After just two days on Rai Leh, we decided to move on to Koh Lanta, an island with another beautiful beach, two hours south by boat. Luckily, although the first part of the trip was in a long-tail, this was only out into the bay, to board a bigger boat waiting to take us to Koh Lanta. The two hour part of the trip was spent sitting in comfortable seats and relaxing in the air-conditioning. Bliss!
The spell was broken when we arrived at the pier in Koh Lanta. On boat trips, all of the rucksacks get piled up on the top deck, and when we came to collect ours back together, Charlotte’s was missing. We couldn’t see it anywhere, and the helpful staff couldn’t shed any light on it at all. Our only hope was that it might have been left in the long-tail we’d transferred on – we couldn’t be sure, because the boat staff had transferred all of the luggage while we’d been taking care of ourselves. After a few phone calls there was no sign of it, but we were told to call back later in the day, “just in case”.
Charlotte only has the dress she’s wearing, and a swimming costume that had been packed into Sarah’s rucksack! Still it made the walk down the beach to our accommodation easier. We’d got a lift to one set of beach bungalows, where we had lunch, and then we walked down the beach for 15 minutes, checking out the different options. In the end we found a self-contained air-conditioned bungalow called Sandy Beach for 700 Baht (£10), with a mattress on the floor for the girls.
At 5 o’clock we called the ferry company, and they’d found the missing rucksack. Hurrah! By the time we’d called we’d managed to convince ourselves that some other backpacker had walked off the boat with it, so it was a huge relief that we hadn’t lost all of Charlotte’s clothes. We would have had to wait five days until we get to Bangkok to replace them. So the day finished on a high note, as we sat on the beach with a drink and dinner, watching the sunset, and reflecting on our good luck.