Takua Pa to Hat Praphat 104km
Today I met a Dutch couple with five days cycling left to do. They only have three weeks holiday, and are cycling between Bangkok and Phuket. A Dutch company have organized their trip for them, hiring them bikes locally, and giving them a detailed itinerary as a guide, along with suggested hotels and resorts. Sounds pretty nice, but they have not been coping well with the heat or the food, and are struggling to keep up with the itinerary distances . Sounds familiar, although I've got no itinerary to keep up with.
Lots of kind folk have been suggesting that I "eat", after seeing the photo of me exhausted the other day. Well I am folks..eating. But even at home, I find rice does not keep me full. And on top of that, ensuring that you can eat the hot sauces, and spices that seem to with every Asian dish is pretty tough. So far in Thailand I've been pretty lucky and have got the message over...."Mi ped"..."no spice", but today at one stop I couldn't get understood. The ladies were insisting that a pot of food wasn't spicy. So I asked for a spoon to try it. Just a taste .....Holly heck....my head almost blew off. I'm sure my lips are supersensitive, because it took at least 20 minutes for them to stop burning... Thanks ladies, but no thanks, I'll go somewhere else.
Anyway, I'm supplementing these rice and noodle delights with crackers, biscuits, nuts, lollies, ice cream, fruit, and up until tomorrow, when I run out, with Ems Power Bar Cookies. Also drinking orange juice, sprite, the occasional Mountain Dew, and water by the bucket full, recently with added blackcurrant concentrate. When I get off the bike, I start eating, and continue until I go to sleep. I can't put weight on. ( so if there's anyone out there who wants to loose a little..., you now know the secret recipe.... Cycle 10,000km)
Met another couple of cycle tourists, from Poland. I think I'm on the cycle tourist route now. A lovely couple. They've been on the road nine months. First they cycled from Florida to San Francisco, then flew to Asia, and are cycling to Singapore and Indonesia. Then they fly to Turkey, and cycle home to Poland. It's fantastic meeting long distance cyclists and exchanging stories. It also reminds you that you're not the only crazy one.
Have been using my newest map app today, OsmAnd. It can plot a cycle only route, but a couple of today's choices were a bit rough....like full suspension mtb stuff. Still it's great to have the options. And for the first time in Thailand I feel as if I'm "touring" again. I really enjoyed today. Must have been the two days sleeping.
Can someone explain to me the significance of the animals at Buddhist shrines? The other day I stopped at one surrounded by zebras. Today it was Roosters, with the odd tiger and elephant. Also, every time I stop at a shrine, everyone toots. I realized today that it wasnt me they were tooting at, but the shrine. And I thought the world revolved around Grum.....
I arrived near where I was going to stop for the day, my Scottish friend had recommended this beach, and it was still reasonably early, so I decided to wip down to the coast, because it was closer than its been for the whole time in Thailand. I love getting off the main route.
My first effort rewarded me with a beach that had been smashed by the Tsunami. There were lots of potential campsites, but the road was sealed, and heaps of young folk were chasing each other up and down the road on scooters. I moved on..
The next road took me to a small fishing village. Fantastic. Got some great photos, had some lovely chats with locals, and was even invited to join one crew on the evening fishing trip.....amazing.
The third road took me through another fishing village, and along a four wheel drive road, to an amazing, deserted beach. Camping tonight then. And in anticipation, I had got a serving of fried rice "to go" at my lunch spot. A couple of swims, a beach walk, lots of photos. Sweet. Yup, I love getting off the main drag, and I love doing what I'm doing. Only problem is, no wifi tonight, so no commentary of the Scotland vs ABs match from Fletch. Go the ABs.