After a long day in the car the day before, I was ready for some relaxing. Fortunately the beach was only 5 minutes away and I had no plans. I awoke early and walked all the way to the north end of the beach, which took about 45 minutes. The north end is beyond the city and there is a huge resort there, so the beach is less crowded and a little bit cleaner. I clambered along the rocks at the end until I found a nice big flat one and I went through a sun salutation yoga routine as the sun rose over the hills. I relaxed, read my book, munched some fresh fruit and wrote in my diary til the sun was up and the day was broiling. Walking back to my end of the beach, I stopped for a swim before returning just in time for lunch with my dormitory roommates (for those who had just woken up, it was their breakfast!).
Guesthouse life is very interesting and it was first time for me to be a backpacker so I really enjoyed the experience. Every day, a few of your roommates leave, to sad but quick goodbyes. Mostly you meet only briefly, spend a few meals or days together, and then move along. Short friendships, but wonderfully interesting none the less. On the other side of this equation are the hellos. Every day you meet new arrivals, you greet them as they arrive, and having been there at least a day longer than them, you feel like you are an expert and that it is “your” place. After dropping their bags, “newbies” will often come down and ask “What is there to do here?” Despite the fact that you might have only just arrived the day before yourself, you automatically tell them what you learned, in much the same way, a few days prior, adding in your own ideas and experiences in the area. In my case I automatically invited them to Sunset Yoga, which was something I had organized the previous 2 nights and was really enjoying. So every day my sunset yoga group changed, and on this particular day we were almost 20 people, trekking through town to the beach for the big event around 6:30.
Usually we split into 3 groups- the yoga enthusiasts, the joggers and the beer drinkers. The beer drinkers were key to holding down the fort, guaranteeing that our bags and water bottles and wallets had a safe place to wait while we stretched or jogged or did yoga. After exercise was finished, the disparate groups would usually join for a swim. This day someone had brought a beach ball and we played a form of catch/water polo while swimming. As we had the previous 2 nights, we found our dinner along the road in the form of night market vendors. Phad Thai again!