Tuesday 1st March, 2011
Distance: 72km (Total: 10,672)
We struggled to find food this morning for breakfast in Chumphon so had to settle for strong, sweet coffee with condensed milk. On leaving Chumphon we spotted a huge Tesco so Mike disappeared inside and emerged 40 mins later with food for the day. It’s just like being in our local Tesco mecca: it’s huge, sells everything and best of all you just know where to find it all.
We’ve decided to head over to the west coast of Thailand and take the quieter roads south along the coast. Once we’d left Chumphon the road was fantastic, bendy, smooth tarmac with great views across the border to the hills of Mayanmar. We cycled through jungle with brightly coloured birds, butterflies and flowers. Really amazing, but the Thai’s seem to like to keep guard dogs and we’ve had a couple of them chase us today. Alex shouting at them seems to do the trick of scaring them off though. The people we’re meeting along the way are all big, beaming smiles and so friendly.
The huge Tesco on the outskirts of Chumphon.
Great roads all day today.
We decided to keep it short today to ease ourselves back in gently. We’re in no rush now so took a few detours to visit a disappointing waterfall and a couple of temples. Lunch was fried basil leave beef, rice and fried egg and was amazing. By the time we’d finished lunch it was so hot we were glad we didn’t have much further to go today.
The disappointing waterfall we took a 10km detour to see.
A very hot and sweaty lunch. When we'd both finally cooled down it was time to leave again.
In Kraburi we found a brand new hotel with a huge room for 250 baht for the night. Everything in the room other than the bed was still wrapped in plastic. Sat in our room in the evening there was a loud noise and to which Alex said “was that thunder?”, to which Mike replied “can’t be, it’s blue skies outside”. A few minutes later we heard it again and looked outside to see a wall of black cloud approaching. We thought we’d make a dash for the shop to get some food before the rain started. Everyone driving past us was beeping their horn, pointing at the storm and warning us to go the other way. We made it back just as it started to chuck it down. We haven’t seen rain for what seems like months so it was great to be in the middle of a proper downpour with lots of thunder and lightening. The streets turned to rivers and the power was knocked out in the whole of Kraburi for the next 4 hours.
Big storm heading our way.
We found a place open for food and had amazing dinner of papaya salad, fried rice, seafood soup and deep-fried pork. We’re loving Thai food now we’re in places you can get the real stuff and not the westernised versions of everything that they serve up on the islands and tourist resorts.
It’s great to be back on the bikes but we’re both really unfit after such a long break.