Car delivery today in Phuket…Continuation of the ox cart rides for Viking Mekong River cruise passengers…Two videos and photos!

Tom’s video of the oxen along the bank of the river early in the morning.  Second video below.

This morning at 10:00 am an employee of Gregory’s (our Phuket property owner), brought us the rental car. For the excellent price of THB $9000, US $258 for our entire stay we’re pleased with the older car. We’re hoping the pouring rain will stop and we can end our six day stint indoors.

Tomorrow, we’ll include photos of the “used” car and photos we’ve taken while out and about proving the weather improves enough to get out. At the moment, there’s thunder and lightening. 

The second bedroom in the Phuket house which we haven’t used.  The en suite bathroom contain the Jacuzzi tub.

We’re anxious to head across the island to purchase beef and groceries.  Beef is not popular in some parts of the world that hold the “cow” as holy based on religious beliefs and is not fit for human consumption. 

Many religions and cultures throughout the world consume a vegetarian diet. However, many Thai people include beef in their diet, although it may not be readily available in some of the local grocery stores and markets.  

Yesterday, four housecleaners appeared at the electronic gate at 9:00 am to clean the house. Letting them in via a wall switch that slides the electronic security gate open, they all entered, sharing their names as they graciously bowed to greet us. 

The Jacuzzi tub in the second bedroom’s en suite bathroom.

All we remember of their names as they hurriedly entered is that two of the four had the same name, not unlike the two Katuks in Bali, whom we’ll see again soon. 

Only one of the four cleaners spoke a little English, but they had no trouble knowing what to do and required little coaching from us. They maneuvered  efficiently and quickly through each room, obviously with a familiar routine they’ve implemented in the past. 

Today’s pouring rain.  As soon as it stops, we’ll head out. If it continues throughout the day, we’ll wait until tomorrow.

When the Jacuzzi tub’s water supply wasn’t working correctly, they immediately contacted the maintenance guy. I believe his name is Bo. Within minutes he arrived to make the repairs and an hour later he was out the door with the task completed. 

Although using the Jacuzzi may be an excellent idea at this time, it’s been so hot in the past 24 hour I haven’t been motivated to use it. With the amount of water and energy required to use the tub, I may only use it once in a while providing I notice some added improvement from doing so.

The opening in the wide electronic sliding security gate.

We’re still remaining mindful over the excess use of air con and continue to only use it only at night in the master bedroom. During the day we’re doing fine without AC. After becoming accustomed to heat and humidity in Bali and living in hot climates throughout the world over these past years its not different here in Phuket.

We can’t help but giggle over how, in our old lives, we’d never have tolerated this heat and humidity without turning on the whole house AC.  How much we’ve changed over this period of time!

Occasionally during the day, I rest for a few minutes in the bedroom using only the overhead fan to keep me comfortable. We keep the bedroom door shut at all times to keep out the mozzies and flies for better comfort at night.

Now on to our continuing Mekong River cruise posts with today’s story, a continuation of the ox cart rides. We’d yet to share today’s two videos we are now able to post with a strong WiDu signal here in Phuket.

I’d have loved to join in on the ox cart ride under different circumstances.  But after seeing the carts and the sitting positions required of the riders, we both knew there was no way I could have participated.  

I encouraged Tom to join the others but he decided to stay behind with me when the carts were intended for two passengers and he’d have to ride alone. That wouldn’t have been that much fun for him. Its the idle chatter and shared experiences that make such an activity memorable. 

They reminded us of the buffaloes in Bali although oxen are smaller with shorter horns.
Instead, we stayed behind attempting to get online to post the day’s story and photos. As mentioned in an earlier post, the WiFi signal on the boat was extremely poor, worse than we’d experienced on any cruise in the past. 

It was only with the assistance of thoughtful cruise director Enrico who encouraged me to sit at his desk using his computer, connected to a wired network, that made it possible to upload any posts at all while on the ship.  We realized how frustrating this must have been for our worldwide readers who, at times, didn’t see a new post for days.
As the ox cart participants piled into the carts, many seniors older than us, we were thrilled to be able to take today’s included videos. Of course, it would have been more exciting to be able to do a video while in a cart, but we did the best we could under the circumstances.
The staff shoveled this path the prior night to ensure passengers could make it up the river bank.

Later, many passengers explained the bumpy nature of the ride making us feel grateful we’d made the decision to stay behind. Adding the extreme heat and humidity to my already difficult condition, always made the tours more challenging regardless of their general difficulty.

We enjoyed watching the white oxen hanging out on the bank of the river on the prior evening, early in the morning and again when they were hooked to the wagons seemingly content with their occasionally required tourist trek. 

Off they went on a 40 minute ride..

As we watched the oxen for quite awhile, we noticed the gentle interaction between the handlers and the oxen, as they were rubbed and petted as one would lovingly pet a dog or cat. It was comforting to see. With a cart driver for each cart carrying a pair of passengers we didn’t see any rough treatment used to get them moving.

By 11:45 am, the passengers were back on board and by noon, the ship’s anchor was raised and we cast off for Phnom Penh, Cambodia, another historically interesting stop in our journey along the Mekong River which we’ve already included in prior posts.

With more stories to share, we’ll continue along this path with a few more cruise posts as we add more and more on Phuket as soon as we get out.

Have a beautiful day!

Photo from one year ago today, July 28, 2015:

One year ago we spotted this package of crocodile meat in Australia priced at AUD 15, USD $10.91.  ext time we’re in Australia, we need to try this. For more details, please click here.