Closing this trip, I'm going back home to celebrate my birthday as well as my father's.
The last days in Koh Lanta were a preparation for the end of this journey.
Throughout my daily routines I was increasingly aware that it would all end very soon, so I particularly enjoyed every bit: snorkelling, watching the sunset, having the banana pancakes with chocolate and spending time with my friends (obviously!).
I witnessed the first rains, anticipated by a strong but pleasant wind, as the heat became milder.
I had the opportunity to do a very beautiful trekking and get to know some small but very beautiful waterfalls. I explored another beach —– the so-called "Last beach", despite at least two others right next to it.
On the last day, I also visited what I believe is the only Buddhist temple on the island, and unexpectedly found myself having a very inspiring conversation with a monk.
Meanwhile Anne, Pong and I decided to have a farewell dinner. At the supermarket, me and her bought the products she considered necessary, of which I highlight a kind of unbelievably giant clams!
I invited "Papa" Jack and Elara to join us, since I care for them in a very special way.
I was very touched by the loving and friendly way Anne prepared our meal, which consisted of meat, pineapple and tomato kebabs, as well as squid, and prawns, and grilled giant clams. A delight!
"Papa" Jack and Elara offered the beer, and we stayed together until late. My roommates (three Finns) joined us later.
The next day I was up at 6 o'clock in the morning to get the last things done before I left for Krabi. And what a beautiful surprise it was when I saw Papa Jack's at the reception! At that early hour, he was the only person around, and insisted on keeping me company until I was gone.
I was moved and grateful to him. He is undoubtedly one of the most sensitive persons I’ve ever had the chance to meet.
The trip to Singapore was hard, having ended with my arrival at Zé Cláudio's place the next day at 2 a.m.!
It's funny how life helps us out in some transitions. The short stay in Singapore served as an adjustment to move back to Portugal. Being with my friend Zé and Pinky, I felt in family already.
Boca, their Portuguese restaurant, will be changing place, and that weekend was the last in the old facilities. It was a great pleasure to have dinner with him, and Afonso (Zé’s cousin), and Tommaso (an Italian friend).
Mark me, Thai food is really delicious, but after two months of exclusive Thai, it was absolutely great to have all those toasts with cod crayons, pickles, octopus salad, octopus “à lagareiro”, Iberian ham, prawns aura, cream cake, chocolate mousse, together with good Douro red wine!! Meanwhile, Daniel, the managing partner of the restaurant, responds to everything with dispatch and sense of humour, and Hélio, chef de cuisine, is truly nice.
It was such a great time! 😊
The next day I went to see the island of Ubin (part of Singapore). I got the privilege of having my friend Grant Pereira, President of the Green Volunteers, showing me some of the work they do on environmental education.
And I ended up having another fabulous dinner at his brother Keith’s restaurant - Oak Room .
I even dreamed of coming back to Portugal a little slimmer, but after a biological pâté, a delicious ham, a cream of seafood, a steak that felt like butter and a special pudding accompanied by vanilla ice cream... hum, I simply had to forget about it! My host even made me try two very nice white wines and a wonderful red one. Loved it! The meal and the company!
The next day I mostly rested and packed my things. I knew my trip back home would be demanding.
And then I realised what I already knew deep inside: our mouth and stomach are usually the first to make sure we do not forget where we are from.😋 (reviewed by Inês Hugon - Thank you so much!!)