Rock climbing!

tomorrow we are going to go rock climbing at the beach. I hope it will be fun.

There was a old one but it was to dangerous because they let you jump in the water went you got to the top. The one that we are going to be doing is safer than the old one.

Hellish day

As you would have read in Allister and Patrick’s posts, we had a pretty hellish day yesterday. It started out like any other lovely day cycling in Asia but a short time into the ride I saw a green hose across the side of the road in front of me. My first thought was “that is a very bright green hose” my next thought was “holy shit, it’s a really long green snake and there is no way I can dodge it”. As I rode over it, it coiled up and hit me in the knee but luckily missed Robert all together. Adrenalin kept me pedaling hard for a while after that.

It must be bad luck to ride over a snake because the rest of the day was torturous. The following photos show the tale.

Starting out on the short cut. Ok limestone road. Smiles all round.

Patrick pouring cold water over Allister’s head to cool him down at the first bridge we discovered.

The second bridge made from wooden beams.

Track getting narrower and nearly unrideable.

Bikes and Patrick lost in the jungles of Thailand.

45 minutes and 3 km of torture pushing the bikes through thorny jungle later. We reached a muddy track.

8km and a little bit of hysteria we reached civilisation.


Day 27 – Wang Wiset to Emerald Pool 

We had the two extremes in road conditions today from main highway to jungle track and finished off with a swim in Emerald Pool.

As per usual we got off the highway as quickly as possible. The route chosen by Google Maps didn’t look unusual and had been excellent for most of the trip. However, Emerald Pool is more remote than most stops we have chosen.

The first sign the roads weren’t in such great condition was the fact we were riding on a good sealed road that stopped and transformed into a rocky, heavily eroded track.

After a couple of kilometres the track turned back to good sealed road and we enjoyed a good downhill descent. As we were riding down, Patrick noticed that we should have taken a side road, that looked like a goat track. We stopped on the side of the road and had a conference on what to do. Choice one, continue on the road and add 5 to 10 kms. Choice two, go back to the goat track and hope it gets us through. To my surprise, Julie and Robert were bullish and wanted to give the track a go, so Patrick and I were happy to follow their lead.

The track was okay to start with, but as we progressed it became narrower and more eroded. As we rode past the local houses we got very animated responses from the locals, which should have been a sign of what was to come. After about 6 kms we came to a stream with a couple of crossings.

It was a pleasant break and a good way to cool off, but it was unclear which way we should go. There were three different options but after scouting them out we were still unsure. All the options led to a house, but didn’t seem to go any further. The man at the house in the first option didn’t speak, but indicated with his arms crossed together to make an X, that there was no way through. The second option took us to an older couple’s house who were more friendly and wanted to help, but the language barrier was too hard and their property was the end of the road. I did show where we want to go and the man tried to explain how to get there, so we thought we would try option 3.

Option 3, had a sign  (see picture below), but looked very overgrown, but it was our last chance before having to back track. It was way too overgrown to ride so Julie and I pushed the bikes in the hope it would get better. We sent Robert up ahead to scout out the track to to make sure it was passable. After about 500 metres it was only getting worse and I didn’t think it was worth pushing the bikes any further, so Julie and Patrick stayed with the bikes and Robert went ahead to see if it got any better. After another 500 metres we were getting further off the Google Maps track, so I knew we were on the wrong path, so we headed back. When we got back to the bikes we made the decision to turn back.

As we were turning the bikes around the couple from Option 2 appeared with their three dogs out of the jungle. We got into a discussion again about where to go, but still couldn’t get past the language barrier. Robert suggested we ask him to take us, so I indicated to him that we would follow him. He understood so we retraced back to the sign. At that point they indicated we should be able to get through, but he seemed to be indicating Option 1, which seemed to be a dead end. I asked him to take us, which he happily obliged.

After walking back to Option 1 (about 500 metres) we walked past the original house (the Option 1 man no where to be seen) and the man indicated the path through an overgrown wet land of sword grass and scrub. I was pretty sceptical, but because he had been so friendly I thought we should give it a go. According to Google Maps we had about 3 kms to go until we hit another road, so worst case we could push the bikes that distance or turn back.

That 3 kms was a hard slog and we spent most of the time pushing the bikes through an overgrown track and across little streams. The boys were amazing and we all operated as a well oiled team. They scouted ahead and removed dead branches and helped push the bikes up hills. I can’t believe how accurate Google Maps path was because at times there was no visible path or multiple paths to chose from, but by continually checking to see that we were on the correct path we made it back to civilisation.

After a long day we finally made it to Emerald Pool and had a nice relaxing swim and cool off. We didn’t even get into our swimming gear, but just jumped in with what we had been wearing while cycling.

Check out my ride on Strava:

Day 26 – Trang to Wang Wiset

Back on the bikes again after a rest day island hopping and snorkeling. Very quiet morning on the road. We took a back road, which happened to be a four lane highway with a wide shoulder, but almost no traffic early on a Sunday morning after Chinese New Year. Took a while to find a stop for morning tea. Came across a little shop that had plenty of animals around. If you zoom in on the thatched roof you can see a tenacious chicken searching for bugs.

Took another break to explore a cave via boat. It was pretty tame to start with, where we had to lie back to avoid hitting our heads on the cave roof. Much of the cave had been closed because of flooding and had only been reopened a few days earlier. The guide could tell we were adventurous, so took us out via the Dragon Run. It involved 350 metres of all of us lying on our backs, including the guides. The cave became so narrow and low that the guides used their hands on the roof to guide and propel the boat. At points the stalactites were rubbing on our prone bodies. Luckily the tour has been keeping us trim, because we couldn’t have been any wider. The ride topped any theme park ride for excitement and exhilaration.

Check out my ride on Strava:

Amazing Thailand

We have just had the most amazing two days. We spent a rest day in Trang. We decided to do a day tour of the islands rather than go and stay on one of them. We would have liked to have stayed on Koh Muk but because is was Chinese new year there was no available accommodation. We booked the day trip through our hotel and did not realise at the time that is was not aimed at foreign tourists but local tourists. When we arrived at the jetty to get on our tour boat we realised that nobody spoke much English. Luckily for us there was a lovely woman from Bangkok who spoke perfect English. She was our interpreter for the entire trip.

The trip involved snorkeling, a  cave, a beach and then more snorkeling. The Cave was the highlight. I will try to explain it to you. We arrived at the vertical cliff of an Island where there was a small cave at the water line. We were fitted with life vests and put in the water one by one. We were instructed to hold onto the life vest of the person in front of you. There was about 50 people on the tour so we made a 50 person long, human snake in the water. Our guides had flippers on and they towed us into the cave. We slowly made our way through the tunnel that had a low ceiling and twisted and turned in a few different directions. If it wasn’t for the head torches on the guides heads, it would have been pitch black inside. Eventually we reached the center which was a beach with a small jungle surrounded by vertical cliffs. If you imagine the Island to be a doughnut and the beach and jungle are in the hole in the middle and the only way to the beach is a small tunnel through the doughnut. It was really surprising and the boys really enjoyed it.

Today we cycled to another cave called Le Khoa Kop Cave. It is a cave in a limestone outcrop just north of Trang. There is a muddy river running through it.  It is a pretty ordinary cave as cave go but the fun begins when you are leaving the cave. You are taken into the cave in a small wooden boat with two guides. When you have finished the cave tour and go to leave the cave, the guides instruct you to lie down in the boat facing up. As they slowly paddle you out of the cave the ceiling gets lower and lower until it is only about 2cm from your face. Allister had to suck in his gut to avoid some of the stalactites from scrapping his belly. It lasts about 8 minutes but felt like an hours. You would not cope if you were claustrophobic. Again, the boys loved it.


We reached Trang today. You would only come here as a stop over on your way to one of the islands off the coast. The view from our hotel room could be any location in south east Asia except for the power lines. Such a Thailand giveaway. No other country I have been to has power lines like it.

We are on the 4th floor which I am glad of as tomorrow is chinese new year.  Tonight is going to be one big party. The firecrackers have started already. 

We are having a rest day tomorrow so planning on doing a day trip out to three islands. There will be cave swimming, snorkeling and lunch on a remote beach. 

Allister informed me that we have done over 1000km so far. So the boys are having a well deserved break watching YouTube.