Travel To Grow

Understanding The World Through Travel

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Feb '09

Day 36 – The Most Adventurous Day Of My Life

This was the most adventurous day of my entire life.

This entire blog entry is from the same day. It started early in the morning around 8:00am.

My friend Tim and I decided to go on a cliff jumping tour! We walked down to the meeting place and met our Thai guide. We took a long boat out from the beach and drove a good 20 minutes out to the side of the island to find the perfect spot.

We anchored out boat in the water and jumped in. The interesting thing about this cliff jumping was that we had to do a bit of climbing to get up first, it was a little difficult as the water pushed you into the rocks at the bottom, but the climbing wasn’t all that bad.

We started off with a relatively easy 8 meter jump into the water. 8 meters (26 feet) was a little scary but Tim and I managed to do it without much trouble. Next was a 11 meter (36 feet) jump. This one was a little harder because the ground that we stood on before jumping was so uneven and rocky, you basically had to balance with both feet on a different level on very thin rocks. Next was the 15 meter (49 feet) jump. This one was really scary. It took me a little bit to build up the courage for this one, and I was quite hesitant to do it. Eventually I took the plunge, I didn’t hit the water perfectly straight and it felt like I got punched in the eye but I was okay. Before climbing up again Tim and I discussed the next jump in the water. We both had trouble doing the 15 meters so going even higher didn’t seem very appealing to us. We decided we would go up there and take a look and then decide.

The next jump was the final one and it was massive! It was a full 20 meters. (65.6 feet) Even the ripples in the water looked tiny from that height. Our guide told us not to jump if we didn’t think we could do it. After debating it for a while, Tim decided to go for it. From my viewpoint it took him forever to hit the water. When he surfaced he was laughing but in a lot of pain, he had sacked himself. He warned me to keep my legs closed! I approached the ledge and was pretty overwhelmed by fear with the jump. Looking over the edge when cliff jumping is actually more scary than when bungee jumping because your legs are strapped in with bungee and in your head you know it’s safe but cliff jumping is not. I asked my guide if anyone had ever gotten hurt doing this jump. He looked at me and said “oooh ya.” He told me just to make sure I hit the water straight like I had been doing. After what seemed like ages with shaky legs wrestling with my fear I remembered the tattoo I had just gotten. “Live completely in the present moment.” I reminded myself when you are fully in the present moment there is never anything real to fear, fear can only exist in anticipation of the future. In the moment I was just standing on top of a cliff there was nothing scary about it. I immediately calmed down completely, my legs became solid and a smile came over my face. I nodded to the guide and then just jumped. The fall was completely exhilarating and it seemed to take me forever before I hit the water. I hit the water perfectly and it was one of the best feelings ever. I surfaced with the hugest smile on my face, I had conquered the 20 meter jump.

Even more scary than bungee jumping!

Even more scary than bungee jumping!

After coming back, I went down to the pool where I told my friends about the trip. I played a bunch of games of connect 4 against my friend Paul betting large beers on each game. After that 5 of us went along the beach to find some lunch and awesome tropical drinks we had been told about. Later we came back to the pool to meet up with everyone to go on an awesome day trip!

Our final group daytrip

Our final group daytrip

We took a ferry out into the waters, our first stop was for snorkeling. We went to this beautiful area full of amazing choral and tons of fish. There were so many fish if you dropped a piece of rice overboard a swarm of at least 100 would attack it within seconds. The fish were also completely non afraid of humans, I swam directly through a swarm of a couple hundred bright yellow fish with them only inches away from me. There were also a lot of nicer bigger fish hanging around the choral that were quite awesome to look at.

After the first snorkeling spot we headed off to Maya Bay to go on “The Beach” the famous beach from the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio. Due to how the tide was that day we had to swim through a bunch of shallow waters and then climb through a cave to access it. It truly was an amazing beach, and it was really cool to be somewhere known for being the perfect place in the world. To make the beach even more memorable we of course had to build a human tower on it!

It was nice to do something fairly unique on 'The Beach'

It was nice to do something fairly unique on 'The Beach'

We also took the awesome jumping picture on the home page of this site, my favorite photo of all time!

After fun on ‘the beach’ we went out for another snorkeling excursion to this really cool cave area. It was a cave in the water that you could swim into. It had a bunch of really unique fish in it like a school of really really long skinny creatures, and a school of square but nearly flat fish who didn’t move an inch for the minutes I was watching them. It was actually quite frightening to swim in some of the darker areas of the cave because of all the weird things around!

The next stop on the trip was to Monkey Island. I’ll never forget Monkey Island we took kayaks from the ferry to the island, and as we were getting off the kayaks the Thai tour leader told us to please be careful because people get bit here often. We didn’t pay attention to his warning because we had seen enough monkeys so far in Thailand to know they were harmless and friendly. That was a mistake.

How nice and friendly...

How nice and friendly...

Seconds after we got off the kayaks the monkeys began emerging from the treeline. They walked towards us in a line. We approached the moneys with smiles and a big bag of pineapples we were going to feed them but then all hell broke loose. One of the larger monkey leaders began sprinting towards the person with the pipeapples and jumped up and slashed the bag into the air. The bag split open and pineapples flew all over the beach. The monkeys then went crazy swarming all the pineapples and barring their teeth at anyone who got in the way. Once the initial pineapples were gone they started furiously chasing us around the beach, I still remember seeing two of my friends running with panic in their faces from 2 really fast monkeys! It was really funny but pretty scary we were literally being chased around by the little guys. Some people figured out if they ran into the water they would be safe. The monkeys occasionally caught up to someone and jumped on them looking for more pineapples. After being chased by some crazed monkeys myself I learned a cool trick. When one was running behind me I quickly stopped turned around, lifted my sandal towards it and yelled “Stop!” The monkeys crazed look immediately turned to fear as he desperately tried to stop with his momentum carrying him sliding through the sand. He bowed his head down and slowly backed away. My friends were like “Niiiiiice!”

Eventually the monkeys calmed down a little and we tried to make it off the island. The only problem was some of the monkeys had taken our kayaks hostage! They sat on top of them and growled and showed their teeth if we tried to get close. We had to gentle encourage the monkey to get off the kayak using the paddle then pull it into the water as fast as possible to escape!

Safely back on the boat we had a nice meal of rice, fruit, chicken, and some other deliciousness then drove out to a perfect place to watch the sun set between two mountains before heading back.

It had been a long day but the party was just getting started! Since we were all together we had a cool pool party. The bar next to the pool served massive fishbowl style drinks!

Chocolately alcoholic deliciousness

Chocolately alcoholic deliciousness

The one I had was called chocolate ecstasy and let me tell you it was delicious! And it got me pretty buzzed!

It was a great night of swimming, laughing, drinking and awesomeness. The bar even bought us all a shot to celebrate!

Our final group photo

Our final group photo

After the party Tim and I got together to talk about something we had been planning… there is a bar in Koh Phi Phi with a massive Muay Thai boxing ring in the center. There was no way we could not capitalize on that! We wanted to fight.

The best bar in the world.

The best bar in the world.

We told everyone to meet us at the Muay Thai ring in an half an hour as they went to get ready to go out for the night. After about an hour though no one had showed up so Tim and I decided it was time to fight anyway. Tim is a big guy, he had more than a few inches on me, and he was really strong but I was hoping my experience with Muay Thai would allow me to do good against him. I found out soon after that Tim loved to box with his friends too, so my experience didn’t mean a whole lot! Tim is a really genuinely nice person, and full of enthusiasm so we decided before the fight that this kind of fight would only happen once so we were going to go all out and really put on an amazing show for the crowd. We watched the previous fights and there was a lot of hesitation and holding back and sloppy drunkenness, so we were determined to have an all out awesome match.

We strapped on our headgear, shinguards and gloves and went at it. When the bell rang we went at each other hard exchanging blow after blow. I was a lot better at guarding then Tim but Tim was so strong even a blocked punch hurt! His height advantage made it hard for me to connect with him on shorter moves like hooks, but I did really good with my leg kicks. After the first round I was exhausted, the long day and the countless previous days of drinking too much was weighing heavily on me. Tim was still full of enthusiasm though and said we should step it up for the next round :O. The crowd really liked our fight, and I even had a guy come into my corner as my trainer to give me advice. The second round was like the first but more intense, there was even some jumping kicks thrown in! After the second round we were both destroyed. The third and final round started but we were both too tired to do too much to each other. When the fight ended they took us both to the center of the ring to announce the winner. Tim had beat me around a lot more than I had beaten him, but I did block most of his attacks and really held my own with the size advantage he had. They held up both of our arms and declared the fight a tie. It was really cool, out of all the fights we watched it was the only tie we had seen.

There was a pretty big crowd watching

There was a pretty big crowd watching

At this bar after you fight you get rewarded with a free bucket of alcohol! Tim and I sat down watched more fights and laughed about how awesome our fight was. Some people came up to congratulate us on how entertaining we were which was really nice. About 30 minutes later the rest of the group showed up. My friend Caitlin, who I had taken the Muay Thai lesson with the week before was quite upset she missed my fight. In the middle of saying how she wish she had of came early she stopped smiled at me and said “be right back!” A little while later she came to get me and told me she had someone for me to fight.

After fighting Tim I was probably the most tired I’ve ever been so I was really hesitant to fight again. She brought me over to meet the guy and the dude seemed really nice. He explained that he wasn’t much of a fighter but he didn’t want to leave Thailand without giving it a shot. I was thinking about saying no due to my tiredness, but I really wanted to see how well I would do against someone my own size. I warned him I had just fought so I was pretty tired, but since he wasn’t a fighter it would be okay. He was really nice and said it was just for fun and it would be no problem.

We went over to the warmup corner to strap on the gear and get ready. Caitlin was there as my trainer and the guys girlfriend was there as his. I was just sitting there relaxing when I looked over and saw how the guy was warming up. He was throwing flurries of really fast punched. He then started banging his forearms together to get them used to the pain. Then he was performing all these combos mixing in elbows and knees which wasn’t allowed. He started getting a crazy look in his eyes. I said to him “Man, it looks like you’re a real fighter, you really know what you’re doing” and he looked back at me and said “Ya dude I told you, I told you I train as a pro fighter in California!” I was like “WHAT!?” Caitlin said to him “Woah dude, that’s not what you told us.” Then he told her to shut up! He then started talking quietly to his girlfriend saying “man I’m gonna murder this guy.” The nice polite dude we had met a few minutes ago had disappeared and a crazy asshole had taken his place. Caitlin looked at me and said ‘sorry dude, if you die you can blame me.’

We entered the ring and the first round began. The crazy dude almost sprinted over to my side of the ring and went ballistic on me. Being tired I could barely keep up with him, and was barely able to defend good. After hitting him back a few times he caught me really good with a really hard punch to the nose that knocked me off my feat. I was a little dazed and my nose started to slowly bleed but approaching the end of the round I weakened him with some really strong leg kicks. He had definitely won the first round.

I looked out into the crowd where all the people from my group were watching and cheering and I knew I couldn’t keep losing like this. I had Tim and Caitlin both in my corner cleaning up my nose and giving me water. I formed a little plan in my head for the next round.

Crazy dude came out with the same mad fury in the second round but I was ready for him this time. He’d throw a couple attacks and I’d block block then Waam! Counter attack. Hed’ throw a few more, block block Waam! Cross to the face. He was throwing about 5 times as many attacks as I was but he was so bent on hitting me he wasn’t defending. None of his shots were hitting and all mine were. I hit him a few more times with powerful leg kicks and he stumbled backwards in pain. He screamed in rage “You mother fucker!!” and flew at me some more. After hitting him a few more times I got him with a beautiful hook to the face which sent him off balance. He fell into the ropes, and to make things worse as he tried to stand up he clipped his head on the rope and fell back down. After exchanging a few more blows I had him in a one handed clinch while I pounded him with the other. He grabbed me and we both crashed to the floor. The ref stepped in to let us up, and as he got up when the ref turned he gave me a cheap shot in the face while I was still on the ground. What happened next was the coolest thing in my short fighting history. I backed away and kicked at him purposely missing and leaving myself exposed. He noticed this. Immediately after I did it again. Kicked, and turned my side to him leaving it open. As he moved in to capitalize on it this time I spun around and hit him with a spinning backhand! The crowd went crazy.

I definitely won the second round but I could barely hold my arms up, and I couldn’t get enough oxygen at all. Luckily he was in rough enough shape that at the start of the 3rd round we both didn’t do a whole lot of damage, just a lot of punching and blocking. I think they saw how tired we were and rang the bell sooner. They took us both to the center of the ring and announced the winner. We tied! The crazy guy hated this and threw off his equipment and stormed out. I never had so much fun in my life!

It literally took me like 30 minutes to finally catch my breath, and there was a moment where I saw stars, but after that I felt amazing. The free alcohol made me feel better too, but I had to drink a water bottle first! My friends congratulated me on the awesome fight, and the crazy guys friends came up to me after and actually apologized for how crazy he was. They told me he has a few issues!

Despite how long the day was it wasn’t over yet! After the fights and a few more drinks we hit up a bunch of beach parties and danced our hearts out until 5 in the morning!

Lieing in bed I thought back to the whole day and declared it the most adventurous day I ever had.

I never slept so good in my entire life.

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