96km/6hrs. As usual hard shoulder of flat boring road but better than western motorways as not separated from life of places passing through and can easily stop. Again could not find small roads which apparently do exist as an alternative to motorway. Didn’t want to spend an hour driving along a road to find it a dead-end and having to return the same way.
Started late as an Aussie gave me the ‘Top 100 Albums of all time’ to copy which took 1.5 hours. A Nepali works at the guest house and a Filipino is looking for work there. Salary is 9,000B/$300 a month with 6 days on and two off and 8 hour days. Seems that Thailand is at the stage economically when those from other countries are looking for work here.
Rained twice today. Could see the dark clouds looming and waiting. At the beginning the first down pour I ducked into a small cafe with friendly staff and good food. I tried to leave after the red curry but then they brought out a newly baked layered cream cake with blueberry sauce so I stayed a bit longer. Three solders sat for all this time on a table skimming through smart phone messages. When I left the rain had finished and I felt slightly noxious not knowing what was to come.
I tried to out run the darkening clouds but 1.5km before my destination the sky opened. If I hadn’t had that freshly baked layered cream cake I would have arrived before the storm. I tried riding through it but visibility became so bad that I couldn’t see the road properly and more seriously trucks would not be able to see me. I sheltered in a small closed restaurant and waited.
Maggie’s Homestay is the sort of place the guests run themselves to a great extent. The cheapest rooms (150B) are just a row of plywood rooms with netting on the top of walls for ventilation and a bed. Maggie told me proudly that the space used to be a car park. This was no surprise. I met the fellow guests which is almost compulsory. One interesting Indian woman gave me lots of sea food that she had cooked which resulted in food poisoning and an interesting night vomiting. Leaving tomorrow thus became very unlikely.