Michael Taylor and other participants on the Press Trip are divided into 2 groups. Half spend the morning at the beach followed by a spa treatment after lunch. And half have a spa treatment followed by an afternoon at the beach.
After indulging myself at breakfast, I asked for a ride by shuttle bus to Kamala Beach, where the Andara Resort & Villas had a beach club.
A couple of participants staying in other villas were already sprawled on double sun loungers.
Staff brought me towels and asked if I wanted something to drink as I applied Level Four Coppertone. The ocean beckoned.
I was a bit paranoid about going in the water. I had managed to cut my leg when unpacking and imagined the blood attracting sharks.
Throwing caution to the wind, I ambled to the shore and plunged myself into the surf. I was only going to cool off and then head back to the loungers. I ended up remaining there – both body surfing and chatting with another journalist – for at least 90 minutes.
Jaws at Kamala Beach
We had a very interesting conversation, exchanging information on where the best beaches and resorts were located. Who put on the best press trips. Which hotels were the most hospitable.
At the back of my mind, I kept thinking about the wound on my leg … did blood really attract sharks? Should I start thrashing about wildly if I found myself under attack?
Suddenly I felt a strange sensation on my leg . . . the same leg that I had cut.
Relax! I thought. Don’t panic!!!
It wasn’t the dreaded shark. Neither was it the dreaded jellyfish that I had been warned about the day before.
But it wasn’t very pleasant, either. But then again, if this was jellyfish sting, well, it wasn’t all that bad. Nothing to fear, really. Nothing to keep me out of the water.
“I think it’s time to go ashore,” I said.
I have no idea what caused it, but a mild rash was forming on my leg – right above the cut. That scared me a little. Would they have to take me to the hospital? Would I be given a painful injection?
“Was this a jellyfish sting?” I asked the beach attendants a bit hopefully.
“If it were a jellywish sting, you would know it!” they said. Oh!
All Is Well That Ends Well
Our entourage had been divided into two groups. The first was to spend the morning at the beach and the afternoon having a spa treatment.
The second was to have a spa treatment in the morning followed by an afternoon at the beach. As lunch time approached, we started packing up our things.
I had staff treat my wound. They also put a lotion on my rash – the same lotion, I believe, that was used when I was growing up in Oakland, California, and kids in the neighborhood touched poison oak and got terrible rashes.
Then we took the open air shuttle bus back to the hotel, where we joined the others for a fabulous – and somewhat calorific – Thai lunch at the resort’s Silk Restaurant.
Am I ever going to make it to that gym?
Copyright: Michael Taylor Pictured: the Beach Club at Kamala Beach, Phuket, Thailand Photo Credit: Andara Resort & Villas, Phuket, Thailand