part of the world that was actually new and insured. And this is a good thing.

Our first stop was the huge Rolly Tasker sail loft to buy bits and pieces, and then it was on to Phuket Town to E-motion Travel where we applied for our Indian visa. It is just now sinking in that we are actually going to visit India. We will probably travel only in southern India, but once we get there, who actually knows what we will do. I’ve given up on making predictions! We will get our visa and our passports back on December 30 and will then be free to leave Thailand when the weather permits.

Next stop was Super Cheap. This is like an enormous combination of Sam’s Club and Super Walmart with no air conditioning and hundreds of people looking for bargains. It is truly overwhelming and HOT but we spent an hour and a half there filling our carts. By this time it was after 1 pm and well after lunch time for us, so we went straight to the food court at the Boat Lagoon. It was quite nostalgic to return there. We lived there for two months and we really became attached. We had a fantastic lunch, went to East Marine to see our friend Larry Mims who works there, and then continued our door to door shopping in the hard dock shops for bits and pieces that we needed. We saw Judy and Dave of Freebird, but no other yachties that we know. So on we went to the Yamaha shop back on the main road to get oil and spark plugs for our dinghy motor, and then to Central, the huge shopping mall in Phuket. I wanted to go to the bookstore there to see if they had any Lonely Planets for the parts of the world we have now decided to traverse. They had India and South Africa, but not Mauritius and Reunion or Madagascar. We’re either going to have to hope they have these in India or order them and have them sent there. By this time, we were running out of steam and time. We needed to be back in Ao Chalong by 5 pm to pick up our dinghy, but we made one last stop at Farang Foods. This is a food distributor for restaurants, but they have some great and interesting buys for cruisers. We will probably go back there one more time before leaving Thailand, but we did make a couple of purchases this afternoon.

Traffic was terrible on the way back to Ao Chalong, but we will made it by 5:05 pm, paid for the dinghy work, and then they promised to have the dinghy down at the dock by 5:30. Without an engine, it would have been quite a row back out to Windbird, so Robert towed Mark out to get the engine while Tina and I relaxed on shore with a beer. It was dusk by the time Mark and Robert returned, but we had another beer for good measure, and then hauled our bags of goodies from the rental car to the jetty. We decided to pay the 10 Baht each for the trolley as it is almost a quarter of mile out to the dinghy dock. There are many things we didn’t get done today, but I think we all felt good about what we did accomplish.

Tomorrow Mark and I will go in early to get fuel for the rental car and return it, and then we will head to an internet café. While we are doing this, Robert and Tina hope to finally officially check in to Thailand. Then tomorrow evening at 7 pm, our friend Larry from East Marine will meet us on the jetty. We will get to meet Peg, the love of his life, while having dinner together. Peg was actually a personal secretary to Jacqueline Kennedy and is a bit older than us or Larry, but I have heard from many people that she is quite the woman. So we look forward to meeting her and having dinner with good friends.