Friday 10th December

After breakfast we take the hotel bus to the airport and the short flight to Bangkok, followed by a two-hour drive to our final hotel at Ban Chang near Rayong. With truely maddening predictability the weather this morning is completely, utterly perfect for flying. I suppose we *did* achieve flight if only in a 737. Que sera. The hotel is right on the beach and is, like all the others, very comfortable. We meet Yutakit's wife, Ete, and say goodbye to John and Anne. Yutakit has some business in the city and will also attempt to get both of Nig's cameras mended. He will join us later with his two children who are at school today. After unpacking, we go down to the beach with books, binoculars and sunblock. We are soon joined by the rest of the party and Peter and I have a long conversation while we both stand up to our knees in the strong undertow on the steeply sloping sandy beach. It's still fairly warm as this is the Gulf of Thailand.

The evening meal is an al fresco affair for which we are joined by Yutakit's wife and family. On the lawns the chefs' white jackets gleam in the lamp-light over the dark red table covers. A sumptious sea-food banquet has been prepared for us and this lies on the highly polished salvers alongside the white plates and cutlery. We feast well tonight and I sample horse-shoe crab eggs for the first time. The eggs look like a dark brown and larger version of caviare. Different. The evening is warm, more like the proper Thai weather for this time of year.

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