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Published: August 20th 2014
I convinced Jo that we should take a good long ride out of town - our first motorcycle adventure. We ate the free hotel bacon and egg breakfast, had a quick swim in the pool and dropped some laundry in to a small shop in town. With our errands run we headed north approximately 70 kilometres towards Erawan National Park and the Erawan Falls.
The 125cc Honda bikes are not really designed for comfort over long distances but behaved themselves well. They were fairly good on the open road up to about 75kph and would do around 90kph at a push.
We stopped several times on the way to take in the Thai countryside and rode through small villages with smiling locals wondering what the hell two white faces were doing coming through their town on motorcycles. The roads were in good condition with very few potholes so we rode with confidence in the dry conditions. The land was mainly flat and the roads straight for the first 50 kilometres with a small steady climb and the odd bend in the road as we got closer to the waterfalls. It was a hot day - probably low 30s and
at some points it was like riding into a hairdryer on full heat.
We pulled in to a small town at the entrance to Erawan National Park for a drink before we went in. Jo had a strawberry smoothie and I had an Oreo milkshake. The bill was just NZD2.50.
Entrance to the park was THB200 (NZD8) each with an additional THB20 for our motorbikes. We were shown to a park and walked towards the waterfalls with large numbers of other tourists and thai nationals.
The Erawan Falls cover an area of a few kilometres and have seven "levels" with waterfalls at each level. Jo struggled a bit in the heat but after a walk of around 45 minutes we managed to clear the good majority of the tourists and stopped at a small waterfall and ponds at level 5. Jo was quickly in the water to cool off and was surprised to find her toes being tickled by the small fish that inhabited the ponds. I dangled my legs over the edge a few minutes later and we spent almost an hour cooling down after the long climb up while getting our feet massaged by the
fish. The walk down was much easier having relaxed at the top of the trail and I'm sure gravity helped ease the trek also.
We could have stopped there - it was after 1600 and we had at least an hour of riding to get back to Kanchanaburi but we couldn't resist the turnoff to Sai Yok National Park and the intriguingly named Hellfire Pass. This was no small detour and as we didn't have a good road map we could only estimate that it would add another 100 kms to the 50 or so we had left to get back to Kanchanaburi - we had, of course, underestimated this number rather significantly.
We passed by tapioca fields and paddocks of cows between limestone cliffs and headed north west chasing the sun to the horizon. It took at least an hour to get to Hellfire Pass Museum (which was closed) then another 30 minutes to the entrance of Sai Yok National Park. The waterfall turned out to be rather unspectacular, particularly after the Erawan Falls earlier in the day but the ride through the forest was worth the extra kilometres. After a half hour walk around the National
Park, we headed for home. It was exactly 100 kilometres back to Kanchanaburi.
We had to stop for petrol about 30 kilometres short of town where an elderly bloke extracted petrol from a hand drawn pump that was surely at least as old as he was. Two litres (enough to fill my tank) cost THB80 (NZD3).
It was dark by the time we hit Kanchanaburi and the long day (around 300 kms we think) riding unfamiliar bikes in an unfamiliar country was taking its toll on both our concentration and our backsides. We had a quick meat on stick dinner by the bridge and headed back to the hotel exhausted.
Tot: 0.599s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 8; qc: 52; dbt: 0.0169s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb