Day 7 – 70km (again)

A simple breakfast in Thailand

A bit of a something and nothing day really, but with a bit of a twist. The cloud base didn’t shift from moustache height all day and rain was intermittent. Once again frustrated by rain at the end of the day, but lucky enough to have got 70km done before we quit.
The gates at a Thai Air Force baseAfter a simple breakfast at our motel the scenery of the beach departure was very good to start with but my carefully planned route continuing along the scenic coastline was inconsiderately interrupted by a Thai Air Force base and they seemed a little discouraging at the gate.
As I’ve said before, the Thai people are extremely friendly and generous and this can seem a little odd to us because we don’t fully understand the motivation, but the behavioural patterns are usually straight forward and you can understand what’s going on. Twice now people have asked us where we are going and have then given us some food for the journey, firstly a box of dried banana and then a couple of bags of dried raisins.
But an odd one happened to us today that put me a bit on edge. I will be first to admit that the misunderstanding is probably mine and I may have caused some offence, but I still thought the behaviour a little odd and was suddenly alert.
Firstly, a Thai guy pulled alongside us on an old motorbike, not a big one, maybe 125cc. He was without helmet and shoes which isn’t unusual and from the gesticulations I guessed he was asking where we were going. When I said Koh Samui, he seemed to understand and then said something else before riding off.
At this point we were on the backroads around the back of the Air Force base and we were trying to get back to our main route. We were also very aware of the weather closing in so we had a bit of a wiggle on. The most efficient we can move as a pair is if I tuck in behind Siubhan and she takes 50% of my wind resistance. We seem to establish a similar pace like this of about 23-25km/h on the flat. With a cadence of 90bpm, we were heads-down and motoring at cruise speed.
A couple of km later he had pulled off into a side road and I saw him on the left as we charged forward, then again he was passing us and saying something before going forward. Then I saw him again on the left and I said to Siubhan that I would take the lead here. As we approached, he was standing at a food stall and holding out a small plastic bag that contained something in a polystyrene box. Maybe I was just a little paranoid but I really didn’t want to stop.
A generous gesture in THailandHe held it out and I took it like a train would pick up a mailbag and although I shouted my thanks in Thai as enthusiastically as I could, I immediately felt shitty and crass for not stopping to accept the gift but the interaction was all a little odd.
He came by us once more and we exchanged waves again, then another few km more he was on the side road again, this time trying to get us to take the beach road, but I could see on my map that it was a dead-end and we didn’t want to go down there.
On the balance of probabilities, by far he was most likely a very kind man giving us food and offering us the most scenic route for us and I still feel more than a tad guilty but the behaviour was odd and my Spider Senses told me to be as polite and grateful as I could manage but to keep going straight and not to break the pace.
Cycle touring in Thailand
My view for a lot of the day

It was only a short time after this that we were out on the 4, a major trunk route that followed the coastline and we had 35km of this. The surface was good and we could maintain our speed.

The petrol stations on these routes are a blue flame symbol with a red centre and we soon saw one ahead. We needed a break as we were 22km in and hadn’t stopped. Usually there is a half-decent coffee shop alongside the 7-11 and we were gutted that there was nothing here. Siubhan’s cappuccino need was high now.
A lunch of peanuts and bananas whilst cycle touring in ThailandBack to the 4 we went another 20km in tandem before stopping at one of the wooden pagodas that pop up every 5-10km where we had a usual lunch of a couple of bananas and sharing a pack of peanuts. Both are really good for cycling and we have been picking them up as we go along from the 7-11 rather than bringing energy gels or tablets with us that we would have to carry.
After the 4 we were down to a pleasant road that followed the coastline into the top end of Ban Krut beach. It was raining heavier now and we found a coffee shop at 70km where we checked the weather, decided it was now set and, once again, we bailed to a local resort for a couple of bottles of Chang and a bed for the night. Which is where we are night now, sorting the stuff out before heading out to dinner.

We stayed at Na Nicha in Ban Krut, it was a little more expensive than we had been paying at 1100THB but the prices were a little elevated at this resort that attracts westerners.

 The room was spacious enough for Siubhan to make use of the camping washing line that we had brought with us and to do a little handwashing in the shower

Charging gadgets while cycle touring in ThailandThere were also plentiful power sockets that allowed us to charge pretty much everything

The view from our roomThe bonus was the railings right outside our bedroom door where I could secure the bikes

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