Day 1 – arriving at By Beach

Two years ago or maybe 18 months ago, a friend sent me a photo of a place where he was holidaying. It looked an ordinary place, but one that captured my imagination. I’d often thought that I would like to stay somewhere where I could wake up and quite literally walk out onto the beach. My challenge had always been about finding somewhere that was a combination of the exotic, the ordinary and the affordability. Today, as I walked into By Beach Resort , I knew I had found it. There was a great sense of peace , serenity and Comfort as my eyes and my senses became enveloped by my new surroundings. The garden is lush, unkempt but tidy. There isn’t one sign of the manicuring we so admire back home and yet this garden is still cared for and well established. there are droppings around that suggest a wildlife but aside from three dogs roaming around there has been no visual evidence yet!

My room is one half of what l would call a bungalow – with a lovely little porch and seating area to sit on and overlook the garden. My favourite number is 5 and yes that is the number of my room! My bed is a mattress on the floor and the lounge chairs are the triangle cushions you sometimes see in Thai restaurants back home. There are three levels in this space and yes, I am definitely wishing I had practiced harder on my squats over the past few weeks as each step is quite high! Haha – I feel like a bit of an old lady steady myself against the wall as I steady my self for the step up! Don’t worry as I recover from being so exhausted from the journey over, I am adjusting quickly.

After a nap and shower I wandered down to the beach-yes it took all of 10 seconds to arrive – and sat down to a beautiful meal of Pad Thai. I have certainly never eaten Pad Thai like that before but the food was delicious and fresh – and great coffee!

l sat there for quite some time listening to and watching the ocean splash up against the retaining wall. It truly is a beautiful space to come if you want to get away from it all. Peaceful, quiet and just the roar of the ocean pounding away on the shoreline.

Tiredness from the trip overwhelmed me and it was time for a snooze. It’s not so easy getting down to a mates – and even harder to get up again but I’m managing well. The snooze did me the world of good and I was ready for the next round! Dinner accompanied by live music – could it get any better!

As I arrived just on 6pm, I was the only one there. I ordered a cocktail – Cuban Sunrise – and waited for the music to start.

From about 6.30pm people started sauntering in. Their entrance was via the beach and they battled the tide – arriving in wet, bare feet. Apparently the villas next door do not have a restaurant and By Beach is the closest. The restaurant filled and I sampled my next lot of Thai cooking. Fried chicken and lemongrass, steamed vegies in oyster sauce and steamed rice. The most interesting aspect of the meal was the lemongrass. Seriously, it looked like very fine hair that had been teased to looked all matted and fluffy. The taste however, was delectable especially when l mixed it with the vegies and oyster sauce.

As for the line music, the performer was a young Thai man playing folk music on his guitar. He played for the entire three hours. Can you imagine any performers back home playing for that long, singing in a different language and not taking at least one 20 minute break? He started the singing with “Blowing in the wind” and even included some Bee Gees ballads. Yes it was mainly 70’s folk-ballads but I really did enjoy it.

After that it was bedtime and a nice long sleep!

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