Day 73 Naorn Sri Tammarat to Ranot. Not wet

110km/6hrs

Very very flat. 408 then left onto 4013 to Pak Phanang, Hua Sai (77km) and Ranot. Mostly followed the coast closely. A stretch of about 35km without much food or water possibilities. Tippawan GH in Ranot (350B) is az good deal with nice garden and lake for mosquitoes.

I noticed the Wat outside my window was not completed. Perhaps the monks gave the money to the poor instead.

Had to stop at the famous Wat Phra  Mahathat on the way out of town which looked better in the day light but not much. The wat is the largest in Southern Thailand. Founded by Queen Hem Chala over a thousand years ago. What does a queen become when reincarnated? A king? Her spirit looks after the town so not sure how she could be reincarnated. The gold spire weighs several 100kg but no one has weighted it.

After spending half the night  on the internet trying to understand the various reasons for a   slipping chain I decided to take advantage of the dry weather and cleaned the gears and chain with a screw driver and solved the problem. Perhaps I should put it on utube.

With straight flat roads averaged over 20km per hr. with little effort. Forecast is thunderstorms until July but only a little drizzle today until 7pm when it poured. More and more jilbabs and  mosques. Strange seeing women due to conditioning, desire to conform or religious belief and covering up in contrast to Thais who are very free. For example a boy in kindergarten may show his sexual orientation and play with the girls. No pressure on him to conform. An Afghan friend of mine went with his wife to study in Japan. She then stopped wearing the jilbab.

Now lot of goats also. From what I understand God asked Abraham to kill his son Issac as a test and t the last moment told him to kill and eat a goat instead and Muslims have eaten goats ever since.

Thought I was cleaver having a guest house next to a nice looking restaurant which of course closed at 6pm so had to walk 2 km in rain to find food in a bar where the girls all wanted to tell me they loved me and stir fried veg cost three times the usual.

 

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my place

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Tippawen GH and mosquito pond

 

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shrimp fishing

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Wat Phra Mahathat

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the queen and her brother

 

 

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a couple of peregrine falcons would sort those out

 

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seems like Shiva starting the Ganges

 

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no rain and fixed the bike

 

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can never have enough Buddhas

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cold cure

 

 

 

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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

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now seeing a lot of mosques.

now seeing a lot of mosques.

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monks in was opposite my hotel

view from hotel window

view from hotel window

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Day 3 Kantharak to Ban Phum Saron

Day 3

04/04/13

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49 km.

Arms burnt and back painful. Lot stretching for legs also which are used to being under a desk. Covered all exposed bits in factor 50 and left at 10am. Not keen on the early starts. Flat, straight and hot again. Paid 100B for the ticket for Khao Pra Wihan national part which has the famous disputed temple complex and after some discussion with the border police it was decided I could cycle 8 km to the visitors centre and then walk the remaining 100m to the view point. The temple complex was closed to visitors. Everyone was smiling and friendly. Then the terrain changed and I struggled up hill. High military presence with dirt roads with check posts from previous conflict over the temple. Reminiscent of the dirt roads and check posts in Northern Sri Lanka. At Mo I Dong cliff people smiled and nodded to me and an old man came up and shock my hand. A border policeman offered to guard my bike while I went to the view point. The cycling down hill and back to Ban Plum Saron was good and the border police asked if I wanted a lift as he passed. Drank litres of water but not pissing at all. Leaves my body as soon as enters. Recorded 43 degrees today. The typical Issan lunch of grilled chicken, sticky rice and papaya salad again. This time not a whole chicken.

Stayed in the only place in ‘town’ which I later realised is a ‘resort’ (Lisat resort) meaning a place for sex workers or illicit sex with girlfriend or someone else’s wife. The giggling of the women showing me the rooms and the mention of another price should have given me the clue. The free condoms with the usual soap in the room clarified things. So saying it was comfortable and the only hassle I had was an old skinny man with a north of England accent who tried to get in thinking it was his room. I went in to ‘town’ , a few small shops and grass roofed eating places. Not even a 7/11. The place I went in to served food and had barbers at the back. A woman invited me to join her. She spoke English due to a previous American air force boyfriend. Besides the language he also gave her a son and was now with a younger woman. She felt no bitterness and boasted at his ability to drink until 4am. We discussed the disputed wat and she agreed that as good Buddhists they should form a committee and share it rather than fighting. We also agree that this was very unlikely while more fighting was. She said that people come from Bangkok for the day and go away and locals have to face the circumstances to the local economy and injuries due to shelling. A good friend of hers died from a Cambodian shell in the last outbreak of fighting.