Dad got back early into Heathrow this morning. They must have had a good journey back as he popped round mine for coffee about 12.00 ish. He's had a great time but if he was to do the trip again, he'd leave the bikes at home and hire them out there. He said the country is not geared up for moving bikes around. Most of the time they took a journey on public transport it costs at least double (some times triple) the cost for the bike than it did for Dad - I wonder if he got pensioner rate and the bike didn't!
To fill in a few gaps ... no he didn't have an elephant ride, he said it was too expensive as he was not in a group and would have to "hire" the elephant to himself! When he went swimming in the River Kwai what he hadn't told me was how fast the current was. Apparently he'd jumped in off the balcony of the floating bungalow but when he surfaced he'd float way down stream! Dad said he had a struggle swimming back up stream and then trying to get out of the water back onto balcony!
Apparently to get back to Phuket had turned into quite a journey. They'd first had to hang around most of the day for the train to Surat Thani. They got in to the station at 2.00 am and then had to hang around hoping the bikes would be on the next train. It had crossed their mind that they had lost the bikes and panniers completely but they eventually turned up on the 5.00 am train. They then had to get the local bus to Phuket. The first bus was at 7.30 but it was full, so they hung around and got the last two tickets for the next bus. They then had problems finding space on the bus for the bikes. Eventually they got them on and they headed off. Dad said more and more folk got on the bus as it headed back to Phuket. They were standing in the gangway and sitting three to the seats. The journey took 6 hours and it was not air-conditioned! At one point the bus broke down on the top of a mountain but they topped it up with some water via various methods, cups, containers and hose pipe running into it, and eventually they were on there way again.
The first aid kit got used as well ... not by Dad falling off his bike but by him falling off a bench in the railway station. He'd decided to get his head down for an hour or so while waiting for the bikes to come on the next train. Found himself a station bench, lay down on it and it tipped over. Dad said he went a right clatter on the station floor and knocked his arm up a bit.
Paradise Mansion in Phuket didn't quite live up to it's name. Dad said they made sure when they returned back they still had the bike boxes in store before they booked in. Dad said on the last couple of nights they were there there were arguments between the staff and the owners and eventually a fight broke out! Not really what you want in your hotel !
Dad's mobile hadn't been returned back to the hotel either so I'll sort out putting a stop on the SIM. Will have a look at the Nokia he's found to see if we have a charger and whether it's SIM free, if not he'll have to have a new phone.
Dad will fill me in on some stats, like how many miles, etc which I'll post soon.