It was my fourth night in Thailand, my second day riding a scooter EVER.
Cruising out of Chaweng, I took a left turn, then a right, then I was lost.
It didn’t matter though, I had a full tank of gas and energy to explore.
It was an island with few roads… eventually I would get home.
10 minutes later I was the only vehicle in sight. I was the only THING in sight… no houses… no cars… no people…
Just jungle trees on every side and over head… total darkness.
Then a light flashed, and a scooter appeared. He was right next to me, over my shoulder. He was blonde, maybe German, riding aggressive and without a helmet.
Anyway, we rode on into the darkness. We cruised around a bend and…
Lying across the road was an ENORMOUS snake.
The snake covered both lanes, side to side. I WASN’T PREPARED FOR THIS.
At moments like these, time expands.
I had 2 seconds to choose the next action… Go left, go right, hit the brakes, or try and run it over like a speed bump.
My German mate was on my left. Options 1, 3 and 4 probably involved crashing in front of the big snake. So, in a moment of clarity I was going right… straight past his head.
I would either die now or make it… only time would tell.
So I tapped the brakes, veered right into the dirt (there was about one meter of space), then just before passing his head, I hit the accelerator.
This wasn’t planned out, but it happened.
I didn’t see what my German mate did, but he made it too… he had the luxury of passing the tail rather than the head.
Here is my comparison. It was about the same length and a bit wider than this fella. Long enough to cover 2 lanes of a road.
Afterwards, we didn’t stop for a photo, we didn’t debrief… We just shared a laugh of “what the f**k just happened”… and kept riding.
I wish I got a photo, but I didn’t want to stop and hang out.
I talked to the folks at Samui Snake Resue, and explained what happened.
And it turns out that the stretch of road is known as the “Ghost Road”.
Anyway, I made it home alive… with an extra litre of Adrenalin rushing through my body.
On the ride home, I felt my heart pumping out of my chest, and had a fit of laughter.
It was a crazy experience. And it cemented in my mind the need to wear a helmet, glasses, and proper shoes every time I’m on a scooter.
Later, an old fella in a cafe summed it up nicely…
Whether it’s falling power lines or potholes in the road, chaotic driving, torrential rain, rabies infested dogs, mosquito swarms, or a big snake… you never ever know what’s going to happen when you jump on your scooter in Koh Samui.