Day 72 Sichon to Nakorn Sri Thammarat. Rain

after70km/4hrs

Flat 401 road all the way with places for food and water. Racer would be more effective on these roads in central and south Thailand.

Woke late due to phone alarm not working. Wanted to stay the day but the pile driver dissuaded me. I wanted to decide over breakfast which facilitated the decision. A kathoey (lady boy) walked up with the menu with an excessive swing of the hips and said,’ where you froom’. ‘Fried rice with pork’ I replied not in the mood to be chatted up before breakfast. He swung off and sat with the cook for a while and she then wandered off towards the kitchen. She returned after 10 minutes with a piece of meat in each hand asking staff to smell it. I left.

 

More mosques, jilbabs (head covering) and Malay faces as I go south.

I stopped at a 7/11 to demonstrate how to eat 4 choc bars in 2 min while dripping all over the floor. Then came a Tesco Lotus where I stocked up with porridge. As I walked in covered in mud, dripping with squelching shoes land saw a girl cleaning the floor. I smiled at the situation but she did not see the humour. I had lunch and wondered at the lack anything that was real in the store except the food that was once alive and some of the customers who seemed to be vaguely living.

Thai Hotel, Nakorn Sri Thammart 350B for fan room is good hotel with staff who let one put ones bike in the hotel office. No town looks good in the rain and this one is no exception. I found chicken soup to help my cold and went back through a dripping town.

it didn't play. just opened up and let it all fall

it didn’t play. just opened up and let it all fall

IMG_1203 IMG_1204 IMG_1206 IMG_1207

now seeing a lot of mosques.

now seeing a lot of mosques.

IMG_1209

monks in was opposite my hotel

view from hotel window

view from hotel window

IMG_1211 IMG_1212

 

 

 

Advertisements

Day 67 Prachuap Khiri Khan to between Bang Saphan Yai and Bang Saphan Noi

 

 

This was not planned. I planned to have a nice bungalow on the beach and to take a late afternoon swim not sit in a resort besides the motorway and listen to trucks passing.

 

119km/8hrs. Flat but some small ups that made it interesting. Highway a duel carriage way rather than motorway and tree shaded for lot fo the way. Also managed to get on the coast road and then lost it again. More on that later.

 

Day started well with a visit to the Ao Manao air force beach just south of town (not 6km as LP says). Take a bike as best beach is a few km past the check point. I signed in but then left at the south exit which did not seem to be manned. I doubt they will bother looking for me. Good beach, food, drink and accommodation available. Then found myself on the coast road for the first time and kept on it most of the way. Quiet, often close to beach and tree lined. Bit further is an aquarium which I didn’t visit.

 

Tip: dont park your bike on a red ant nest.

 

Saw a wat on a hill so to remind myself what it was like climbing a hill I visited it. A Disney array of turrets and spires with all the glitz but still impressive.

 

Lot of resorts on the beach road but more the western idea of resort rather than the simple places I have stayed in. These are plush with lots of style. Took a few dead ends but only lost a few km. Was happily on the coast road until Bang Saphan where I stopped for noodles and water. Always better to arrive fed and watered especially if the accommodation has a dog. Makes one more peaceful. I must have taken a wrong turning out of Saphan, on the way to some nice beach accommodation, because I ended up on the main highway again. Not so many resorts now. Nearly stopped at one resort but fumbling in my pocket for a stone, peddling hard and growling at an attacking dog made it impossible. Eventually found one as it was getting dark. Basic room with AC for 400B take it or leave it. I tried to ride down the wrong way on the hard shoulder but trucks coming straight at me and a pack of dogs changed my mind. But the owner had an old frozen packet of fried rice and no beer. It was horrible. The sink has a dranage hole at the side (see photo) so one can wash ones feet at the same time as ones hands.

 

Tip: don’t wear shoes when washing ones feet.

 

Not the way I intended to end the day but it was the most interesting days riding for a while.

beach near Phecuap Khiri Khan

beach near Phecuap Khiri Khan

IMG_1167

fishing village in contrast to the resorts. Real holiday resorts

IMG_1164

happy cyclist on beautiful beach road unaware he was going to get lost

IMG_1168

fishing boats

IMG_1144

Buddhist Disney land

IMG_1171

bigger fishing boats.

IMG_1130

railway station

IMG_1127 IMG_1128 IMG_1129 IMG_1131 IMG_1132 IMG_1145 IMG_1146 IMG_1139 IMG_1140 IMG_1159 IMG_1160 IMG_1161 IMG_1162 IMG_1163

you can wash your feet as you wash your hands

you can wash your feet as you wash your hands

IMG_1173

resort some where on highway south

 

Day 66 Prachuap Khiri Khan

IMG_1119

Food poisoning last night meant waking up late and  feeling a bit weak.

While Hua Hin has made a lot of nothing much Prachuap has not made much of what it has and it has more. It is a nice small town with attractive beach and coast line.

Went to veg cafe next door for brunch and met 70 year old hyperactive American who had escaped twice from a Colombian prison in 1970s. He has written a book on his drug smuggling, prison and escape. One does not tend to meet drug smugglers and prison escapees in the local cafe at home.

IMG_1120 IMG_1121 IMG_1122

IMG_1123

town at night

Thought, unwisely, to adjust the gears to stop some slight rubbing I should have learnt from previous experience at anything even remotely mechanical. An hour later the gears did not work at all but after watching a few utube videos on how to adjust gears and another hour I managed to get the gears back to as they were previously. and went out to celebrate. I met two more English teachers. I wonder how many are in Thailand. One was from Ireland and the other from Yorkshire but with a few, Sorry, what was that’ I understood most of what they said. Paul told me about the Rohingya extremist coming from Burma to southern Thailand and causing problems. There are not any as far as I know! Barry had just build a house with three bed rooms for £25,000 which was lucky as he and his wife were not getting on.

Later watched a Frenchman try and teach a Chinese girl English. ‘ I have name

Day 64 Hua Hin

Needed to write a job application so strayed but internet down most of the day.

Aussie in my GH told me, ‘I am thinking of going to NE Thailand as it is still supposed to be poor and that means easier to get a girl. That’s what I usually do.’

Bought gel cycling gloves. Didn’t want to spend the money but the $1.5 gardening gloves were not giving me padding and my right hand has lost some sensitivity and is weak.

Coffee in second hand book shop reading about Australian drug smugglers suffering in Thailand jail. Buying rats to eat to keep alive and beating of prisoners to death by guards.

IMG_1083 IMG_1084

drying squid

drying squid

IMG_1086

tourist and new girl friend

tourist and new girl friend

railway station. olderst in Thailand

railway station. olderst in Thailand

IMG_1090 IMG_1094

painting the station.

painting the station.

motorbike taxis

motorbike taxis

IMG_1099

Hua Hin is an international destination

Hua Hin is an international destination

IMG_1102

Day 59 Sing Buri to Ayutthaya

75km/4hrs

Flat straight road and hot of course. Roads in north far more interesting.

Image

rains started so have the water pumps

ImageImage No puncture waiting for me but slept badly with an allergy and strained back from lifting the bike awkwardly. Did not seek out small interesting roads. Just wanted to get there and rest. Did have a great meal on the way though. I asked about all the food on display and when they said that two dishes were, ‘pet’ (meaning hot not their dog or cat) I ordered them. Then kept saying, ‘pet’ and reluctantly gave me the food and then watched with other customers as I ate it.

Ayutthaya is one of the main tourist towns of Thailand. A former Siamese capital fro 1350 to 1767 which is now a crappy small provincial town with nothing going for it but the ruins. It also has a hell of a lot of dogs which are particularly nasty. A Japanese tourist who visited a temple at night was badly bitten on the arm and face. I made a note not to fall if possible if attacked.

In evening sitting with a cold beer I met Pedro the Brazilian cyclist from chiang Mai who was just passing so some beer and catching up. He had only cycled two days and then was sick in bet with a temperature in Sukhothai for three days. He is cycling with a rucksack tied onto the back of his bike and a guitar, which he cant play very well, on top of that.

Most guest houses are grouped together and PU Guest House is good (450B).

Image

Pedro and a crazy drunk street person

 

Day 52 Thoren to Sisawankhalok

95km (cycled around Sisawankhok to get it to 100) in 5.5hrs. 1048 road all the way. Left out of hotel and first left. One 30 min hill but after that undulating and no problem. last 25km flat and bit boring. Plenty places for food and water except about 20 km around hill area. There is a resort at about 53 and 55km from Thoren.

Shinny wooden houses and lots of butterflies. Some killed by careless motorists.

Sisawankhalok is ok but not the charming town Lonely Planet talks about. Also no need to go far out of town to find the Chinese restaurant they recommend. LP used to be written by travelers but now it is by journalists used to a different standard and have gathered some information without visiting the place. The Saengin Hotel (360B) is fine but not on the main road as LP states.

When one is very thirsty and hungry and after managing to order and is about to stuff it down a nudge on the leg and, ‘Hello friend where you from’ is not always welcome. One is apt to forget normal decorum but I politely conversed with him through mouths of chicken and rice. Glad I did as his interaction with other customers made it clear that he was a simple friendly man unaware of some of societies customs.

On the way a stopped in front of me and a woman got out of the passenger side and waved me down. In many countries I would have immediately been on alert and passed but as it was Thailand I stopped. she asked me if i was ok because she had seen me holding my side up in the mountain. I assured her I was find and we parted with smiles and thanks. This puzzled me and only later did I realize it was probably when I was wondering why I had not lost that ring of fat from my guts.

Not a lot of nightlife in town but my hotel does have a coffee shop until midnight where there is karaoke which requires a beer or two to deaden the pain. But today is Vesak:
‘This festival celebrates the Birthday of Buddha. In one day, the Buddhists celebrate the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha. This festival takes place on the first full moon of May.’ Quite neat really but means in respect the hotel coffee shop does not sell alcohol.  Luckily the reception five metres away is happy to sell as much as one wants and the singing reaches my room.

jungle again

jungle again

IMG_0858

If only car drivers know what they did

If only car drivers know what they did

empty road

empty road

worth rushing to get to

worth rushing to get to

a cyclists favorite

a cyclists favorite

IMG_0864

a special rock with an interesting story about how it got there. Think I've seen it before

a special rock with an interesting story about how it got there. Think I’ve seen it before

another rock with a story. Usually it is said to look like an animal it has no resemblance to.

another rock with a story. Usually it is said to look like an animal it has no resemblance to.

Sawankhakok railway station

Sawankhakok railway station

IMG_0868

IMG_0869

they really trust their customers

Feel a bit achy so a fairly short day tomorrow and around Sukhotai historical park should be good.