Monday, 15 November 2010

Phase 1 – ThungSong to Laos

Week 1 - Krabi to Ranong. 220kms cycled.

Highlights: Ranong hot springs, Kao Lak beach.
Low blows: Tyre blown out (but aircon bus came along soon enough so never mind).
Music of the week: Deadmau5 – will get you up that hill – everytime!!!

I had intended to start my cycling trip on 1st November, but because of heavy rains and flooding in ThungSong and surrounding areas I had to wait until 3 November. Convinced that an evil force is trying to keep me in ThungSong, especially after a woman on a motorbike ran into, me making me fall onto her and her bike, spilling my dinner into the road, and burning the back of my leg on the exhaust.
Entrance to the local park/lake.

Took a bus and then started cycling from Krabi to Ao Luek. Was soon on quiet back roads, soaking up the beautiful scenery. Huge limestone cliffs, rubber trees, palm oil, a few coconut trees and everybody saying hello along the way.

Temple in Ao Leuk.

Ao Luek to Khao Lak
Overcast day, undulating hills, palm oil, and some rubber plantations. The road on the map I was using was incorrect, luckily I stopped to ask for directions and a man was very helpful pointing me the right way to Thap Put town. Had coffee and snack in the market and then set off along a small winding road lined with jungle and opening up to impressive vistas and limestone cliffs topped with vegetation, and with forest growing up the side. Beautiful. Had a quick look inside a lovely temple, Wat Khiriwong, that was inside its own limestone grotto, access being through a small cave entrance and opening out into a huge area which were the grounds of the temple. Would've made a lovely place for a house. Carried on and took lunch in a small village, chatting with an old woman. She said she liked English people, but didn't like Australians because they were big like elephants! Quite funny really because five minutes later two elephants came plodding by. Rearwheel is buckled, so need to get it sorted. Last 15kms to Khao Lak a real slog and arrived at 5 PM, Had a McDonald's as I know everything in this town will be so overpriced and will probably wait a long time to get it. Fast-food wins this evening!

Khao Lak. Rest Day
Beach, beer, ipod, swimming in the sea. Came across some shrines to people who had died in the tsunami, fading photos pinned to a palmtree with some shell things and a few messages. Mainly Swedish. Babies, young people and a few elderly. Sad and scary to imagine a huge 10m wave coming at you with nowhere to run.

Khao Lak beach.

Khao Lak to Ranong
Scenery changed from limestone karsk to small triangular mtns/hills covered in trees and verdant green vegetation. Still mainly palm oil and some rubber. Tyre blown out and big hole in it. Luckily only had to wait an hour before bus went wizzing by, but luckily stopped and reversed back to come and get me. Loaded all stuff on board and did rest of way to Ranong on the bus.


Got bike fixed in decent shop. Mooched about the town. Cycled to the fishing port 5 km out of town and had a look around, tons of fish being unloaded from boats sorted in baskets and then either sold on the quayside or packed into trucks and driven away with great haste. A very busy place and everybody seemed on edge/stressed. Went to the hot springs in the afternoon. Hot thermal spa pool, cool down Jacuzzi, lemon grass steam room, all for three quid, and I had the place to myself! That’s the way to do it .

Boat repairs at Ranong Harbour.

'Cute' dog at the local nightmarket.

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