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Published: March 16th 2008
Day 9 - Nakon Sawan
I've now had 3 days in the saddle and getting used to the riding and the temperature. My body hasn't quite caught up though and it takes all of about 15 minutes for my shirt and helmet to be full of sweat. Frustrating as the Thais don't show any sign of sweat. I'm currently in the central plains of Thailand temperature about 25C at night and up to 40C during the day. Needless to say this makes the riding a damp affair and I have been staying in guest houses/hotels so far to make the most of a shower. Also there are people (and wild dogs) all over the place and I don't fancy an encounter i with a pack of the latter late at night (i can hear them howling from the safety of my room!) So so far most of 30kg of luggage i have is unused! - but providing good resistance training!
This region is the food basket of Thailand with the first few days travelling north being dominated by rice fields, rice fields and more rice fields. Not a tree, nor a hill in sight! Encountered the first of these
yesterday and the land use has turned more to 'dry crops'.
Places to stop for food, water and rest are plentiful with roadside stalls dotted between the towns and villages. These are mostly very basic shacks without electricity but food is cooked on gas and drinks cooled in huge eskies/cool boxes which are resupplied with ice by moped. Although practising plenty of hellos and thankyous I still have along as to go on more complex sentences such as asking for a particular dish (i normally get whatever they are cooking for the person before me, which is always good) and limiting my fruit purchase to only a couple of items - rather than kilos. A kilo of bananas or mango-like fruit cost around 10Baht = 30Aussie cents = 10p and when i try to pay for just a couple of items I have been waved on, the sign language indicating that it is not worth paying for a couple of fruit. I wonder if the same would apply to a Thai customer, but i can guarantee it wouldn't happen in Balham Sainsburies. On leaving the stall i am then loaded up with several more fruit despite my attempts of
Feeding of the elphants
explaining that i have no room to carry it (using my essential lonely planet phrasebook) on the bike. A trusty plastic bag is produced and slung on my handlebars!
This friendliness is not limited to the countryside, but continues throughout the towns I've been through. Stall holders i've approached all help me get some food whilst the many onlookers smile or stare at the fa-rang (foreigner). When possible they jump into english to help out. Equally well some people appear completely oblivious to the stranger with 3 wheels, even those on pushbikes (or better still mopeds!) i've overtaken.
Summary of days since last post:
Day 4: Bangkok. Unexpected delay to fix bike
Day 5: Bangkok to Aunthaya; Train 90km to avoid bangkok streets. ~20km on the bike. Last of the tourist towns for a while. Lots of ancient temples. Elephant festival.
Day 6: Aunthaya to Ang Thong. ~35km. Very basic hotel, but 1/3 price of bangkok. Big grain stores and some industry by side of road. Also temples and buddahs abbundent
Day 7: Ang Thong to Sankhburi. ~74km
Day 8: Sankhburi to Nakhon Sawan ~85km. Much smaller towns and farming areas. Hills (or mounds) to sides of road.
Farmer with his produce. The number and size of these Utes put Australia to shame
Day 9: rest day in Nakhon Sawan. Cycled around the town, Come down with streaming cold. Hope it clears up, can't be doing losing as much fluids through nose as sweating..
Tot: 2.536s; Tpl: 0.045s; cc: 10; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0379s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb