Phu Noi to Tayang 120km
This morning I had breakfast with a Dutchman, who has retired in Thailand with his Thai wife, bought a house, and is very very happy. And so he should be. A brand new, 120 square metre house, for $85,000, seems pretty good to me. Great weather all year, everything is cheaper than at home, like Doctors visit $5, and in Thailand everything seems to work well. Why shouldn't he be happy? There were a few hoops to jump through re the house buying, but all looks rosey for this couple. A delightful, and enjoyable discussion over good food( eggs on toast, once again the "no bacon" got lost, hot chocolate and a banana waffle for $4). And I was ready for a day of cycling.
Followed some lovely back roads, and coastal trails, even if it meant zipping through a couple of resort car parks. I'm enjoying this section of my adventure. Seems that many of the university facalties in Bangkok, are sending their students out of town on weekends, apparently to ensure they don't get involved in demonstrations. The last two days I've passed numerous, like 4 or 5 at a time, buses parked outside resorts, with heaps of uni students hanging out on the beaches.
Also passed a section of coast line that would rate up there with the worst Oliday Booking Orror stories. About 5km of the coast road, and the beach, is being reconstructed. Dirty, dusty, potholed roads, no sand on beach, muddy sea, construction vehicles everywhere, and the resorts still had bookings. I would hope, with huge discounts.
So I was following a lovely back road, and cycled into Hua Hin, seemingly a lovely quiet fishing village, with a few resorts along the coastline. I snuck down an alleyway and rested on some seats in front of one such resort. The tide was splashing on the walls dropping from the resorts to the sea, and a few tourists were wading along in the waves. I retreated before Fiona got wet.
Then my nice quiet road merged with yesterday's "speedway". Suddenly I'm surrounded by traffic, tall buildings, traffic lights, tourist trying to get into and out of Mall car parks, huge double decker tourist buses. It's hot, dusty and Orrible. Who would choose this place to Oliday? Well lots of people apparently, both European and Asian.
So I'm keen to get off this "speedway" and am looking for roads towards the coast, but there aren't any. For 20km I'm part of a frenzy of traffic, going fast, to who knows where. I stop for an ice cream, and have another look at my map app. Oh bOther. For the last 10km, there has been a quiet road running parallel to the "speedway", inland. Two Minis, racing past at 150kph decide me. Quiet road.
10km of bliss, but now this road is merging with another motorway. Back towards the coast, to the apps coastal road. A bit of illegal crossing of the speedway medium strip, and I'm heading to the coast road....and its great....but then it disappears....Oh bOther. Never mind, the app suggests an alternative.
This takes me towards a massive construction site. The gate keeper raises the barrier and waves me through. This site is massive. Multi multi millions of dollars being spent. I'm dodging cranes, bulldozers, diggers, huge concrete trucks and dumpsters, builders vehicles of all descriptions. I guess I was safe. I had my helmet on. I reach the far corner, and there is no exit....except on to the beach. Okay then, Fiona, let's do it. 100m of pushing through soft sand, and we climb some steps into a VERY posh resort. Noone batters an eyelid as I ride around the pool, and out the gate.......and end up back on the speedway.....but on the wrong side, heading against the traffic. Noone batters an eyelid.
Slip down the next road towards the beach. The app is convinced there is a coast road....but still no luck. Back to the speedway, and a couple of km later I decide to make one last attempt. Oh gOOdness. Success. For 10km I ride between wall to wall deckchairs and umbrellas on my right, and food and souvenir stalls, and bars on my left, and being Saturday, it's busy. Yes, people apparently think this is a great way to spend the weekend. Through the umbrellas I can't actually see anyone swimming, but the deck chairs, bars and stalls are very busy. Isn't it great we aren't all the same. Because then all these people would want to be in the mountains and beaches of NZ.
The app is now back on track. We once again start cycling through fish markets, over tiny wooden bridges, and past fishing boats. Yes. I love this. Not long now and I'm getting close to my proposed destination for the night. I've had a great day, and am totally surprised to see I've ridden 120km today. Certainly doesn't feel like that. Feels like I've been out playing, having fun. May the fun continue for some time more. I topped 11,000km today, and it's exactly six months since I rode out of Hanmer Springs.