After just one day of cycling my farmers tan is back with a vengeance, I think I might have forgotten to put on sunscreen. I got a late start as usual even though I’m now in Thai time and got one more hour of sleep. While having breakfast outside of a 7-11 I talked to a man from Alaska who warned me about some pretty steep hills on the road to Trang. Sure, there were quite a lot of climbs, but nothing worth writing home about.
I was a little worried about my shape since I hadn’t been cycling for six days and the worries were confirmed when I started riding. It was really hard and I had to push to keep the speed I had gotten used to. After 15 km I was already worn out and had a break. There must be something wrong with the bike I thought and checked the wheels, just to find that the front brakes were grabbing the wheel, making it really hard to spin. I fixed it with my trusty Leatherman and it was once again easy to roll. The brakes must have been that way since I serviced the bike in Penang five days ago, and I didn’t notice until now.
It’s really hot and my water gets so warm it almost becomes undrinkable. The gas stations along the road were frequent and I cut down on the amount of liquid on my bicycle and instead did regular stops to get nice and cool drinks and yoghurts.
After a while the road got boring and I decided to ride through the neighbourhoods. The area is really beautiful with amazing cliffs all around. People around here seem to be quite well off with nice houses and cars, everything is neat and the pavement is fantastic. After a while I had the road all by myself with nothing but nature around me and I was really enjoying the tour.
I hadn’t seen a house for miles when the road suddenly turned into a dirt road. I got a little worried but my GPS told me to continue so I did. The condition of the road varied from a reasonable dirt road to a really bumpy gravel road. By now I was regretting my decision not to carry anything to drink, it had been a long time since I passed a store and the little water I had was almost boiling. I checked my GPS and it said I would reach a somewhat large road in 7 kilometres or so and I pushed on hoping to find a gas station just around the corner. But there weren’t any. In this part of the country people don’t need gasoline or something because I rode mile after mile passing a lot of homes, even though they were of much lesser standard than the ones I passed before, but no gas station in sight.
Finally a lady along the road seemed to be selling stuff and I stopped for much needed refreshments and a fantastic ice-cream. I filled my bike with water and promised myself never to ride without it again, but just a couple of minutes down the road the gas stations started to appear once again. Whatever.
A pretty major construction work went on for miles and my newly cleaned bike, and my bags, got dirtier than ever. Red sand covered my bicycle and the back of my t-shirt and I realized I didn’t have a single clean pair of clothing in my bags. I stopped by a market and bought their largest t-shirt, still just large enough to fit me, with a nice print of Smith & Wesson on the back.
I have seen a lot of road kill, some pretty exotic like a huge snake and some lizards, and now I’ve got my first scorpion. They leave the animals on the road for quite some time, many animals are so flat and dry they look like they have been painted on to the pavement.
Trang turned out to be a pretty nice town and again I found a decent hotel for only 200 baht. It was a long ride so I got to bed early and actually managed to get up rather early as well.
I rode towards Krabi pretty much in the same manner, but this time I was more careful to avoid the most remote roads and I carried enough water. I passed a group of people sitting outside of their home when they started to shout and waved me in. I joined them and they offered me cold drinks and snacks. They didn’t speak any English but we still managed to have a really interesting conversation and the guy was jealous about my beard. I think they wanted me to marry one of the girls and take her with me on my bike, but I respectfully declined.
A police motorcycle kept following me for a couple of hundred meters and then drove up alongside. The cop started waving but I didn’t really understand what he wanted so I just gave him thumps up. It seemed to satisfy him and he drove off.
Just before I reached downtown Krabi I stopped to check my guidebook and GPS for a decent hostel. While I was sitting on the curb I saw another cyclist approaching, loaded with twice the number of bags that I carry. It’s Rob, an American who is more than half way around the world! We shared a room in a recommended hotel and treated ourselves to the best pizza in Krabi. I’m fortunate enough to only meet people who like beer and Rob was no exception.
143 km from Satun to Trang.
129 km from Trang to Krabi.
Total: 1185 km.
Far away from everything.
Nothing special, except for the 1000 km anniversary.
Ride from Satun to Trang. Pretty good average, I think.
Local guys and girls. Not marriage material though.
Beers with Rob.