Every kid growing up in the early 90’s has dreamed of participating in Nickelodeon’s Guts and Legend of The Hidden Temple, and also my personal favorite, American Gladiators. Game shows where you test your might and strength by traversing through numerous obstacle courses and compete for the best time. Nowadays we have shows like Ninja Warrior and Wipeout, which I would still love to participate in both pretty much. I forgot who I heard it from, but rumor had it that there was a makeshift Wipeout course somewhere on Koh Phangnan! If that was true, I had to find it!
I googled it before I actually tried to find it and yup, it’s a real thing! An imitation course on a lake somewhere on the island. It’s a lot smaller than the real deal but still looked awfully entertaining! It had the rolling barrels, an inflated mountain, monkey bars, a swing where you leap into the water, and most importantly, those infamous giant red balls! The day after the Full Moon, we said our goodbyes to Jack who was going to Phuket, Kevin who was going to the island of Koh Samui and the two Germans. Viola and I took a taxi to a lake where apparently this course was laid out on the other side of the island. We were one of the first ones there. Actually, there were other people but they were just sitting around. Why?! I think they were waiting for others to guinea pig their way through the courses first. Viola and I were glad to be those guinea pigs!
We put on life jackets because we were bound to be exhausted doing some of these obstacles. The first hurdle we had to go through was swinging our way into the lake to kick off the course. Pretty simple, yet extremely fun!
Swim across to the first obstacle where we had to make our way across two giant inner tubes, with a bunch of smaller floatation devices in the middle of them. Those floats in the middle didn’t look stable at all, so I went around the big tubes themselves.
Next up were monkey bars. A picnic.
After that were the rolling barrels. Easier than it looks. Just don’t stop moving or you’re doomed!
Soon was the inflated mountain. Just climb up this bad boy and jump from the top. The first time I climbed it, I went to the top and accidentally slid right off into the water! It’s mighty slippery.
Finally, we came to the giant red balls. Just climbing up to the balls was a task in themselves. Once I was up there, I figured the best way to approach it was to just try and run across. I immediately failed! I went back up to the balls and tried running again, and again, and again.
It seemed impossible. I saw on the tv show, the few contestants that made it, hopped on their knees one at a time. So then I tried that…Didn’t work for me. I think I tried going across the red balls about 30 times and only made it as far as the second ball.
I wasn’t the only one who had issues!
Viola and I tried the course as a whole a few times, getting a little quicker with each attempt. Viola even tried the launch pad. She laid on a giant inflated bag, then two guys jumped on the other end, launching her into the air!
She did an unintentional backflip! I figured I was too heavy and wouldn’t launch that high so I skipped that and concentrated on conquering those red balls. I tried my best, but eventually I felt like I just got the living crap physically beaten out of me. Same with poor Viola. We left after a few hours of a horrible defeat.
As great as this day was, it was also bittersweet as this would be my last full day with Viola before we part ways in the morning. For old times sake, we went to the night market and pigged out some more. It was easy to stuff ourselves here since the food was so good and best of all, cheap!
The next morning, I woke up early and headed straight to Viola’s bungalow where we planned to have one last breakfast together. Traveling with Viola since Pai, all the way down to the islands was unexpected but has been an absolute pleasure. She has been game to do anything and everything with nothing stopping her! She only has a few more days left in Thailand, in which afterwards she heads back home to Holland. She has big plans to travel again immediately, either in Peru or South Africa (both are great choices) in the near future. I’m pretty certain I’ll be seeing Viola again in the future. Viola if you’re reading this right now, I just wanted to tell you that you’re disgusting, annoying, creepy, and not possible 😉 and all I wanna do is have some fun. Also, you were right, it’s a guy and not a lady that sings that song, although I still find it hard to believe! And this photo of you is the best!
I departed the island and took a ferry back to the Thailand mainland and from there took a bus back to Bangkok. I waited a few hours until the bus for my next destination arrived. And that destination would be a brand new country: Cambodia.