Dec 22 - A day on the road..Thai style

We picked up our rental car here at Yacht Haven Marina and Sue got into "chaffeur" mode. Realize, she (nor I) have driven since this past April in New Zealand when touring the North & South Islands, so getting in the car, hitting the roads, checking out the signage in Thai, and trying to avoid the many motorbikes (going past you on both sides, as well as coming at you on your side of the road!) took a few minutes....The many tourist maps we had weren't that good, and most side streets didn't have any signage at all, so it was kind of like guess work! At any rate, we thought we'd go to Boat Lagoon Marina but ended up next door at the Royal Phuket Yacht Club and Marina. Well, close enough, really, and we needed to check it out anyway and get haul out and storage prices from them. They told us how to make the u-turns to get into Boat Lagoon Resort and Marina, and we found it without drama. This is a huge complex, of boatyard, hardstand area, service providers, hotel, apartment and condos, restaurants...we were lost within minutes. Eventually we found the contractor we were looking for and had a nice discussion. Leaving, we decided to go to Patong Beach for lunch and check out the hotel we had booked for New Year's eve. Traffic got busier in this top tourist beach destination, but I must say, Sue did a quite admirable job and we eventually found the hotel, directly across from the beach. As expected, the front desk personnel told us they didn't have a reservation for us, but, in anticipation, I showed her the email confirmation on our iPad, and we were quickly put right. In fact, for just a few more dollars, we upgraded to a larger room; we're good with that. After lunch, where we spotted Mike & Juanita from sv Keris, we went to the heart of Patong Beach, as I wanted to see where we were going to hang out for New Year's before returning to the beach to see the fireworks. We ended up at the Jungceylon Mall, where we literally bumped into our friends Steve & Liz from sv Liberte; amazing to run into people in the midst of a crowd of thousands. We had a great iced coffee (free wifi) and compared notes before it was late afternoon and time for us to get on down (or in this case, up) the road back to Yacht Haven before dark. Again, the signage is pretty much non-existent, so we drove about 5 km out of our way and had to backtrack to find our way back to the marina. There, Bruce & Clark of sv Two Amigos were just leaving The Haven (one of the local bar/restaurants), and we had a nice visit with them before returning to Infini. A busy day; we felt we had accomplished a lot (also, no dents or traffic accidents....)

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