Cavendish couple finally get to explore Thailand
It’s a long way from Shag Rock and the fur clad hills around Trinity Bay to the white sands of Phi Phi Island and jungles of Thailand.
Years of dreaming and months of planning finally paid off for Lisa Day and her husband, Randy Brown in late October, when the Cavendish couple were able to make the 12,725kilometre journey to Southeast Asia. They returned home Nov. 18 after 24 days of exploring the exotic Far East.
For Day, 33, finally setting foot on Thai soil marked the fulfillment of a teenage dream going back almost 20 years to when she first discovered Thailand on the Discovery Channel.
“I had a fascination with Thailand because I felt I was drawn to the culture,” Day told The Compass during an interview at her Cavendish home last week.
Day, who teaches Yoga and fitness classes in neighbouring Hopeall, was so taken by the beauty and way of life in Thailand, she recalled she taped the shows and still has them on VHF.
“It was really beautiful and their way of life was really different,” she said.
Growing up in Di ldo — Day moved to Cavendish about eight years ago — she said, “I always kinda felt like there was something else out there, something on a level we don’t always see in our culture.”
Humongous, golden statues of Buddha and the temples presented a stark contrast to rural Newfoundland, where, “everything around here is wood.”
When she first told her family she would go to Thailand one day, they dismissed it as just another teenage dream. But Day never abandoned her dream.
After a couple of attempts to make the trip earlier this year, they finally got off the ground in late October, which happened to be the beginning of summer in Thailand. It’s also supposed to mark the end of their rainy season. But this year was different, very different.
For over three months, beginning in late July, the highest rainfall in half a century had caused the worst flooding in the country’s history. By early November, the disaster had caused over 600 reported deaths and adversely affected over 2.3 million people.
Fit to travel
Ten hours before departing for Thailand, Day called ahead to make sure everything was still OK to travel there. Up to that point in time the country hadn’t declared a state of emergency, so it was deemed fit for travel.
“When you have plane tickets bought, you don’t really have a choice, you go,” she said.
They arrived in Bangkok to find their hotel was on flood watch.
Tired after their 25- hour flight, they decided to take their chances and stay for the night anyway.
But the next morning they got the even worse news that the parts of their trip that had been booked with a tour guide were all cancelled due to the f looding. In fact, they were advised to get out of Bangkok.
“There was a lot of water everywhere, and thousands of sandbags,” Day said, adding, “I felt really sad for the Thai people.”
Lisa Day stands under a sign, “Welcome to Laos.” Sitting at her dining table
in her home in Cavendish, to Southeast Asia with Lisa Day talks her husband, Randy Brown.
about her recent trip
Ruins of Sukhothai, once capital of Thailand in Sukhothai Province. Randy Brown and Lisa Day of Cavendish cruise the Mekong River on the way to the border to cross into Laos. A lady from the Burmese Long Neck Tribe. Those rings around her neck are tight and really heavy. Apparently, their muscles die and their shoulders collapse.
Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai
Lisa Day at the FAE (Friends of the Asian Elephant) Conservation Centre getting ready to go elephant trekking.
Four year- old Yune is a member of the Palong Tribe of Northern Thailand. It was her eyes that attracted Lisa Day to form an instant bond with the charming child and become her sponsor in school.