WHAT A FANTASTIC DAY IT WAS TODAY
We’re broken now, at 30C and 83% rel. humidity with nil wind the jungle was oppressive in a way that we haven’t experienced before. It was a lot hillier than any of the previous legs and those hills were like mountains to us in those conditions.
Although the total climb wasn’t huge for the distance, the terrain elevation was typical of our Thai trip: Flat, Flat, Fuck Me, Flat, Flat…
We carried 4L of water each today and we haven’t arrived with much left. Bananas and peanuts 🍌 🥜 were again the staple and they’re brilliant fuel ⛽ here. On top of that we take some electrolyte replacement as we’re sweating so much and Siubhan is prone to leg cramps in the night, the electrolyte replacements really seem to help though.
Twice we were passed by mopeds carrying monkeys 🐒- quite a sight to see a guy riding with a monkey on the handlebars, head down and very pink arse in the rider’s face!
I’m not sure if these are monkeys or baboons, not that we’re experts in these things but we couldn’t see the tails as they flew by.
But at about the 20km we turned inland and it was like a Thai equivalent of Deliverance. The skin of the people is noticeably darker here and they’re not as immediately friendly as the other parts we have been through. But if you smile at them, almost 100%, our smile was returned, often showing only 2-3 teeth. The stoicism that has the friendliness hidden from those that don’t bother to go looking for it made me comment to Siubhan that I thought we might be in the Thai version of Yorkshire!
Into the rolling hills of the jungle, the roads were generally very good, and mainly empty. We didn’t do any main roads today and we didn’t miss them either. But in the jungle were large rubber plantations with large plantation houses to match. Quite fantastic to ride through.
We stopped at this abandoned house for a rest and wondered what the back story is to so many abandoned places that don’t seem to be that old.
I know it’s been said many times before, but the jungle is a bloody noisy place with all sorts of noises that I couldn’t identify. Seeing Kingfishers was also a treat. I can’t remember if I’ve seen them before in the wild but they’re bigger than I would have thought.
After 66km the stops were getting more frequent as we went up and down the hills but without the air passing by you it wasn’t the most pleasant place to be. Something smelled bad now and I’m fairly sure it’s me.
We’re at the Navara Resort now and it’s another spotlessly clean motel style place with a comfortable bed, a hot water shower and aircon – that’s our full list of requirements, except having somewhere close to eat. The bonus is that there’s a fridge full of beer at reception and we’re making good use of that.
But we’re a bit broken. Today was tough. We said that we would plan to ride for 4 days then rest for a day and, although we haven’t fully decided yet, I would guess that any riding tomorrow may be minimal.
We need dinner first then we can discuss it.