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Today we explored every possible mode of transportation that we would be more likely to die from than flying. As our tour van/school bus/ carpool/delivery truck sped down the center of the road (defensively beeping around every blind curve), my father’s voice was teasingly comforting me, “Julie, you are more likely to die in a head on collision on the way to Khao Sok National Park than you are flying.”

Between the ferry ride from Ko Samui and the open air pick up truck ride from our host Francisco (from Barcelona) pointing out which restaurants outside Khao Sok National Park gave tourists the least amount of “stomach problems” (our dinner at Pawn Restaurant was delicious), we were dropped off and picked up several times in seemingly random places throughout south central Thailand by a variety of very interesting albeit friendly characters.

thai 020At one point Tony was carted off on the back of a motorcycle to retrieve 4000 baht from an ATM that we handed over to a woman (whose dominant hand was held in a sling which apparently was for decorative purposes only) in a hole in the wall shop with faded pictures of islands and advertisements urging us to “see the world” plastered on the windows. We gave her the 4000 baht trusting that in three days she will send the tour van/school bus/carpool/delivery truck to retrieve us from Khao Sok and deliver us to Krabi.

Two decades of indoctrinating our children to use seatbelts, helmets, . . .  tailgates, and to never accept rides from a stranger, gone in one day of Thai travel!