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Published: March 2nd 2013
The Thai PeninsularAranyaprathet (Thailand) - Penang (Malaysia): 7th - 28th Feb 2013 Distance covered so far (since 20 Dec): 4735 km
Once you have managed to escape Bangkok, you are then pretty much cycling along the coast for about 3 weeks until you hit Malaysia!
In some of our earlier blog entries we showed off about the challenges we faced from cycling through Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. However, we have found that our fantastic trip down the Thai peninsular (i.e. the bit that looks like an elephant's trunk) with all its beaches and seaside towns has left us little hardship to boast about, but plenty of 'gloatable' times instead. Much like swimming in chocolate, Thailand has been rather pleasurable, gluttonous at times, and resulted in us being quite brown.
We’ve still covered some big miles, but on this stage our ‘off-the-bike’ days have incorporated Scuba diving (Ko Tao), climbing (Krabi), and eating pancakes on the beach (everywhere). So, a few lists about Thailand: 1. We love Thai people because....
- Whilst looking for shelter from mid-day sun, we inadvertently joined a conference on banana plantation fertiliser, and they fed us for free.
- We became gainfully employed as night watch-men (which entailed sleeping for free, on the beach, in a massage parlour shack.) The owner thought our tent would be
less comfy than her mattresses and pillows. We agreed.
- They are considerate drivers.
- They mob us if we have a puncture (which is very regularly – see our stats), and “help us”. This makes the puncture entertaining, despite lengthening the mending process considerably. 2 (i). Cycling in an all-day monsoonal downpour is BRILLIANT because...
- It feels like taking an 8 hour long warm shower.
- Your fingers and toes go all wrinkly
- There are fewer large bugs flying into your face.
- Sun-burn, dehydration and heat exhaustion worries disappear 2 (ii). Cycling in an all-day monsoonal downpour is BAD because....
- Our cheap speedometers stop working, so finding that particular small turning off the main road, 52.3 km from the last junction becomes tricky.
- The sound of water sloshing around you quadruples the number of toilet breaks required.
- Mel gets her face freckled from the road dirt spitting off Andy's back wheel. 3. Andy is getting chubby because...
- Thai pancakes involve three critical procedures: Procedure 1: Deepfry; Procedure 2: Fry egg
Thailand - The Quiet Roads
34 Degrees Celsius - rather warm weather for cycling.
in pancake; Procedure 3: Drizzle with condensed milk and sprinkle with sugar.
- There is no shame in sitting down to a meal in a restaurant, eating, getting up, and going next door, and sitting down for another meal in a restaurant. 4. Mel is getting skinny because...
- She is less keen (than Andy is) of BBQ'd unidentified animal parts on skewers (served with a satay sauce). 5. Twenty-three minutes in Burma is curious because...
- You are there long enough to be offered Opium.
- And counterfeit Viagra.
Both were offered to us during our 23 minute visit to Burma. (We had to nip over the border to renew our Thailand visa).
A final mention must go to the ever-cheerful Lee from Blackpool (UK). He appeared by the side of the road and then (together with his GPS) we had 5 fantastic days of cycling south via the little country roads instead of the highway. We really enjoyed his company, and wish him well on the rest of his round-the-world cycling adventure (and his Kung-Fu course). Key
Mel's back tyre exploded with a bang. The necessary repairs were then aided by these characters.
Distance covered in this stage: 1454.38 km
Distance covered so far (since 20 Dec): 4735 km (This is 200km further than cycling from London to Damascus!)
Total Hours in saddle (since 20 Dec): 261 hours and 5 minutes (If you cook soft boiled eggs (medium sized) one by one, over this time, you could have 4475 eggs! - assuming you boil the water at sea-level, of course.)
Cumulative Mechanicals: Sheared Pannier Rack x1 (Mel); Snapped Bike Chain x3 (Andy); Puncture x5 (Andy), Puncture x 21ish (Mel); Explosively Burst Tyre x1 (Mel); Tyre worn through x1 (Mel), Tyre worn through x 1 (Andy); Superglue repair on slashed tyres x1 (Mel); Snapped Water Bottle Cages x2 (Andy), Pannier bag rail snap x1 (Andy); Snapped sunglasses x2 (Andy), x 1 (Mel)
Tot: 0.061s; Tpl: 0.02s; cc: 13; qc: 27; dbt: 0.0073s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb