Ao Luk to Takua Pa 105km
The boys were slow to get up, so I was locked inside the Biiike Shop, and when they did arise, they wanted to share some breakfast, so by the time I hit the road it was already a hottie. It didn't take me long to realize the back roads were the place to be today. Within the first 5km I was passed by 12 luxury double decker tourist coaches, and had dodged two, overpassing idiots, so I turned left onto a quieter byway.
But it was a scorcher. I was riding without a shirt again, the only way to stay cool, unless you were in the water, and there was none about, and at my first 10km refreshment stop, I felt as if I'd already done 100km. Damn, the day was not shaping up well. Not long after I met Donald McLeod, ( from Scotland funnily enough). He has ridden from Scotland, but had recently returned home to raise more funds, and had restarted his "East", in Bangkok a couple of weeks ago. Look up his blog on Crazy Guy on a Bike. He was feeling the heat as well, so I was glad I wasn't alone there.
Donald has been camping. I've been contemplating it, but the nights are still really hot, and a shower and AC for $10 a night is hard to beat. Also, I've seen lots and lots of snakes. They lie on the side of the road, on the hard shoulder, where most vehicles don't go, except for cyclists. You never know whether they are alive or squashed, until they sliver away from under your front tyre. Makes me shudder every time. I think I'll keep camping until I'm really stuck.
Anyway, Donald introduced me to a new and improved map programme, OsmAnd, which I'm going to try, and recommended a route for me to follow. As it was it was the one I'd already chosen, even though it had a bit of uphill. The clincher was that it was through the jungle, so really shady. And Donald, I agree, it was stunning. Too bad I was so tired. A couple of times I felt quite distressed. Can I self diagnose heat exhaustion.....rapid pulse, heavy breathing.....oh its okay, I'm still sweating.
The downhill was sweet, except for the large slow truck.... I'm down to breaks every 5km, with drinks, ice cream, ( two at one stop ), and power naps. Yesterday I saw a first. An elephant on the back of a truck. Today I bettered that. Two elephants on a truck. No I was not hallucinating, but I am very very tired.
I've got 9km to get to a town I hope has a hotel. There is a short cut, via small back roads, but it requires navigation. I take the longer main road route. I can't trust my brain power.
I find a hotel. It's the scruffiest, and most expensive, ($12), I've found in Thailand, but I don't care, but the only room available is on the third floor, and the lift doesn't work. Carrying Fiona, and 35kg of panniers up three flights of stairs finishes me off. Such is adventure. I think I'll take a day off tomorrow.