Sunday, 29 April 2007
Always Label Your Photos!
Anyone know where this big old rock is?
Yes, it's a nice one of a big rock somewhere, but I forgot to label where it was. Maybe it's off the east coast of Koh Samet, my favourite jewel of an island only a few hours by bus from Bangkok.
Or was it?
What I do remember is that we were walking round the base of the rock when black clouds rolled in and a torrential thunderstorm hit us. The dry, hot ground gave off a pungent, earthy aroma as the rock changed colour from pale pink to a deep red and white rivulets came coursing down its crevices and valleys. We were incredibly lucky to be there for one of the most dramatic moments of the year, but more was still to come.
We legged it back to the car park to get a bigger view and as we did so, the fates contrived to fix a spectacular rainbow for us, right across the centre of the rock. It was a bewitching moment, out there in the vastness of the outback, facing one of nature’s great monuments as rarely ever seen. The eerie silence was broken only by the oohs and aahs of the spectators and the constant clicking of camera shutters, mine included.
Of course, I remember now... it wasn’t Koh Samet. I must have been thinking of when I was having a sleepy massage there on the beach with a sturdy farmer’s wife, quite unlike the lovely young Fon in my 'Thai Girl' story. Waking up, I looked out to sea and in front of me was Ayers Rock itself, Uluru.
I kid thee not! I’d have sworn that the Thais, fearing their beautiful island has no world class attractions… no casino, no pyramids, no majestic herds of wildebeests, had towed a replica of Uluru and sunk it in the sea a few miles off the coast for nostalgic Aussies and me to gawp at.
No seriously, if you sit on the beach at Ao Wong Duern and stare out to sea, you’ll see an islet with an uncanny resemblance to Uluru. Admittedly it’s the wrong colour but if you get tanked up for long enough, like imaginary elephants, it may even turn pink for you. It’s certainly worth a try!