the silent retreat at Wat Suan Mokkh is hard. it felt physically and mentally as challenging as climbing Kilimanjaro. like all things that are hard i am glad that i have done it and more happy that i am done with it. the staff and participants are incredibly kind and i am honored to have this insight into the Buddhist and Thai cultures.
i get a ride out to the main road and find one other guy who has also left this morning. we get a sawngthaew to Surat Thani and he helps me navigate the travel agent to arrange a bus and ferry out to Koh Phangnan, an island in the Gulf of Thailand.
every time i use the travel agent in Thailand i end up with somthing different that what they tell me. in this case they tell me the ferry is 11:30AM and it turns out the ferry is 2PM. i ask information at the ferry terminal if they have wifi and they say no. i ask a second time and they say no. i turn on my computer and find free wifi so i spend two hours catching up on mail and news.
when i get to Koh Phangnan i run the guantlet of taxi drivers on the pier and check at the ticket office to find out times for ferries leaving the island then head over to Coconut Beach where i find good accomodations. here's the view from my room.
air conditioning, internet, shower and a toilet. i feel so spoilt. i crash hard and enjoy sleeping on something other than a bamboo mat. while i have been out of contact i find the arrangements i made for Willie Dawg while i am gone have not worked out and he's been taken to my mother's house. my mom has not been supportive of this trip from the begining and i fear she will use this as a way to get me back to the US before i am ready to return. just thinking about it brings up anxiety that i have to meditate away as i know if that happens i will be filled with resentment that will hard to get past.