Friday, 29 June 2007
Full Moon Party, Ko Phangan
Oh what a vista. Observing Ko Phangan through psilocybe-fuelled eyes is like nothing I could have ever imagined. Oh what a disappointment it was to review my photos the next day, only to discover they captured none of the visions I had experienced on the previous evening.
The entire evening was a delight, beginning on the beach outside our Ko Samui bungalow where B and I were abruptly ushered into a 300 horsepower speed-boat and delivered at high-speed to the glory of the once-a-month Full Moon Party on Haad Rin beach. We immediately made our way to the neon-sign-advertised haven known as ‘Mushroom Mountain.’ After the first wing of stairs we decided to hold-up; B decided it was time for a smoke-o (of which we had, none), so I queried a passing couple on their cigarette situation. They succumbed and delivered with no adversity and no sooner did we strike up a perfectly flowing conversation. Almost immediately we had obtained two new travel companions. After a couple of shakes we made our way down to the pristine beach and claimed our position for the next few hours. We had arrived on our magic carpet, and for the remainder of the night it contained us, engulfed us and protected us from the unabridged surrounding chaos of the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party. A few Red-Bull-buckets later, we uncertainly decided it was time to head back to the bungalow. Here was the thing; when you make the decision to tackle the Full Moon you obtain a ticket, a ticket that has imprinted on it your passage home. Just like us, the other ten thousand punters who had decided to take on Haad Rin had also decided to wade through the chest-deep ocean on the mad search for their speed boat home. The ensuing pandemonium was a mixture of fun and frustration. After numerous failed attempts to find the boat that was ours we all, without discussion, ploughed back to the beach, threw down our flip-flops and proceeded to dance to the psychedelic trance pumping from the crudely erected sound system. Anxieties evaporated, responsibility non-existent and with the most positive outlook on the horizon, I truly lost myself in the moment. Complete abandon, only concentrating on the here and now, I look back now at the moment with envy. When again will I experience such absolute absence of thought? Not long enough lived, reality set back in and we once again ensued discussion as to how we were going to get home yet still retain our newly found friends. We decided to split, the girls going home together, with the boys following not far behind. After we let them go, a revelation occurred; ‘Oh shit, I hope they found the boat.’ We both scanned the shore to find our lost companions with no avail, until our concern was dissolved with a desire to purchase another round. In no-time we were trekking our way back up Mushroom Mountain to fulfil our desires for another batch of fungus. About now the sun was beginning to rise, casting new light on all of Haad Rin. What I witnessed over the next few hours was without doubt the most visually stunning sunrise my eyes have ever seen. Apricot hues slowly crept up the sand, then the rock, then finally the jungle of Ko Phangan, highlighting the contrasts of the landscape and emphasizing the beauty of the island. There were fifty or so speed boats lined up along the beach with a good thousand punters drifting amongst them, desperately seeking their passage home. Once-drenched with alcohol, drugs and bad behaviour, the sunrise seemed to dissolve the atrocities of the night before, re-instating the islands descriptionless beauty. Tom and I both stood with jaws agape and without words at the exquisiteness that confronted us. Not soon after, the realisation of the time came like a slap to the face – it was less than a half hour till our last boat home. We reluctantly made our way to the shore to proceed the mad search for our speed-boat. Thankfully the Gods were on our side on this magnificent morning and about the third boat we queried happened to be our ticket home. Ignoring the winging heathen on-board, the trip home was a rotoscope of colour, detail, texture, rock, greenery, sky, cloud, wave, bird, fish, beer, petrol and feeling. Hitting the shore of our bungalow brought about a sentiment of ambivalence. Relief to be back, yet sad that the full-moon had set and the party was over.